By JESSICA WETZLER
Daily News-Record 1/29/20
It’s time to get those running shoes as registration for the third annual Run the Runway 5K and Kids Fun Run at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport takes off Tuesday.
The event will take place on March 15 and includes a 1K Fun Run for children ages 3-12 and a 5K race on the taxiway and runway.
“This event offers participants a unique race opportunity on a real airport runway, making it a perfect fit for runners, walkers and families at all fitness levels,” said Heather Ream, director of marketing and communications for the Weyers Cave airport.
Ream said due to the course being flat and paved, it makes it stroller-and wheelchair-friendly for those who want to participate.
The 5K was created in 2018 to support the expansion of Explore More Discovery Museum’s aviation exhibit.
“All proceeds from the Run the Runway 5K and Kids Fun Run will benefit the Explore More Museum’s aviation exhibit, where children can learn about the many aspects of aviation, including hands- on experience as a pilot, aircraft mechanic, air traffic controller and passenger,” Ream said.
In 2017, Dynamic Aviation, an aviation company based in Bridgewater, donated a Beechcraft King Air 90S airplane that was installed on the museum’s second floor.
The plane was manufactured in 1969 and was used by the military in the Vietnam War and First Gulf War. Dynamic Aviation purchased a fleet of 124 Beechcraft King Air 90S from the Army in 1996. The planes served many purposes over the years, from putting out wildfires to collecting aerial data, according to a previous DN- R article.
With the airport’s sponsorship, Explore More, located at 150 S. Main St. in
Harrisonburg, added a mock airline terminal area and shell of an air traffic control tower in the aviation exhibit, along with the largest expansion in 2019 to feature runway lights converted into benches.
“The lighted signs were actually located on our airfield for years,” Ream said. “When we upgraded our airfield lighting to LED this past summer, the museum was a perfect second home for some of them.”
The expansion also included an updated air traffic control panel with equipment and monitors.
Ream said that over the last two years, the airport has raised close to $25,000 for the aviation exhibit. Funds raised from the 2020 Run the Runway 5K will help further development of the space, including elements to explore the aerodynamics of flight and a mock TSA screening area, according to Ream.
“We feel strongly that this exhibit has the power to inspire the children of today to be our aviation workforce of tomorrow,” Ream said.
To register, visit https:// www.vamomentum.com/runthe-runway.html.