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Toronto Pearson Runway Run – A Unique Family Experience!


** From what we could see, the Toronto Pearson Runway Run will not be taking place in 2023 due to long-term work being done on Runway 06R/24L. **

Toronto Pearson Runway Run

Have you heard of the Toronto Pearson Runway Run?? If you like to run, or even take part in walking events, read on!

I love airports. I don’t always love the crowds, cancellations, delays, or wait times – but I love being in the actual airports! Airplanes absolutely fascinate me, and I could sit and watch them take off and land for hours at a time.

Our youngest, Mr. Bump, also shares this fascination. In fact, he has been telling me that he would like to be a pilot since he was four years of age.

So when I came across the Toronto Pearson Runway Run, where you could actually RUN ON A RUNWAY, I knew we just had to do it!

✈️ What Exactly is the Toronto Pearson Runway Run?

Have you ever wanted to go for a jog out on the airport tarmac? Here’s your chance! Every year in September, Pearson Airport holds its family-friendly Toronto Pearson Runway Run.

The Toronto Pearson Runway Run gives you the opportunity to run a 5k timed race, or walk a 2k route, right on the airport runway!

View-of-the-start-line-at-the-Runway-Run-at-Pearson-Airport

Capped at approximately 2500 participants, this popular run sells out every year! And because of the extremely flat and smooth surface of the tarmac, this event is completely accessible for any age or fitness level.

The Toronto Pearson Runway Run is not only a well-organized event, but the money raised also goes to a great cause. All funds go to the Propeller Project.

This is a community investment program that provides funding and support to local organizations.

The Propeller Project provides employment support while enhancing community life for those who live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Mr.-Bump-and-I-before-the-race

✈️ How Do You Register for the Race?

As I mentioned, this race sells out every year. Keep an eye out on Pearson Airport’s website for details on the upcoming year’s race.

The price usually hovers around $50 per person for the 5K, $25 per adult and $10 per youth for the 2K walk.

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Airplane-taking-off-at-the-Runway-Run

✈️ Where is the Race-Kit Pick-Up?

As with most races, kit pick-up is usually held a few days before. Unfortunately, because this race is pretty small, there is no runner’s expo or any vendors/booths at the pick-up.

When you register for the race, you will be given the location and times for pick up. The kit contains your race shirt, bib, and a few other goodies.

Usually, pickup is at the GTAA building, or nearby, on the airport property. You won’t have to worry about paying for parking during pickup either, which is a nice plus.

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Hubby-and-Miss-Somersault-during-the-Runway-Run

✈️ Where is the Toronto Pearson Runway Run Held?

The Toronto Pearson Runway Run is held at, you guessed it, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Located in the city of Mississauga, it’s just 25 minutes west of downtown Toronto.

✈️ How Do You Get to the Toronto Pearson Runway Run?

Pearson Airport is bordered by both Highways 401 and 427, so getting there by car is pretty easy.

Because Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is both the largest and busiest airport in Canada, finding your way there is pretty easy, even without a car.

If you are coming from a distance, you can fly in! Haha! But that goes without saying, right?

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Mr.-Bump-and-I-at-the-Race

You can also get to the airport by bus, with both the city of Toronto and Mississauga offering routes that run into the terminals. You would then just transfer to a Mississauga bus route that stops directly outside the starting area of the race.

Another option would be by way of the UP (Union Pearson Express) Train, which travels from Union Station in Toronto directly to Terminal One of Pearson Airport. Again, you would need to take a bus, cab or rideshare to the starting area of the race.

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Air-Canada-plane

Pre-race festivities actually take place inside one of the hangars located just off the airfield. When the race is about to start, runners are then led out to the runway.

You will also find some limited parking at the hangar. However, it is always advisable to take public transit if you can.

✈️ Racing on a Pearson Airport Runway!

And YES! The race actually takes place on one of Pearson’s 5 runways! Some of you may be wondering how long the runway would need to be, in order to host a 5k race.

Well, runway 06R/24L, the one used for the race, is actually 9000ft (2700m) long, and 200ft (61m) wide. And since the race is actually an out-and-back course, there is more than enough room for you not to feel overwhelmed or crowded.

