NEW KNOXVILLE – Right down to the finisher medals, the June 12 9 p.m. 5K run on the Neil Armstrong Airports’ runways will commemorate the spirit and history of Auglaize native and astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Organizer Amy Kentner, owner of Roadrunner Enterprises LLC in Wapakoneta, said the medal is a replica of the original plane that teenaged Armstrong flew over local fields while learning to fly.
“It is complete down to the tail number and a spinning propeller!” she said.
Kentner plans to send out an eblast invitation to the 4,000 runners on her email list this week. Others who would like to know more can go to the event website Fly Me To The Moon at https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/NewKnoxville/FlyMeToTheMoon.
She said she is not sure how many will take part in the 5K race, but was confident enough to already have ordered 500 medals for those finishing the race.
“This race is like no other because we shut the airport down just for participants.” She added that everyone should “Get their running shoes on and fly along the taxiway and run on the airstrip with the lit-up runway lights at night.” She added that volunteers will be out guiding the runners with the use of the same official light sabers used to guide in the planes.
Early bird cost for the Fly Me To The Moon race is $25, but Kentner said that runners can choose to sign up for the two-race Moon Series for an extra $25. A runner who chooses to go for the challenge of two races will also compete in the Summer Moon Festival “Run For The Moon” race, to be held in Wapakoneta on July 17. Those who complete both races will be awarded the airport 5K Fly Me To The Moon race and the medal for the Moon festival run, plus, a specially designed space station medal for participating. Pictures of the medals can be seen at the Fly Me To The Moon website.
Features of the event include retired Astronaut Greg H. Johnson at the finish line to high-5 everyone as they cross over the finish line. Aviation Beer from Tailspin Brewing Co. will also be served runners as they finish. Visitors can also see firsthand the Longhorn Learjet 28 that Armstrong flew in 1979, breaking altitude and rate-of-climb records in a corporate jet.
The race is part of the official grand opening of the new terminal at the airport, with all-day activities that will include meals and activities.
Proceeds of the race are being donated to the New Bremen Foundation, which is the backer for the event.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.