Run the Runway offers unique running experience

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Tillsonburg's first-ever Run the Runway is offering local runners a unique opportunity to 'fly' down the Tillsonburg Regional Airport runway... in running shoes.

For one night only, you can experience a new way to race. The airport will shut down around 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 for Run the Runway, which features both 5 km and 10 km runs, as well as an 800m run for young children.

Organized by the Tillsonburg Community Centre, the night kicks off at 7 p.m. with the free kids 800m run (8-and-under). It will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by the 10 km runners, and 45 minutes later, at 8:15 p.m., the 5 km runners will begin running the runway course. Affordably priced, the cost to run 10 km is $22.60 (including tax), and $16.95 (including tax) for 5 km.

"It's rare to have it mid-week," said Ron Becht, from the Tillsonburg Community Centre Health Club. "But there is so much on the weekends, it gets saturated, especially with running events. And the airport was more accessible – that was probably the only time they could close the airport."

The runway track, including a portion of the apron, is one mile... about 1.6 km.

"We're staying on the tarmac," said Becht. "So six loops for the 10k, and three loops for the 5k. It's absolutely flat – you won't find a flatter place to run on, which makes this venue very unique. It's a 'bit' different."

You can register at the Tillsonburg Community Centre or email Kattie at kransom@tillsonburg.ca or Ron Becht at rbecht@tillsonburg.ca, or call the community centre (688-9011) to talk to Ron, Kattie or Jessica.

Registration will continue right up to the 18th – you can even register that night at the airport.

"It would be nice to know the numbers, but we're not going to say no," said Becht.

"It's going to be a fun family event," said TCC's Jessica Ransom, summer program director. "We'll have ice cream for sale, and we're hoping the kids and parents will watch the runners."

Participants of all abilities are welcome, male and female. Soar to a new personal best in the 5 km or 10 km on a 'very flat, fast, and unique course.' Or enjoy a leisurely run.

"We're hoping to have the lights on," said Ransom.

"We're having it at dusk to take advantage of the airport lights," nodded Becht.

Tillsonburg Regional Airport is located on Airport Road, 7 km north of Tillsonburg off Hwy 19 (turn at Coyle's Country Store), and 16 km south of the 401. An ground display of Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association plans is expected that night.

"They might have a couple of planes on display," said Becht.

Similar airport running events have been held in cities like London, Toronto and Calgary.

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