23 October 2020

Southampton Airport Runway Run resurrected – virtually

Southampton Airport’s cancelled runway run has been resurrected and will take place on Sunday 1 November – with participants encouraged to take part virtually.

With the current COVID-19 restrictions in place it wasn’t possible to host the popular annual event in its usual format on the original Oct 10 date, but the airport has teamed up with organisers Challenging Events to bring a unique take on the five-kilometer run.

More than 900 unique 2020 runway run medals are up for grabs and funds raised will be used to support University Southampton Hospital’s new general intensive care unit, which is providing life-saving care for thousands of people including COVID-19 patients.

From 9am on Sunday 1 November, a group of Southampton Airport staff will take to the runway to complete the run, which will be streamed live via Challenge Events’ social media channels.

Members of the public keen to join them remotely can download the STRAVA app, which includes a specific Southampton Runway Run challenge to allow them to take part, have fun and raise much-needed funds.

Although the runway run will take place at 9am on Sunday 1 November, anyone who wants to take part can do so at any time between this date and Tuesday 1 December.

Steve Szalay, operations director at Southampton Airport, said:

“The Southampton Airport Runway Run is a fantastic event that has enabled us to welcome many of our neighbours from the local community on site for a very special challenge, so we were really disappointed that the original 2020 event could not go ahead in its normal format.

“Most importantly, it meant we couldn’t raise the significant funds the event would generate to support the fantastic work carried out by the staff at University Hospital Southampton. We decided to get together with Challenging Events to come up with an alternative that would allow participants to still take part – albeit virtually – and help raise money to support the vital work of our local hospital’s general intensive care unit.”

Jeneen Thomsen, Interim Joint Director, Southampton Hospitals Charity said:

“We’re so grateful for the support from Southampton Airport and its staff for helping to fund our newly built General Intensive Care Unit.

“Every year, the unit sees around 2,500 seriously ill patients in need of critical life-saving care, and over the last few months the unit has seen an additional pressure due to coronavirus. The renovation of the department will ensure that patients will be treated in an environment which matches the exemplary medical care provided, and this will only be possible through support from our community and corporate partners.”

Kelly Wickens from Challenging Events said:

“It’s a real shame we can’t hold the much-loved event in the usual way, however, we are really excited to be able to encourage everyone to take part in their own time, raise money and get an awesome medal for their efforts!”

Entry costs £15 and anyone wishing to take part should click here.

To download STRAVA on your phone or device and join the Southampton Airport Runway Run group click here (if you don’t use STRAVA, just email contact@challenging.events and tell us you have completed your 5km).

Participants are being encouraged to take photographs of their runway run and tag @challenge.events, @SOU_Airport, @charity_SHC and #Southamptonairportrunwayrun on via social media.

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