Athletes take to the runway at Belfast City Airport

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The runway at George Best Belfast City Airport, normally the home of aircraft noise, will reverberate to the sound of hundreds of feet in a new event on the 24th of June.

At 11pm under the glow of the runway lights a huge field of runners will set off as the inaugural Grant Thornton Runway 5K Run gets underway. The event will be open to all businesses and organisations in Northern Ireland who are invited to enter a team of four in one or more of three categories - male, female and mixed.

Prizes will be awarded in each group with the combined times of the runners determining the winners.

Richard Gillan, partner in charge of Grant Thornton, said: “We wanted to create a fun sporting event that encourages friendly competition and team building among Northern Ireland’s business community. We have pushed the boundaries to create a unique 5k race which will capture everyone’s imagination at a perfect venue.”

He added: “At Grant Thornton we are delighted that through the run we can support Belfast City Airport’s Community Fund Charity but we would also encourage teams to race for their own chosen charities.”

The race will be organised by Athletics Northern Ireland who have accurately measured the 5k course. David Seaton the chairman of ANI said: “We’ve organised hundreds of races down the years but this one is really special given the time of the season and the late evening start in a novel location.”

Michelle Hatfield HR and Community Responsibility Director at George Best said: “Belfast City Airport is here to serve the local community and we are delighted to work with Grant Thornton in this first for running. In supporting the Airport’s Community Fund local youths projects in the area will benefit and the legacy of the race will remain long after the final runner has crossed the line.”

The run will have chipped timing and there will be a Grant Thornton Runway Run t-shirt and goodie bag for all participants. The numbers will be restricted so early entry is essential.

The new race should be a magnificent spectacle as the hundreds of runners stream down the floodlit runway.