Some 63 runners signed up for a 5k trek around Sisters Eagle Airport to raise funds for the swimming program at Sisters High School. photo by Charlie Kanzig
Some 63 runners signed up for a 5k trek around Sisters Eagle Airport to raise funds for the swimming program at Sisters High School. photo by Charlie Kanzig
The annual Rally on the Runway 5 kilometer run and walk kicked off the Fourth of July festivities at the Eagle Airport early Thursday morning.

The Rally includes a unique kick-off of a hot rod truck “racing” a plane flying above the runway, which got the runners off to an adrenaline-filled start. The course headed eastward down the runway, looped over to Camp Polk Road, traversed back past the airport to Barclay Drive and finished on the runway.

The race, which is a fundraiser for the Sisters High School swim team, is a no-frills affair that forgoes prizes, drawings and refreshments. Race director and head swim team coach Bryn Singleton reported that a total of 59 people took part in the race, a bit up from last year’s turnout.

Other activities taking place at the airport included a car show, a fly-in, helicopter rides, a rubber chicken drop, and a pancake breakfast.  

John Peckham, a rising junior at Sisters High School, led from start to finish and ran exactly the time he set out beforehand of 16:59. “I said before the race that all I wanted was to be under 17:00 and that’s how it turned out.”

Will Thorsett, also a junior-to-be at SHS, took second place in 18:11, well ahead of third-place finisher Toby Woods, who crossed the line in 20:29.

 Karly Nash came across as the first woman in sixth place overall in a time of 22:19. Erin Kanzig placed second among women with a time of 25:23 and Kate Pryor placed third in 28:31.

 “I thought the race start was a novel idea and the finish line with the mountains looming beyond was inspiring and beautiful,” said Paul Green of Philomath. “It was a great way to start out the Fourth of July celebration here in Sisters.

Just at the conclusion of the running race, a trio of skyjumpers dropped in from 8,000 feet to a grassy area near the tarmac, including one carrying the American flag while notes of The Star-Spangled Banner wafted heavenward in honor of our nation’s Declaration of Independence.

“The parachutist descending with the flag was dramatic and quite moving,” said Barb Green, visiting from Detroit, Michigan.