• Running start to marathon on Hawke's Bay Airport runway

Running start to marathon on Hawke's Bay Airport runway

The New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Hawke’s Bay Marathon has gotten off to a running start with an invitational sprint along the airport runway.

Held after flights in and out of the airport had stopped last night, Hawke's Bay Airport brought together 40 runners including marathon sponsors and partners, Air New Zealand staff, airport tenants and members of the New Zealand Royal Airforce, for a walk, jog, and in some cases, a sprint down the 1.75km runway.

Together, they completed the 4.1km runway course from departure gates to the arrival hall.

As the Official Volunteer Partner of the marathon, Hawke's Bay Airport is supporting the 500 volunteers that make sure more than 5000 competitors are informed, hydrated, safe and offered the moral support they need to cross the finishing line.

Chief executive, Rob Stratford, is a keen runner himself and says while the runway run is a fun event, there is a serious message behind it.

“Hawke’s Bay’s tourism sector has really suffered over the last few years. Events like the marathon, which bring thousands of participants and supporters into the region, need to be encouraged.

“Not only do attendees spend money on entering the marathon, but they also pay for accommodation, meals and other activities while they visit our stunning region. Hawke’s Bay Airport is throwing its weight behind events that get our sector up and running."

He says he enjoyed putting his running shoes on and going head-to-head down the runway with some serious runners from the Hawke’s Bay Marathon Team.

While this year’s event was by invitation only, Hawke’s Bay Airport is potentially looking to make this a larger event in future.