Runners clock combined 13,000 km at Grant Thornton charity run

08 July 2019 2 min. read
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Hundreds of runners have taken to an air-strip in Northern Ireland for the fifth annual Grant Thornton Runway Run. The gruelling event saw more than 600 runners tackle a 5 kilometre run in the name of charity.

Each year, the Northern Irish business community stepped out in force this year, as Grant Thornton’s fourth annual Runway Run took to the tarmac of Belfast City Airport in the name of charity. Roughly 600 participants completed the 5 kilometre race on the airport’s main runway shortly, which got under way after 11pm on June 20th.  The event was organised in partnership between the national governing body Athletics Ireland – whose mission is to support and develop the athletes of Ireland of all ages, disciplines and abilities – and consulting firm Grant Thornton.

The event represented the Runway Run’s fifth outing, and according to Grant Thornton, the race at Belfast City Airport has seen some 2,700 runners rack up a total of 13,500 kilometres between them since 2014. Commenting on another successful edition, Richard Gillan, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Northern Ireland, outlined how the event has grown to become a firm fixture in the diary of many leading Northern Ireland companies.

Runners clock combined 13,000 km at Grant Thornton charity run

Gillan added, “Many of the businesses represented at this year's race, from the legal sector, banking, construction, manufacturing, and others, have participated before – some of them every year since the Runway Run's inception. This highlights the tremendous attraction the race, now firmly established in the calendars of leading firms from across Northern Ireland, has become, as a great way for staff to engage with each other and network with others from outside their organisation."

Entrants were present from organisations in the public, private and third sectors. Runners from AECOM were awarded first place as the fastest mixed team, while Invest Northern Ireland claimed the men's prize and Danske Bank came first in the women's category.

As was the case last year, The Simon Community was selected as charity partner for the event, which forms part of the global GT5K Corporate Challenge Series. Founded in 1963, The Simon Community helps homeless people, taking its name from Simon of Cyrene.

Speaking after the run, Brian Shanks, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Simon Community NI said, "This popular event is a great way to highlight Northern Ireland's homelessness crisis while raising vital funds for the development of our homelessness services. With a vision of a society where everyone has a home, the generosity and passion we receive from Grant Thornton employees and the wider corporate community goes a long way to helping us meet the needs of over 3,000 people each year.”