Are you ready to run the runway?

Pictured at the announcement of the Ireland West Airport Runway Run/Walk are, from left to right: Mike Crowe (MS Ireland), Rachael Dooley (Cancer Care West), Eugene Loughran (Bank of Ireland), Donna Crowe (Pieta House) Joe Gilmore (managing director, Ireland West Airport), and at front Keith Higgins, Bank of Ireland and Mayo GAA footballer.

Pictured at the announcement of the Ireland West Airport Runway Run/Walk are, from left to right: Mike Crowe (MS Ireland), Rachael Dooley (Cancer Care West), Eugene Loughran (Bank of Ireland), Donna Crowe (Pieta House) Joe Gilmore (managing director, Ireland West Airport), and at front Keith Higgins, Bank of Ireland and Mayo GAA footballer.

At the end of May runners and walkers are being offered a chance to dash off down the runway of Ireland West Airport Knock for the first time ever and challenge themselves on a 5km course. Saturday May 28 at 7pm will see the inaugural Bank of Ireland sponsored Runway Run-Walk taking place.

This run will be part of a programme of events that has been lined up to celebrate the 30th birthday of the vital piece of infrastructure in the county and the western region as a whole. The airport officially opened on May 30 1986. In February, the airport announced its new charities of the year initiative where the staff picked three differnt charities which will benefit from the fundraising activities in the airport. The charities selected for 2016 were Cancer Care West, MS Ireland and Pieta House and all proceeds from the Runway Run/Walk and other planned events over the course of 2016 will go to the three charities.

Announcing the event Joe Gilmore, managing director, Ireland West Airport, said: "We are delighted to announce the first ever Runway Run/Walk on the famous runway at Ireland West Airport. Few airports around the world have such a unique history as this airport, with many learning to drive for the very first time on our 5km runway. The purpose of Ireland West Airport is to serve the local community and we are delighted to be working with Bank of Ireland and our three charities for 2016 in hosting this fantastic initiative that brings runners and walkers together from all backgrounds, in aid of fundraising for three great causes. It will be the first time that we have opened the runway to the public and are looking forward to making this an enjoyable and memorable experience for all involved.’

Eugene Loughran, senior relationship manager with Bank of Ireland, said: "Bank of Ireland are proud to sponsor this unique runway event, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the official opening of Ireland West Airport and supporting Pieta House, Cancer Care West, and MS Ireland".

Entry to the event costs €20 per adult and €5 for under-16s. A special family rate of €40 will be available for families of two adults and two children. All participants will receive a special race T-shirt, and complimentary car parking and refreshments at the airport will be provided on the day. Participants can sign up and find more information at www.irelandwestairport.com/runwayrun The number of participants is restricted to 1,500, and those interested are advised to register early to avoid disappointment.

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