The inaugural British Airways Run Gatwick took place on Sunday 13th May 2018, and firmly made its mark as a must-do event on the UK race calendar.
Thousands of runners turned out to take on the International Half Marathon, 5K, Corporate 5K and Family Run in the spring sunshine and it proved to be a superb sporting day of achievement for all ages and abilities. Competitors enjoyed outstanding support from friends, families and colleagues who had come along to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the non-stop entertainment at the event village at Southgate Park. Overall, it was a high-quality debut event in a thrilling setting and a great new addition to the South East run scene.
All races started and finished at Crawley’s Southgate Park and took runners on fully-closed routes through the parks, towns and beautiful West Sussex countryside around Gatwick Airport. British Airways was a first-class headline sponsor and their BASE CAMP and fan zones got visitors young and old involved in the fun of race day.
It was certainly an exciting day for British running fans with Colin Jackson CBE starting the International Half Marathon at 9am, Iwan Thomas MBE starting the 5K at 9.25am – before proceeding to run the race himself – and Sally Gunnell OBE starting the Family Run at 12:30. Iwan and Sally also took part in the pre-race warm-up, much to the delight of competitors.
All finishers were awarded with an impressive flight-themed medal and the thrill of having taken part in the very first British Airways Run Gatwick. There were scenes of celebration as they crossed the finish line, with many having achieved their target times thanks to the half marathon pacers and the fast course.
The International Half Marathon saw Neil Boniface of Crawley AC and Adam Holland of Notfast RC run neck to neck until the last ½ mile, when Boniface managed to pull away and secured the title in a time of 1:09:01, ten seconds ahead of Holland. The women’s race was decided by a sprint finish, which saw Hayley Manning of Clapham Chasers beat Amelia Brown of Crawley Saints & Sinners RC by less than one second, crossing the finish line in 1:27:37.
Adrian Haines of Crawley AC won the 5K in a time of 17:27, and the women’s 5K title was claimed by Cheryl Evans in a time of 20:25. Young runner Amelia Cox (U13), also of Crawley AC, was the runner up in 20:27 and proved that she is definitely one to watch out for.
The Family Run was a popular part of the event and saw over 550 participants of all ages cross the finish line in front of the festival stage.
The races were well attended by the local running clubs, with many club vests from Crawley Saints & Sinners RC, Horsham Joggers, Horley Harriers and Crawley Run Crew in the running crowd.