It was quite an extraordinary sight at Miami International Airport on October 29th, as the northern runway saw no aircraft movement, not a single departure or arrival in sight. Instead, the airport’s north runway saw thousands of runners taking off for the Miami International Airport 5-Kilometer Flight 2022.
Raising funds for charity
The marathon event was the second installation of the two-part Miami Runway 5-Kilometer Series, which sees runners signing up and running five kilometers on the tarmac. The run held by Miami International Airport followed the first installation hosted by Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on March 19th this year.
And they are off! More than 2,600 participants are getting the chance to run on our runway. #MIARunway5K @MiamiStrides pic.twitter.com/709EvaRqwv — Miami Int'l Airport (@iflymia) October 29, 2022
Over 300 runners participated in the event held at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, but over 2,600 runners ran the course at Miami International Airport. Altogether, both races raised more than $30,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign. The funds raised were gathered from participant registration fees, individual donations, and event sponsorships.
The host sponsors for the Miami Runway 5-Kilometer Series include both airports, Miami-Dade County, and host sponsor American Airlines. Supporters for the events also included aviation partners Catalina Aerospace Corporation, Atlantic Aviation, Signature Flight Support, Spirit Airlines, and LATAM Airlines, to name some.
More runway opportunities to come
Since this was the second time that runners replaced aircraft on the runway, with the first inaugural Miami International Airport race in October 2020, the participation turnout and funding outcome had surpassed expectations. And celebrating this was Ralph Cutié, Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director and Chief Executive Officer, as he said:
“It was an honor and a privilege for us to host two races this year as part of our first Runway 5K Series to do our part in the fight against breast cancer. We appreciate every single person and organization who ran or donated money and resources to make this year’s events successful for those battling this deadly disease. We also hope everyone enjoyed the unique opportunity to run on one of the busiest airport runways in the country.”
Given the event’s popularity, the host sponsors have decided that next year’s 5-Kilometer Series will expand to three races. Miami Executive Airport in south Miami-Dade will be joining Miami International Airport and Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport as a third race location.
While no dates have been confirmed yet, the race for Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport is likely to be held in March next year, and the race at Miami International Airport might be held during the summer period, and the race at Miami Executive Airport might be towards the year-end.
Temporarily closing down one runway is honestly no easy task, especially since the races flag off at approximately 07:30 AM, which is considered close to the morning peak hour timings. In terms of planning, the amount of coordination and organization required to make such events successful without many flight and safety disruptions is remarkable.
As for the races, the idea of running on an actual runway and witnessing the aviation sights happening on other active runways is certainly memorable. The expansion of the series into three races adds to the excitement for runners. Hopefully, the turnout will be even greater next year, and more funds can be raised for the continued support of breast cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.