NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – People not planes raced down the Northampton Airport runway Sunday morning for the first annual “Runway 5K.”

And this unique event and fundraiser for the Treehouse Foundation is the first of its kind in western Massachusetts, allowing runners to take part in a 5K on an airport runway.

“The idea of using the runway is so unique and it’s drawing a really amazing crowd,” said Sara Carlan Vice Chair of the Treehouse Foundation Board. “I mean, we had to cap registration at 280, like we have a waitlist, and for an inaugural event that’s amazing.”

And even though the rain was pouring all Sunday morning, it didn’t stop all hundreds of runners from supporting a good cause.

This event is sponsored by the Treehouse Foundation of Easthampton which is raising money for foster care in the region. The goal is to have “Run the Runway” earn at least $80,000 this first year, and they’re already at more than $75,000 raised.

Judy Cockerton, Founder and Executive director of the Treehouse Foundation, told 22News, “All the programs the intergenerational programs and child and youth programs that we do will be supported by this money that we’re raising today.”

And those who have experienced growing up in foster care, see an event like this as something powerful that can really make a difference.

“It helps spread more about foster care and foster care is a really important issue because some people go through it well, but then there are others like me who don’t have that good of an experience, and it’s good to help to change the foster care system,” said Destiny Landry a volunteer and former foster care child.

For more information or if you’d like to donate to the Treehouse Foundation, click here.