Houston & Peach

Museum of Aviation marathon named among best

WARNER ROBINS -- An online travel site has named the Museum of Aviation Marathon the top race in Georgia and among 50 in the U.S. that should be on a runner's "bucket list."

The marathon, which also includes a half marathon and a five kilometer race, celebrated its 20th anniversary this January.

The travel website www.holidaylettings.com, part of TripAdvisor, named the marathon among 50 races in the U.S. that runners should try to get to in their lifetime.

One race was picked from each state.

"That's huge," said Chrissy Miner, president of the Museum of Aviation Foundation. "Obviously exposure like this is going to be very beneficial to help us grow."

The race drew more than 900 runners this year and raised over $45,000 for the museum. Miner credited its success to the Robins Pacers running club, which has organized it since its inception.

John Hunter has been the race director every year but this year was his last. A new director has not been named.

Chelsea Tyler, spokeswoman for HolidayLettings, said in an email that the museum race was chosen in part because the website looked for races "off the beaten path." Also, she said, the race had "great reviews" online from participants.

The museum itself was important part of the selection.

"The fact that this event centers around an excellent tourist attraction, the Museum of Aviation, makes it an even better choice for travelers," she said.

The race, particularly the marathon, draws runners from around the country. It is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, and is mostly flat, so runners like to run it to be able to get to the Boston race in April.

Miner said the race is supported by dozens of volunteers, including many airmen at Robins Air Force Base.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.