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Sally Gunnell and Iwan Thomas confirmed for British Airways Run Gatwick

The 2018 British Airways Run Gatwick takes place on Sunday 13th May and entries are still open to all races.



The organisers of British Airways Run Gatwick have confirmed that top former athletes Sally Gunnell OBE and Iwan Thomas MBE will be attending the event on Sunday 13th May 2018.

Former track and field athlete and Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell will be taking part in the pre-race warm-up and starting the Family Run, a fun 1-mile run for young runners aged 4 and upwards.

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Meanwhile Iwan Thomas, the Welsh former European and Commonwealth champion for 400 metres, will be taking part in the warm-up and starting the Corporate 5K, before jumping in to run the race himself. Iwan’s participation in the Corporate 5K will come as welcome news to the many local businesses entered into this fun and competitive race, and is expected to encourage a number of last-minute entries from teams wanting to be involved in this superb day of sport.

8/3/12 Picture by Ashley Bingham. Iwan Thomas – K-Swiss

It is of great credit to British Airways Run Gatwick to have such high-profile names attend the inaugural event. Sally and Iwan join Welsh former sprinting and hurdling athlete Colin Jackson CBE who has already confirmed his support for runners and will be starting the International Half Marathon at 9am.

All three former athletes are ambassadors for Flying Start, the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief.

The presence of such popular faces in running will be of great motivation to the thousands of competitors set to take on the International Half Marathon, 5K, Corporate 5K and Family Run in less than two weeks. With all three races being officially started by Sally, Iwan or Colin, Iwan taking part in the Corporate 5K and the three former athletes meeting runners throughout the day, it will be an incredibly inspiring event for runners at every distance.

British Airways Run Gatwick takes place on traffic-free routes through the parks, towns and beautiful West Sussex countryside around Gatwick Airport. The event is set to provide a high-quality runner experience for all, with a first-class event village located at Crawley’s Southgate Park. Runners can look forward to a huge bag drop, an amazing festival stage with live music and commentary, a pre-race warm-up attended by both Sally and Iwan, staggered start times and a team of pacers helping runners to hit their target times in the half marathon.

The choice of four race distances means that runners of all ages and abilities are encouraged to get active and enjoy the experience of a big sporting event, and the whole day is expected to be an inspirational day of sport and achievement.

Sally Gunnell OBE commented:

“I am proud to be an ambassador for Flying Start and I am looking forward to starting the Family Run at British Airways Run Gatwick. I am very passionate about health and wellbeing and actively support healthy family initiatives in the UK, and starting the Family Run will be an honour. Good luck to all the kids and adults taking part!”

Iwan Thomas MBE said:

“British Airways Run Gatwick is a fantastic new event, bringing runners of all levels and ages together over a range of race distances, and I am looking forward to starting the Corporate 5K and then joining the running crowd myself. I feel privileged to be an ambassador for Flying Start and being able to help giving children a brighter future.”

Race Director Dave Kelly added:

“We are delighted to confirm that Sally Gunnell and Iwan Thomas will be joining us at the inaugural British Airways Run Gatwick. Participants can look forward to warming up alongside them and it will then be a great privilege to have Sally starting the Family Run and Iwan starting and joining in the Corporate 5K. Colin Jackson has also been confirmed as official starter of the International Half Marathon, it is very exciting to have a high profile official starter for all three races. This will be a fantastic day for runners of all ages and abilities and we are looking forward to delivering a first class event on 13th May.”

The National Charity Partner for British Airways Run Gatwick is British Airways Flying Start. The Local Charity Partners for the 2018 event are Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, Carers Support, Neurokinex Kids, Crawley Open House and St Catherine’s Hospice.

The 2018 British Airways Run Gatwick takes place on Sunday 13th May and entries are still open to all races. Entry costs £36 for the International Half Marathon and £25 for the 5K or Corporate 5K. Entry to the Family Run costs £12 for children aged 4-15 years, and £1 for accompanying adults.

Runners signing up after 30th April will need to collect their race pack from the Information Tent on race day.

Go to for further details and to sign up. You can also like the Facebook page and follow @rungatwick #rungatwick on Twitter for all the latest news.

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Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.



The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

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During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to

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