Airport to close for one hour for benefit
Second annual race takes place on Chico runway
Just like at nearly every other airport in the nation, the runway at Chico Regional Airport is strictly off-limits to pedestrians — except for one hour, once a year.
That 60-minute break from restriction takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 1, for the second annual Run the Runway fundraiser benefiting the nearby Chico Air Museum at 165 Ryan Ave.
Event coordinator and Chico Air Museum director Norm Rosene called the run “a truly unique experience” because of the sheer size of the environment.
“Once you’re out there on the runway, it’s enormous,” Rosene said. “It’s a mile long, and it’s flat. There’s nothing else out there and that’s what makes it look so big.”
The inaugural Run the Runway event took place April 9, 2022, drew approximately 150 entrants and raised approximately $7,000 for the air museum, Rosene said.
“We’d like to get at least 200 people in it this year, and have it get a little bigger every year,” he said.
It’s not only the one time per year people can legally walk or run on the runway without being a part of airport operations — it’s also the only time the runway is closed to air traffic in order to accommodate a public event.
The run/jog/walk event is a timed mile that finishes just outside the air museum at the north end of Runway 31R. Age group winners will earn medals and everyone registered will receive a race T-shirt. Because this year’s event takes place on April Fool’s Day, Rosene said race organizers encourage runners to wear costumes if they’d like — though it certainly isn’t necessary.
Following the race, the museum is open to the racers and their friends and family at no charge, with tours available. The museum features more than 100 aircraft and aviation history-related displays and exhibits, including an F-15 jet, an interactive space station mockup, and an exhibit explaining the first skyjacking in the United States, which occurred in Chico in 1961.
A link for the run’s registration page is available at the museum’s website at www.chicoairmuseum.org.