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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.

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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.

More news: MP visits Hazelwick School as Guest of Honour

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

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Businesses show their support for Gatwick’s growth as protesters continue their campaign

With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans.

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With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans. The open letter to Stewart Wingate, the airport’s CEO, is signed by organisations including Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and sector specific associations (full list below).

In the letter the business organisations describe Gatwick as ‘a linchpin of the regional economy and a significant national asset’ that contributes ’over £5bn to UK GDP and supports 85,000 jobs.’  It goes on to say:

As the UK heads into a new chapter, Gatwick will have a vital role to play in fuelling trade, tourism and commerce, and providing links to global markets. When Gatwick thrives and grows, so too does the national and regional economy, so the airport’s growth ambitions deserve our full support.’

Clearly this growth should not be at any cost, and given our businesses and employees are based in the local communities in and around the airport, we fully understand that the impacts of expansion need to be considered and carefully managed.

‘But we believe the strength of Gatwick’s plans lies in their simplicity. By unlocking much-needed new capacity from within the airport’s existing runways and footprint, Gatwick’s growth plans are a low-impact way of delivering significant benefits.’

We are firmly in support of Gatwick’s plans which we believe will play a crucial role in allowing our businesses, our employees and our region to continue to prosper.’

The support from businesses comes one month after 75% of residents surveyed across Sussex, Surrey and Kent said that they also supported Gatwick’s growth plans, with just 14% opposing.

The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 10 January 2019 and can be accessed here

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“This vote of confidence in our plans for growth is particularly powerful as organisations representing over 25,000 businesses have thrown their weight behind our draft master plan. 

“Businesses know we can’t take the region’s economic growth for granted. By sending this letter they recognise the airport’s vital role in creating local jobs and opportunities, and that growing Gatwick is essential for the future prosperity of our region.

“With only a few days left I would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation to show their support for the airport’s growth plans.”

But protesters like CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) say the effect of any part of the plan would be highly detrimental for all residents.

In a recent statement they said:

“This master plan simply blights these areas again to the threat of airport expansion beyond 2030. The fact remains that Gatwick was not selected by the Airport Commission due to lack of unemployment in the surrounding counties; lack of connectivity to the rest of the UK and the world; it is predominantly used for European leisure travel.”

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