The Asheville Regional Airport Runway 5k + Aviation Day, taking place on Saturday, October 6, is nearing, and all signs point to an even bigger event this year. In last year's inaugural event, approximately 750 people ran a portion of the runway followed by a race along the road in front of the airport terminal. After that, several thousand event attendees joined the racers at a festival that took place next to the runway. A crowd of racers is expected this year, especially because participants will run the entire length of the runway on October 6. And for those who just want to be near the runway without the need for running shoes, the free "Aviation Day" festival will offer fun for the whole family. "We received an overwhelming response from the community last year and knew we had to continue this unique event for our region," said Tina Kinsey, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. "There's no other race like this in the area, and in addition to being the flattest 5k in the mountains, running on the runway is truly a thrilling experience." The free Aviation Day is focused on the adventure of flight and will feature activities for the whole family, including airplanes on display, low-cost airplane rides ($30 for adults and $15 for children), aviation experts, live music, food, activities, and a chance for attendees to win free airfare. "Some great community partners will be at our event, sharing their expertise and activities related to aviation and the industry as a whole, such as local pilots, a flight school, the WNC Air Museum, our local community colleges, emergency services agencies and regional children's museums," said Kinsey. "Our goal is to continue to spark excitement about the aviation industry, and to welcome our region to the airport to get up-close to the runway, aircraft, and the people who are enthusiastic about all-things-aviation." "We also have a great line-up of aircraft and equipment to display. Kids (and kids-at-heart) will enjoy the planes, a soaring glider, helicopters, emergency services vehicles and airport snow removal trucks," said Kinsey. "And we may have a few surprises up our sleeves involving military aircraft." To participate in the 5K, racers must register on-line. The cost through midnight October 4 is $30, or $40 if registering in person at the race. Proceeds from the Runway 5K will benefit the Western North Carolina Pilots Association Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to WNC students enrolled in aviation-related programs of study. Sponsors of the event include Charah, Delta Airport Consultants, Baker, Inc., Avcon, RS&H, the Western North Carolina Pilots Association and Landmark Aviation. The free Aviation Day will take place from 10am-2pm, and free special event parking is located at the airport at the Fanning Bridge Road entrance. Click here to learn more or here to register for the race or for details about packet pick-up and race day.