15:03 PM

Tampa International Airport’s Inaugural 5K is a Big Success

(May 8, 2013) - On a sunny Saturday morning, more than 800 people turned out for Tampa International Airport’s inaugural 5K Runway Fun Run on April 27. Thanks to run registrations and participation in airline ticket raffles, the event raised more than $31,000 for United Way Suncoast.

Race winner Larry Smart of Tampa led the pack of runners the entire race and finished with a time of 16:21. Smart ran the Boston Marathon just two weeks earlier, finishing that race with a time of 2:42. Typically, he said, he would not have raced again so soon. But he couldn’t resist a runway run.

“It was a lot different than any other race I had been in, and I really didn’t want to miss it,” said Smart. “The long, flat, smooth surface is great for running and really something different. I knew it would be fast.”

Smart was followed by Mike MacDonald and Andrew McSwain. The ladies were led by Sarah Heikkinen with a time of 19:59, followed by Jen Eggleston and Emily Clifford, at 18 years old, the youngest trophy winner of the day. The wheelchair division was won by Joe Beimfohr.

Sponsors of the event included Southwest Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Delta Air Lines, Silver Airways, HMS Host, TGI Friday’s, MamaRazzi foto, Evian, Pino Gelato, Promos by Judy Noriega, and Fit 2 Run. “This event was a huge success,” said Chris Minner, who chairs Tampa International Airport’s United Way campaign. “It was a great way to kick-off our United Way campaign, which will continue through May 17.

You can check out pictures of the event at facebook.com/FlyTPA