A unique chance to take a run at Stornoway airport’s runway should be available on New Year’s Day, as the airport plans to join forces with Bethesda Hospice for a charity fundraising event.

Run the Runway for Bethesda Hospice has been planned with agreement from HIAL and Stornoway airport’s management to open the runway for a 5k run and walk at midday on January 1st 2020.

Bethesda manager Carol Somerville said that excitement was already building around the event, which was suggested as a fundraiser by airport manager Duncan Smith. Carol said: “When do you ever get a chance to run along an airport runway? This has got to be a fantastic temptation for anyone who likes a challenge, a unique experience or even just a family walk on New Year’s Day.

"This is an opportunity for people of Lewis and Harris to participate in a unique event and we are delighted to be working with HIAL and Duncan and James from the Stornoway Airport to raise the much-needed funds for the Bethesda Hospice.

“We’ve set the time for midday to give everyone a chance to recover from Hogmanay a bit, and we’re hoping that we can have the runway lights switched on to add to the atmosphere of the event.”

Run the Runway was proposed based on experience of a similar run at Inverness airport, and Stornoway airport manager Duncan Smith has big ambitions. “He is talking about getting 1,000 people involved,” said Carol. “We will be charging a registration fee and giving medals to all participants, and we’re hoping for refreshments and other features too – so watch this space!”

The runway is available as a space for the great big fundraising walk and run because the airport is closed on New Year’s Day, so normal security arrangements are suspended, but there still have to be effective marshalling teams in case any emergency means the runway has to be quickly cleared for a landing or take-off.

Full details of the New Year’s Day run will be coming soon from Bethesda and via welovestornoway.com.

And in case the idea of running on January 1st is too much for you, look out for a midsummer midnight run along just the same track too!

The picture shows the proposed route of the 5k