The Grant Thornton Runway Run, which took place last night (Thursday 21 June), was a runaway success for the 600 participants who completed the 5k team race on the runway of George Best Belfast City Airport shortly after 11pm.

This is the fourth consecutive year of the leading business advisory firm’s event which sees teams of four from organisations across Northern Ireland compete in a 5k challenge alongside the parked aircraft.

Danske Bank took the prize for the fastest female team, with Ulster Bank claiming the men’s prize and new entrants Towerview Primary School winning the fastest mixed team category.

Having supported the Mary Peters Trust, Belfast City Airport’s Community Fund and the Make-A-Wish Foundation in previous years, the Simon Community was selected as the charity partner for the 2018 Grant Thornton Runway Run, part of the GT5K Corporate Challenge Series.

Richard Gillan, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton in Northern Ireland, said:

“Each year we tweak the format and introduce fresh ideas. This year the race was started in ceremonial style with a water cannon salute; post-race refreshments for our runners were provided by Slim’s Healthy Kitchen and three lucky participants won a pair of flights with Flybe.

“Once again, we had participants from a range of industries – from legal and financial firms, to manufacturing and hospitality businesses, with many new entrants. As with previous years, the Runway Run ‘sold out’ well in advance of the event itself which shows just how popular it has become.

“Not only does the event promote physical wellbeing, but it also provides an opportunity for networking and team building in a really unique environment.

“I would like to thank all our participants for supporting the Grant Thornton Runway Run and raising vital funds for the Simon Community which provides much-needed support for local people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

“On behalf of Grant Thornton, I extend congratulations to our winners in their respective categories, Ulster Bank, Danske Bank and Towerview Primary School.”

The 2018 Grant Thornton Runway Run was officially started by Cool FM presenter, Pete Snodden, who provided the soundtrack in the terminal for runners as they prepared for the race.

Brian Shanks, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Simon Community NI, said:

“Every day, Simon Community NI ends homelessness for individuals from all walks of life – including young people, families and those with no home and poor mental health.

“Corporate partners play a key part in our success by not only helping to support our work but also in increasing awareness around homelessness and its many causes – such as money problems, family breakdowns and health issues.

“We’re delighted to have been selected as Grant Thornton’s 2018 charity partner. Through fun and innovative events such as the Runway Run, we are confident that the issue of homelessness will gain greater exposure and encourage more organisations to support our vision of a society where everyone has a home.”

Run in partnership with Athletics Ireland and Athletics Northern Ireland, the Grant Thornton Runway Run is open to all businesses and organisations in Northern Ireland.

For full results from the event, visit