CHICAGO, 2013-09-18 — /travelprnews.com/ — More than 700 runners, walkers and aviation enthusiasts got in some exercise this morning and became part of history when they participated in Chicago Midway International Airport’s first-ever run on the airfield.
The Midway Fly Away 5K was presented by Southwest Airlines and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), with proceeds from the run benefiting Special Olympics Chicago. This event offered athletes and spectators the chance to run or walk or just take photos of the 3.1 mile airfield course, which started and ended at the Southwest Airlines Hangar along West 55th Street. “On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we are so pleased to help raise funds for Special Olympics Chicago and promote the Mayor’s fitness initiative for City employees,” said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. “I want to offer a special thanks to Erin O’Donnell and her staff at Midway for coordinating such an outstanding event for the community and Special Olympics Chicago. This was truly a unique and historic day in the in the 85-year history of the airport.”” Elected officials such as U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois) and State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) also laced up their running shoes and hit the airfield course.
Kevin Dockemeyer of Southwest Airlines was the first person to cross the finish line with a tie of 13.52. The first woman to complete the race was Chicago resident Amanda Corkill, at 21.22. Congressman Lipinsiki finished 10th overall in the race with a time of 18:35 and his wife, Judy, wrapped it in 21.27. “We want to thank Mayor Emanuel, the City of Chicago and Commissioner Andolino for partnering with us to make this event a great success,” said James Sheahan, Race and Corporate Development Director, Special Olympics Chicago. “This was an outstanding opportunity to hold a run in a completely unique environment to benefit the Special Olympics Chicago athletes.” Known as the “busiest square mile in aviation”, Midway International Airport is one of the nation’s fastest growing airports, offering service to 70 cities. Last year, more than 19.5 million passengers traveled through Midway – the highest total ever in the airport’s 85-year history.