The ‘long-running’ Budapest Airport-anna.aero Runway Run partnership has been recognised as the Organisational Fundraiser of the Year by cancer charity Anthony Nolan, for which it has raised over €110,000.
Established in 2013, the Budapest Airport-anna.aero Runway Run has become the pre-eminent charity-sporting event for the worldwide air transport community, regularly drawing over 1,100 airline and airport runners to compete in a unique 10km race on the Tarmac of Budapest Airport’s Runway 13R-31L.
The prestigious Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards recognise outstanding achievement by volunteers, fundraisers, clinical supporters and donors who help the pioneering blood cancer charity save lives. The Budapest Airport-anna.aero Runway Run has so far raised a cumulative €220,000, shared between Anthony Nolan and Hungarian disability group SUHANJ! Foundation – and, even in the past difficult year of sealed borders, it still managed to amass over €9,500 for Anthony Nolan.
The Budapest Airport-anna.aero Runway Run is considered unique as it is the only major and totally-connected European airport able to commit to the closure of a runway in daylight hours on a Saturday, as opposed to its many ‘imitators’ who can only stage ‘midnight’ runway runs. Typically, the Budapest Airport-anna.aero Runway Run takes place on a Saturday, affording air transport runners the unparalleled experience of running four lengths of the 3,000m runway in track temperatures approaching 40C. The race is then followed by the presentation of trophies including ‘The Fastest Airline in The World’ and an awards party and BBQ on the terrace of the historic Terminal 1 – now a protected building which is also frequently used as a movie set.
“We are absolutely thrilled by this recognition which I accept on behalf of the many BUD staff who stage a brilliantly-organised sporting and corporate event and devote many volunteer hours of their own personal time to the causes,” says Dr. Rolf Schnitzler, CEO Budapest Airport. “I must also pay tribute to the many airlines, airports, and aviation enterprises from all over the world who come together every September to compete, including Wizz Air, the current title holders of the ‘Fastest Airline in the World’, a trophy which has been previously won by teams from Aer Lingus and SWISS, together with fastest-individual runner entries from Qatar Airways, LOT Polish Airlines, Emirates, and American Airlines. We pay full tribute to them, and the race’s steadfast corporate sponsors, Airbus, Heinemann, KPMG, Qatar Airways, and SITA, as well as last year’s partner Lufthansa Technik.”
anna.aero publisher Paul Hogan, a fanatical runner with 14 marathons to his name, began the partnership with Budapest Airport in honour of his daughter Brontë, or ‘Bron’, who was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was eight years old. Anthony Nolan found her a matching stem cell donor in Houston, TX, however she sadly passed away in 2011 at just 12 years old.
Commenting on the award, Paul said: “Besides being a superb annual meeting place for the air transport community, the runway run obviously has great meaning to me on a personal level, becoming something of a lifesaving legacy in Bron’s name – every finisher receives the ‘Bron’s medal’ – and I have been amazingly touched by the many special messages I have received in Bron’s memory each year, including a very personal one from the CEO of Aer Lingus who told me of his ‘medal to treasure’ after he led his team to victory in 2014.”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, adds: “2020 was tough, but I am so proud of the resilience and passion our supporters have shown throughout the pandemic. Thanks to them, we have been able to continue to save lives. We have battled travel restrictions, government policies, and lockdown after lockdown to ensure that those in desperate need of a stem cell transplant have still received their lifesaving stem cells. Everyone at anna.aero and Budapest Airport have been committed to fundraising for Anthony Nolan for years and to ensure last year’s event went ahead despite the challenges of the pandemic, is absolutely extraordinary.”