Runway runners readying

There's nothing like waiting for dawn to break over the runway at Dunedin International Airport - and organisers are hopeful Dunedin and New Zealand's second "Run the Runway" event will recapture the special atmosphere early next month.

The event - which involves running or walking the length of the 1.9km runway and returning - is in its second year. It has been organised by the Rotary Club of Mosgiel and Taieri Community Facilities Trust to raise money for the Mosgiel Aquatic Centre.

This event, which will begin at 6am on February 3, is the last big fundraiser for the $15million centre.

Before Christmas the trust reached the $3.2million mark with its own fundraising. The Dunedin City Council committed to providing $10.8million for the facility if that target was reached.

The trust aimed to raise about another $700,000, and intended to apply for a number of grants.

A group of keen swimmers were out practising at the airport yesterday for the Run the Runway...
A group of keen swimmers were out practising at the airport yesterday for the Run the Runway event. From left, Jackson Carter, (5), Shelley Carter, Blake Carter (13), Chiara Crompton-Bray (12), Lilly Carter (9), Maya Still (10), Isabella Henderson (15), Sara Christensen (6), Matilda Baxter (9), Chris Moore, Ella Christensen (9), Mieke McDonald (8) and Jack Henderson. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley said last year's race was a "testing ground", but everything had gone well, and about $6000 had been raised. She was hoping to raise about the same amount from the event this year.

 

Whereas the age of competitors last year had been 16-plus, this year all ages were welcome, and the entry fee was cheaper - $40 per person, or $80 per family (two adults and up to four children).

There was also a special "team" price of $120 for four people. A barbecue would be run on site for breakfast before or after the race.

"It was a really nice atmosphere last year," Mrs Mosley said.

The event was still the only one of its kind in the country, and one of only three in the southern hemisphere, the others being in Australia and South Africa.

The winner would receive a free training flight, and spot prizes would also be given out.

The limit was 500 competitors, and it would be great to reach that number this year, Mrs Mosley said.

Tickets are now available at the Run the Runway website.

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