Wednesday 22 October 2014

Rugby hero Wood to put best foot forward for charity

Claire McCormack

Published 10/06/2014 | 02:30

Andrew Murphy, Rose Hally, Keith Wood, Niall Moloney and Neil Pakey, chief executive Shannon Airport, launch the event yesterday on the Shannon runway. Liam Burke/Press 22

KEITH Wood will be part of another historic line-out this summer.

The rugby legend will lead a team of night joggers along Shannon Airport's runway in a special charity fundraiser.

The fundraiser, in aid of the Samaritans, a designated Shannon Airport charity, will take place on July 4 at 11pm.

The Lions, Irish and Munster rugby legend Keith Wood is an ambassador for the event and will be joined by a maximum of 1,200 participants.

Runners will take off from the terminal building and embark on a triangular course onto the main runway. From there, they will run 5km down and back on what is one of longest runways in Europe.

"There are runway runs taking place 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," said Neil Pakey, chief executive at Shannon 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," he said.

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.

The timing of the run at 11pm fits into the airport's busy summer schedule, with flights operating up to 10pm.

"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."

The event is in keeping with Shannon Airport's rich history of remarkable global firsts in aviation. It became the first transatlantic gateway between Europe and the US in the 1940s.

All participants will be chip-timed and can register at www.sportstiming.ie.

The entry fee is €20 and pre-race registration starts at 9pm on July 4.

Irish Independent

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