It was a warm balmy evening (Wednesday 24 June) at George Best Belfast City Airport last night, as over 500 runners from businesses across Northern Ireland took off along the runway in the inaugural Grant Thornton Runway Run.
The leading business advisory firm had teamed up with the airport to promote teamwork in a different yet highly enjoyable event that raised funds for the airport’s Community Fund and other charities.
Teams of four from banks, law firms, charities, insurance companies, media, professional services and public sector organisations made their way around the unique 5k runway route.
Richard Gillan, Partner in Charge of Grant Thornton Northern Ireland said:
“The atmosphere and great team spirit was evident in what was a resounding success for all involved. We realised that running down a runway at night would intrigue local firms but we were overwhelmed after the event sold out within a few short weeks.
“The response from the runners involved has been very positive, with many commenting that the occasion was truly unique, yet great fun and that was our objective.
“The fast flat runway course ensured plenty of personal best times but it was a team event and I salute the winners in each of the categories and indeed everyone that took part.
“Our thanks to George Best Belfast City Airport and Athletics NI for their professionalism in hosting a fantastic event, one which I hope will be a regular fixture on the corporate calendar.”
The race was divided into three categories: Power NI won the male category, Hireco won the female category and Danske Bank lifted the mixed team title and also a life-saving defibrillator for their workplace, donated by HeartSine Technologies.
Michelle Hatfield, HR and Community Responsibility Director at Belfast City Airport said:
“The airport is here to serve the local community and we’re delighted to play our part in hosting what was a wonderful night of camaraderie between local businesses.
“It was clear from the reaction this evening that the event was hugely enjoyed by all and we were thrilled to have been a part of such a novel and exciting experience.
“Funds raised tonight will go to the airport’s Community Fund which in turn will financially assist a youth sporting project in the greater Belfast area.”