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First ever Runway Run on the runway

Runway Run
A race unprecedented so far in Europe took place on Runway 1 (13R/31R) of Budapest Airport jointly organized by Budapest Airport, Nike and Wizz Air.  With the participation of 250 invited runners, the special half marathon relay called Runway Run was completed on the 3km stretch of concrete at the airport.  The amount collected from the sponsors of the charity run will be used for supporting sports activities of college students in need.

No less than 250 runners completed the special half marathon relay on Runway 1 of Budapest Airport under the pleasant September sun. While the 3-km-long, 45-metre-wide stretch of concrete was closed down for a few hours Saturday morning, aircraft used Runway 2 for take-off and landing. Participants in the race included airport staff and authority personnel, invited partner companies, a few foreign embassies in Budapest, and the lucky members of the Nike Running Club.

Proceeds from this charity run will be used by Budapest Airport, Nike, and Wizz Air to grant free entry to college students in need to the Athletics Center on Margaret Island. The sum of the donations is estimated to have reached Euros 7,000 which will be distributed between recipients with the help of the students’ council of Eotvos Lorand University and Corvinus Universities and the Budapest Technical University.

Owing to strict aviation security regulations, participating runners were subjected to the same security screening procedures as passengers and airport staff.  A ‘family photo’ of the whole group of runners was taken against the backdrop provided by a Wizz Air Airbus A320 aircraft towed to the apron of Terminal 1. The race center of the Runway Run, registration, and locker rooms were provided in the disused building of Terminal 1.

The race started at 10:30 after the mandatory warm-up, and the first runner to reach the finish line came in already after one hour fifteen minutes. The winner of Runway Run was the team of the Airport Directorate of the Tax and Customs Authority (race time 1:15:23), the members of which received the prize of Wizz Air return tickets that may be used within one year on flights departing from Budapest. The team of Nike Trainers took second place (a compulsory good result achieved by the trainers of the Nike Running Club), and a running-club team called Emergency Blood Transport came in third. (Instead of actual blood transport operators, the name of the latter describes the accelerated bloodstream of runners.)

“We have been intending to bring a special race to the airport for years now. Those who have participated in any of the well-known Budapest street running races know how exciting it is for runners to have a track through the closed Andrássy út (one of the main streets of Budapest) or the historic Chain Bridge across the Danube. Now we offered an even more exquisite opportunity by letting runners negotiate a real runway of an airport,” said Mihály Hardy, communication director of Budapest Airport.

He added, “This race would not have been possible without the exemplary cooperation of Budapest Airport, Nike, Wizz Air, and all airport authorities.

Based on early feedback I can safely say that we managed to offer a unique experience for runners and we also achieved the goal of this charity effort. We will organize this event next year again, as it has been unprecedented in Europe to have a real running event at an airport in operation, a ‘runners only’ runway.”

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