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Running-down-the-runway

Running on a runway in the middle of a busy airport is, of course, awesome, in and of itself. After all, you can’t find a smoother, more level racing surface anywhere!

But the very best part, and the reason you have to run this race, is that the runway just parallel to the one you are running on is live!

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-The-kids-and-I-at-the-turnaround-point-during-the-Race

This means airplanes are taking off, taxiing, and landing while the race is going on! Talk about a front-row seat to all the action! Mr. Bump was mesmerized!

This was his first-ever 5K race, and he could barely contain his excitement! Talk about one happy little boy (he was 6 at the time)!

Make sure to bring your water bottle! While the race does take place early in the morning, you are in full sun the entire run. The kids got pretty thirsty!

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Crossing-the-finish-line

✈️ Finish Line Activities

After you cross the finish line, the fun does not end there! Parked on the runway are two aircraft, a commercial jetliner and a cargo plane, available for participants to explore.

It’s a great opportunity to look around, for kids (or adults) who have never been on an airplane before. There are also pilots hanging around, acting as guides, to answer all your aircraft-related questions.

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Mr.-Bump-meeting-a-pilot-on-the-runway-at-Pearson-Airport

Once you leave the runway, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) does a fabulous job highlighting some of its frontline and specialty workers.

Here you can have a look at airport-specific fire trucks or police vehicles, and find out why they need to have different equipment than the ones we see in our cities.

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Pearson-Firetruck

The kids also loved meeting the “bird guys” aka Pearson Airports’ wildlife control officers and their falcons. Did you know that Pearson Airport has its own aviary filled with falcons, hawks and eagles?

Because the airport is surrounded by fields, these birds of prey help keep other small animals and birds off the runways, and out of the nearby skies, making it safer for the aircraft.

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Falcon

After spending some time learning all about Toronto Pearson International Airport, you can head back into the hangar for some post-race refreshments, treats and music.

✈️ Place to Stay During the Toronto Pearson Runway Run

As with any other major airport, there are plenty of really great hotels within a few minutes’ drive of Pearson Airport. In fact, we have stayed at many of them prior to early morning flights.

One of my favourites is the Sheraton Gateway Hotel inside Terminal Three. Not only is it really convenient to access public transportation, but you can also get rooms facing the ✈️ apron and taxiways.

✈️ Toronto Pearson Runway Run – FAQs

Toronto-Pearson-Runway-Run-Mr.-Bump-and-Hubby-soaring-on-the-runway-at-Pearson-Airport
How many runways does the Toronto Pearson Airport have?

Pearson has five main runways and 30 taxiways. The runways and taxiways are constructed of concrete, asphalt or a combination of the two.

How long are Toronto Pearson runways?

06L/24R – 9,697 ft (2,956 m), 06R/24L – 9,000 ft (2,700 m), 15L/33R – 11,050 ft (3,370 m), 15R/33L – 9,088 ft (2,770 m), 05/23 – 11,120 ft (3,390 m).

How many planes land in Toronto a day?

As Canada’s largest and busiest airport, Toronto sees an average of 1,300 flights arriving or departing from Pearson each day. This means that approximately 130,000 passengers travel through the airport daily!

Can private planes land at Pearson Airport?

Yes. Most privately owned and chartered business jets arriving and departing Pearson use the Skyservice VIP Terminal.

Why is there no terminal 2 at Pearson?

Terminal 2 was demolished in 2008. During Pearson Airport’s update and refurbishment, the cramped and dated Terminal 2 was torn down to make room for the airport’s expansion.

✈️ Final Thoughts on the Toronto Pearson Runway Run

Since we don’t live too far from Pearson Airport, we have taken part in the race a couple of times already. We can’t say enough good things about it.

The event is extremely family-friendly, easy enough for pretty much any fitness level, and is definitely one of the most unique races you will ever take part in.

The medals are pretty fantastic too! We can’t wait to take part in Pearson Airport’s Runway Run Toronto, at some point in the very near future!

Which Runway Run event would you take part in – the 5K run or the 2K walk? Leave a comment below or share on social media!

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