Some 1,100 people hit the runway at Sydney Airport on Saturday for the annual runway run to help raise $150,000 for Surf Life Saving Sydney (SLSS).
The annual runway run was first held in 2015 and opened to the public the following year, giving people the chance to walk, or run, along the same bit of pavement where aircraft takeoff and land.
The 2019 event featured six races – a 250m dash for “nippers”, an all-age relay, a family run, a race for airport staff, a sprint and a Surf Life Saving Sydney “club versus club” patrol race.
Sydney Airport said the nippers sprint was won by 13-year-old Violet Keelan from Wanda Surf Life Saving Club. Keelan then combined with Sari McKee from North Cronulla to take out the 500m all-age relay.
It turned out to be a banner day for Wanda Surf Life Saving Club, which crossed the line first in the 500m club versus club patrol race.
Sydney Airport said the event raised $150,000 to support training and education of nippers and volunteer life savers.
“Opening up the airfield for more than one thousand local families, surf lifesavers, nippers, Sydney Airport staff and aviation enthusiasts was what made today’s event really special,” chief executive Geoff Culbert said in a statement.
“We want to thank the community for their generosity, raising funds to help keep Sydney’s beaches safe this summer.
“We’re proud of our 18-year partnership with Surf Life Saving Sydney. They’re an iconic organisation that represents the best of Sydney and the best of Australia.”
We came, we ran, we conquered that runway! Thanks to everyone who joined us on the airfield today for the Sydney Airport Centenary Runway Run, in partnership with Surf Life Saving Sydney! #SYD100 #SYDRunwayrun pic.twitter.com/7EsOBFYWyS
— Sydney Airport ✈️ (@SydneyAirport) November 23, 2019
Surf Life Saving Sydney president Peter Agnew said it was a day to remember.
“Our lifesavers, nippers and club teams got a real kick out of swapping the beach with the action of being on an airport runway,” Agnew said.
“I want to thank everyone involved and encourage passengers passing through Sydney Airport’s terminals to keep their eyes peeled for SLSS volunteers, who will be raising funds for the Centenary Christmas Appeal.”
The runway run was part of the airport’s annual Christmas appeal that raised money for various charities.