It’s a runway success 

More than 360 people took the chance to run Hamilton airport’s runway at Mystery Creek on Sunday 20 November.

The Rotary organised event attracted entries from throughout the districts – and Rotarians from much further afield.

Hamilton scored a quinella in the run to the finish line with first time starters Mark Cornage (19m 26s) and Rowan Torckler (19m 39s) first back ahead of Cambridge’s Matthew Hall.

The day produced a sunny morning with light cloud – in stark contract to the thunder and lightning the night before and the heavy rain which fell later in the morning.

Organiser Mike Cahill was delighted with the success of the event which was put back to November from the original March day because of the Covid traffic light restrictions.

The next one will staged on March 19, and the success of the first two has encouraged organisers to think bigger.

Cahill said the organisation is carried out by six Hamilton based Rotary clubs – and he is keen to see Cambridge Rotarians involved in future. He said the airport management had also embraced the event and were interested in seeing it develop into a bigger family orientated day.

Sunday’s event was very much a social gathering as entrants covered the 5km distance on wheels and on feet, most at a leisurely pace, but many showing a notable level of fitness.

Kelly Remkes, a firefighter based at the airport, completed the distance in fire-fighting gear – including helmet.

Heather and Richard Brand were first home on bikes, getting a late reminder from organisers to go across through the “official” finish line.

Cahill said the day would raise about $14,000 to be split evenly between two organisations.

One is the Kids in Need Waikato  charity inspired by Linda and Graeme Roil of Cambridge, the other is a major project in Kathmandu. Rotary is supporting a $2 million mission to build a children’s hospice. The existing hospice has just eight beds and cannot meet needs. The new hospice will also have an adjacent training centre for doctors, nurses and health care workers.

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