Charity fun run takes off on newly resurfaced runway

Charity runway run 2023

It was joggers rather than jets taking advantage of London Stansted Airport's newly resurfaced runway in the early hours of Monday morning (June 5) for a unique charity fun run.

Almost 70 airport staff, dressed in high-visibility gear, pounded a 5.4 km course along the freshly laid tarmac to raise money for MAG’s three new charity partners, The Children's Society, Medcare and Magic Breakfast.

The event, the third since the inaugural run in 2013, coincided with the completion of a five-month project to completely resurface the 3,048-metre runway.

Colleagues from several airport companies took part, including representatives from Ryanair, Titan Airways, NATS, Blue Handling and MAG Stansted.

The race began at 2.30am after the last arriving aircraft touched down. NATS Air Traffic Controller, Matthew Switzer, swept to victory in just over 20 minutes, with all the competitors finishing the race before 3.30am.

Monika Simonaityte, the airport’s Head of Air Traffic Management and Airport Operating Systems, who organised the event, said:

“Our charity runway runs are always such fantastic events, and I’m sure it was a brilliant experience and great fun again for everyone who took part this year.

“Although it was a very early start for the runners - necessary to take advantage of the only time of day or night where no aircraft were scheduled to take off or land - it was no doubt worth it for the unique experience of running on one of the longest, and usually busiest, runways in the UK.

“A special thank you must go to the airport’s operations team who did an excellent job organising the event, marshalling the runners and acting as timekeepers on the day.

"Hopefully we've raised a lot of much needed money for our charity partners, while at the same time creating wonderful memories for everyone who participated."

Resurfacing the airport's runway began in January and was completed last weekend (May 28), two weeks earlier than the original schedule.

Over the course of the night-time project, engineers laid 50,000 tonnes of asphalt and replaced 700 runway lights with energy efficient LEDs.