Your Silly Road Race 5:26.11

May 26th, 2011 in Articles by 0 Comments

If you’re going to toil through numerous miles this summer – in pursuit of PRs or chasing dollars for charity – you may as well do so in a unique and entertaining atmosphere. Hence, the Faster Than Forty editorial team scours the nation for fun or funny road races we think you will enjoy. Rider University’s Paige McAtee presents this installment.

The opportunity to race on a runway without being arrested by airport security or run over by an airplane doesn’t come around every day. Your next chance: the 14th annual Teterboro Airport 5K on Saturday, July 16th.

Teterboro Airport is located in Teterboro, New Jersey. It is the oldest airport in the metropolitan area and is used as a reliever airport. Each runway is 150 feet wide and between 6,000 and 7,000 feet long, making it easy for planes, or even 1,000 runners, to easily fit. (And yes, the runways are closed to air traffic during the event!)

So, why should you run your silly road race?

“The fact that the races is run on a [runway] is the coolest thing about it,” said race director Mark Zenobia. “We set our numbers between 900 and 1,100 each year; There are clocks up at every mile mark, and there are two water stations.”

The race is a flat out-and-back on the airport runway with only five turns. The course records are pretty quick: 14:24 for men and 16:54 for women.

According to Zenobia, the winner in each age group receives a plaque, and those who place in their age group receive a medal. If the appeal of a fast course, and the opportunity to race on an airport runway (legally!) is not strong enough, after the race, more than $10,000 in prizes will be awarded. Each participant gets a T-shirt with registration and a goodie-bag filled with various random items, sometimes including light bulbs or barbecue sauce. There is also a chance to win $1,000.

“The race provides a DJ and kids races as well,” said Zenobia.

Since 1998, when the 5K first began, the event has raised more than $400,000. The money benefits NJ’s United Way..

Pre-registration is $20 until July 11th. If you are a USATF member, registration is only $17. Registration after July 12th and day-of registration is $25. To register, visit

Because the event is held at an airport, security is very strict. Prior to entering the airport, all runners must show two forms of identification, and one must have a photo. Also, all bags brought into the area will be searched. There will be check-in areas where participants can keep their bags, but it is recommended you bring only what is necessary. Arrive at the race as early as possible because parking near the airport is limited. Also, Port-a-Potty lines get pretty long.

So if you want the opportunity to run a fast, flat course to post a quick 5K time – and do it on an airport runway – sign up for the Teterboro Airport 5k. You could take your chances on a runway on your own, but the legal (and better) option is to run this road race.

Have a suggestion for the Your Silly Road Race column? Drop us a note here.

Paige McAtee is a sophomore journalism major at Rider University. She competes in cross country and distance events.


Author: FasterThanForty

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