The 3rd annual Run the Runway has expanded this year to include a new way to 'fly down the runway' in running shoes.
For those who would like to join the fun at the Tillsonburg Regional Airport on Friday, June 9 at a more relaxed pace, there is a new 2.5 km walk.
Or run the traditional 5 km or 10 km distances, and bring the children for the 800m kiddie trot.
"It's kind of just a nice community event," said co-organizer Jessica Melo. "A nice night out, something anyone can attend regardless of whether they want to run or walk."
The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with the free 800m kiddie trot, for children up to 12 (with a registered parent or adult), who are also welcome to register for the 2.5 km walk, or 5 & 10 km runs. The children will enjoy a free ice cream sandwich after 'trotting' 800m.
"It's a family oriented event," said Melo.
"It is a nice family night," said co-organizer Ron Becht, noting they had children as young as 3-4 year olds in the 800m trot. "It's a lot of fun watching the kids run."
"Last year we had phenomenal weather for it, too," said Melo.
The flat looping runway 'track', which is about 1.6 km long, offers a unique running experience, said Becht.
"It's certainly a different perspective from a traditional 5k or 10k. I think it's cool just to be on the runway. Flat and fast, it's a straight one mile."
All funds raised at Run the Runway support Tillsonburg's Fee Assisted Recreation Experience (F.A.R.E.) program, which allows youth to attend summer camp. Last year's event raised $2,000, which allowed them to send 12 children to one week's worth of summer camp.
"Our goal is to match or surpass that," said Melo. "One hundred per cent of the proceeds go to F.A.R.E."
The registration fee for the new 2.5 km walk is only $10 ($12 on race day), said Melo, and you get a free dinner provided by Domino's Pizza.
Early bird registration for the 5 km and 10 km distances are $31 and $36 respectively until May 31st, $36/$41 in the week leading up to Run the Runway (June 1-8), and for a limited number of registrations on June 9th up to 5:30 p.m. it is $46/$51.
Total registration will be capped at 250, although the event would need to see significant growth to reach the cap. The first Run the Runway had about 30 runners, and they doubled that last year. They'd like to see continued growth, perhaps surpassing 100, especially with the addition of the new 2.5 km walk.
Registration includes a swag bag, free T-shirt for the first 125 registrations, pizza donated by Domino's, water and fruit, and numbered bibs.
Harvard planes are typically on the apron of the tarmac for viewing, and Oxford County Animal Rescue will be on site with dogs available for adoption or, said Melo, "a fun petty break."
"A lot of people pop over to pet them," she said, noting some people bring along animal toys, food or treats for the dogs.
This year there is a special prize for the top 5 km and 10 km runners.
"They will win a free flying lesson," said Melo. "They will get an opportunity to fly a plane, through the airport. They just added that.
"There will also be gift certificate prizes from Boston Pizza and Kelsey's for the age category runners, males and females."
Registration forms are available at the Tillsonburg Community Centre. Telephone registrations will be accepted with a credit card payment.
Information on Run the Runway Tillsonburg is available on their Facebook page.