In yet another first at Ireland’s most historic airport, the Bank of Ireland Runway Night Run will take place at 11.00pm when participants set off on the 5km run along what is one of Europe’s longest runways.
The event is a fundraiser for the Samaritans, a designated Shannon Airport charity, and has been boosted by the support of Bank of Ireland as lead sponsors.
Lions, Irish and Munster rugby legend Keith Wood has also come on board as an ambassador for the event and will lead out the runners, limited to 1,200 people, on one of the most novel courses ever in Ireland for an organised run.
Announcing the Bank of Ireland Runway Night Run, Neil Pakey, Chief Executive, Shannon Airport, said that the initiative will be the first of its kind in Ireland. “There are runway runs at a small number of airports across the world every year, but this will certainly be the first ever such event at an Irish airport. As a result, and also because of the support there is for the Samaritans, we are expecting the event to be fully subscribed very quickly. Because we have to limit this to 1,200 participants, we would urge people who want to take part to book as soon as possible.
“When we set out to do something for our designated charity this year, we wanted it to be in keeping with the history of creating firsts at Shannon and this event certainly does that. It will be a really novel experience for all who participate and a great, level track for people to run on.”
The timing of the run at 11.00pm fits into the airport’s busy summer schedule, with flights operating right up to 10.00pm. All participants will be chip-timed and can register online at www.sportstiming.ie through the ‘events’ tab. The entry fee is just €20 and pre-race registration starts at 9.00pm.
Announcing its sponsorship of the event, Rose Hally, Bank of Ireland, Senior Business Manager for Clare said: “We are delighted to support what is an extremely exciting and novel event. As a valued customer of ours, Shannon Airport is showing a real resurgence since it got its independence last year and this is very important both for business and tourism across the region.
“There is a great sense of innovation at the airport again and this event is a perfect example of it. We are all the more delighted to be involved considering that the proceeds will go to Samaritans, which provides incredible support for people who need it.”
The run will commence at the terminal building from where runners will embark on a triangular course that takes them out on to one of the airport taxi-ways to the main runway. They will proceed down the runway for approximately 2,500 metres before turning back towards the finish line, which is again near the terminal building, along a second taxi-way.
The event is in keeping with Shannon Airport’s rich history of remarkable global firsts in aviation, starting out from its early years as it became the first transatlantic gateway between Europe and the USA in the 1940s.
Other notable firsts achieved since by Shannon Airport include being the birthplace of duty free shopping, the world’s first Free Zone, and the first airport outside of North America to secure full US preclearance, in 2009. It is also synonymous with the world-famous Irish Coffee, which was first created at the airport’s forerunner, the seaplane port nearby on the Shannon Estuary at Foynes.