The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation (NAMF) will host its 3rd annual Onward & Upward Virtual Race throughout October to celebrate the U.S. Navy’s TOPGUN pilots and program. Open to participants nationwide, the Onward & Upward Virtual Race registration portal opens October 1.

The U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, also known as TOPGUN, is an elite strike fighter air division that started in 1969 as the United States Fighter Weapons School. This program selects and trains our nation’s best strike fighter pilots, currently training in F/A-18 jets.

The Navy’s TOPGUN program received worldwide recognition after the 1986 film, “Top Gun,” set box office records. The elite fighter jet training program received international spotlight, once again, more than 30 years later in this year’s movie sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The Onward & Upward virtual race allows participants to choose the distance, time and place to complete the race, anytime between October 1-31. Participants can register online for the 1 mile, 5K or 10K distance for a $35 registration fee. All participants will receive a sliding F/A-18 jet and pilot aviators race medal and a digital race bib.

“Help us reach our goal of 1,400 national participants for our 3rd Annual Onward and Upward virtual race. We want our participants to celebrate our nation’s best while being active outdoors,” said retired Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, president and CEO of NAMF. “We encourage all participants to share their running courses, photos and stories on social media and remember to tag the museum to their stories.”

Participants are asked to use #OnwardUpward and tag @navalaviationmuseum for all social media posts.

All proceeds support the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation which helps support the National Naval Aviation Museum, National Flight Academy, DoD STARBASE, and the Flight Adventure Deck —which advances STEM education for our nation’s youth. We promote the history and heritage of Naval Aviation for current and future generations.

To register for the Onward and Upward Virtual Race, visit or contact the Museum Foundation for more information at