Keith Wood joins 1,200 runners for first ever Irish airport runway run
Published 05/07/2014 | 14:18
A unique charity event took place at Shannon airport this weekend as the “Shannon runaway run” made history 1,200 runners made their way to the airport runaway track at midnight and participated in a 5k run in an effort to raise funds for charity the Samaritans.
Irish rugby legend Keith Wood was one of the big names in attendance.
All landings and take-offs were temporarily suspended for the night-time Shannon Airport organised event, which rose over €15,000 for the Samaritans.
Rory Maloney from Waterford who grabbed a piece of running history by becoming the first ever winner of such a race in Ireland, with a personal best time of 15mins 4secs. The winner of the women’s race was Íde Nic Dhomhnaill, Newecastlewest who came home in 18mins 1secs.
Speaking afterwards, event ambassador Keith Wood, who was recently appointed Chair of the Healthy Ireland Council, said the event was as enjoyable as it was novel.
“I know from the organisers here at Shannon that they could have filled twice the 1,200 event capacity but I’m not surprised as it was such a unique event.”
“It was a great idea by the airport as it is always great to be part of a ‘first’. Into the bargain it promoted healthy activity and raised a lot of money for a great charity in the Samaritans so in every sense there were winners all round here tonight.”
Shannon Airport chief executive Neil Pakey, who started the event with a night-flare said: “The atmosphere was electric, right from the warm-up, 1,200 people being pumped up by ‘Mr Motivator’ Richie Clifford to the sea of orange t-shirted runners at the starting-line.
“It was a different speed to what normally goes on along a runway but very impressive times were posted, with the winner coming in with a personal best, so runners were clearly driven on by the uniqueness of the occasion.
"We are particularly delighted to have been able to generate €15,000 for the Samaritans, largely thanks to Bank of Ireland and their huge support for this event and they deserve tremendous credit for coming on board.”
Bank of Ireland Regional Manager Southwest David Merriman said: “To create such a unique event, particularly at the busiest time of the year for the airport, shows the real-can do attitude at Shannon, which is of course such a key part of the infrastructure of this region. When they approached us to sponsor this great event, we jumped at the idea. We are all the more delighted to support it as the proceeds go to such a great charity.”