MARITIME RUNNER
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Saint John to welcome runway runners

Annual 10K/5K races happening Saturday, June 17

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
June 15, 2017

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Garth and Helena Millar were driving by the Saint John Airport one day, and he was struck by an idea.
“I thought, wouldn’t it be kind of neat if there was a running race on the runway?” he recalled. “I checked with the airport and asked the question, and they said yes. It was just one of those things that happened.”
The Millers, who own and operate Fundy Sports & Tourism, are now preparing for their seventh annual Saint John Airport 5K and 10K, which will take place on Saturday, June 17.
The event is made possible through a partnership with the Saint John Airport, which Mr. Millar explained is vital.

The annual Saint John Airport 10K and 5K race will take place on Saturday, June 17. Shown here are participants during last year’s run.

Photo courtesy of Garth Millar

“There’s a lot of logistical work the airport has to do,” he said. “From my perspective, I’m just organizing an event, but, from the airport’s perspective, there are a lot of security issues. They close the airspace down over the airport while the race is going on, so it’s pretty complicated.”
But the arrangement has worked, indicative by the event’s success. It usually reaches its cap of 300 participants, and is on its way to another strong turnout this year. Although numbers are down slightly, perhaps due to the event being scheduled a month later than usual, he said registrations were still coming in Thursday afternoon.
Also included is a kids’ fun run, which usually draws about 100 youngsters.
This year’s event is being held to coincide with Airport Community Day, featuring a car show, barbecue, flea market and more.
Race directors like Mr. Millar like airport runs because they don’t have to deal with car traffic. Runners like them because of the flat course, and the novelty of it, he explained.
“The comment I get from everyone, is the perspective on the runway is really strange because they can see the far end of the course,” he said. “It really takes people by surprise how far it looks, and how long it takes to get there.”
This year’s event also has a prize incentive. Thanks to a sponsorship from Air Canada, one lucky registrant will walk away from the run with two return tickets to any scheduled Air Canada destination in North America, including Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.
For more on the annual runway run, visit here .