Beginning at 12.30am, the event consisted of 12-person relay teams as well as a separate fun runners section. Each relay member was required to complete a 2.2 mile stretch of the northern runway within a 16 minute maximum time limit, before handing over to the next team member.
The £30,000, and rising, raised from the event will be divided between four charity groups – Oxfam, Help for Heroes, British Airway’s Flying Start and the Heathrow Community Fund.
The relay marathon is believed to be only the 2nd time that Heathrow has held a running event on the runway in its history.
Runners from across the airport and the fastest time
Staff from Heathrow, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific, Heathrow Hotel, UK Border Agency and the MET Police took part in the event, with the winning team, members from Heathrow’s development section, coming home in a time of 3 hours and 4 minutes.
Fred Tasker, part of Heathrow’s operational strategy and planning department, lit up the runway to be the fastest runner of the night – completing the 2.2 miles in a blistering 11 minutes 30 seconds.
Two runners from each team were required to be running at each time, one in each direction, to further reduce the amount of time event equipment was required on the runway.
The fun wasn’t just on the runway…
Our runners were kept entertained during the night by the HAL-Tones band – made up of Heathrow staff including lead singer, the self-titled “Sheriff of Heathrow”, Airport Operations Manager Anuj Bhardwaj, who featured recently on ITV’s Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow.
A run with unique challenges
Setting up a charity run on one of Europe’s busiest runways was no easy task for our event organisers. Due to the need to keep the runway operational for the last night-time flights (circa 11.30pm) and have it back operational by 4.30am – the entire event, including set-up and clean up, had to take place within a narrow window of three hours.
Given the strict time and security regulations that had to be observed, the event would not have been possible without the great contributions of not only a number of Heathrow staff but also a number of other companies.
Following the event, the event equipment (timing gates etc) was removed from the runway and a full runway scan was conducted to ensure no objects were left on the runway and safe operations could resume on the runway in time for the first arrivals.