More than 1,200 participate in Ford Airport’s 5K

By Tara Hernandez

Gerald R. Ford International Airport


More than 1,200 runners and walkers laced up their sneakers for a behind-the- scenes 5K on one of the runways at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA).


The Runway 5K is the first of its kind on airport grounds in over a decade. The last Runway 5K was for the Airport’s 40th Anniversary in 2003. The race began near the cargo facilities, continuing under a runway tunnel, looping around by the airport fire station, and wrapped around on Runway 8L/26R – GFIA’s general aviation runway. The Airport’s two other commercial aviation runways were operational, giving participants a chance to soak in an up-close-and-personal sight.


“This was a tremendous opportunity for runners, walkers, and families who wanted to experience a fun event on one of our runways that is normally only being used for aircraft,” said GFIA President & CEO Jim Gill. “It was exciting to see West Michigan come out and experience our facility like never before, plus support a wonderful charity at the same time.”


GFIA selected Make-A-Wish Michigan as its charity of choice to donate the race proceeds.


“We’re delighted that the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is hosting an event to benefit Make- A-Wish Michigan.” said Karen Davis, president & CEO of Make-A-Wish Michigan. “It’s through the generous support of our Michigan community, like our friends at GFIA, that we are able to grant life-changing wishes to Michigan children and bring hope, strength and joy at a time when they need it most.”


“Make-A-Wish Michigan does tremendous work in our community, and we are thrilled to be able to donate proceeds from our Runway 5K to this organization,” said Gill. “We see Make-A-Wish kids in our airport on a regular basis, and although we wish that was less frequent; we are happy to help grant more wishes in West Michigan through this donation.”