The Yanks are coming!!! Southwest Airlines sends ace running team to Budapest Runway Run

Southwest Airlines sends ace running team to Budapest Runway Run

International expansion: Southwest Airlines is sending an ace team to take part in the “bud:runway run” – the air transport charity race taking place on Runway 13R-31L at Budapest Airport in September, with the clear aim to triumph over Europe’s low cost carriers, the majors, and other airlines from the Middle East Big 3.

It’s totally official: Southwest Airlines is coming to Europe. Fresh off the back of its move into branded international services this month (with destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean), Southwest Airlines (WNCO) has entered a highly experienced and competitive team into the “bud:runway run” – the air transport charity race taking place on Runway 13R-31L at Budapest Airport on Saturday 6 September in aid of child cancer charities and other good causes, organised by Budapest Airport, Nike, Wizz Air, and anna.aero.

Southwest Airlines will be competing against teams and individuals drawn from 40 airlines and 50 airports and other air transport enterprises. “Now that WNCO has gone international, we are excited to compete against carriers from anywhere and everywhere,” says team principal Eric Walters, Market Pricing Strategy Senior Analyst. Walters, talking to anna.aero from the WNCO Revenue Management Department in Dallas, explained that the game plan is to win the anna.aero-Budapest Airport “Golden Cake Trophy” for “Fastest Airline in the World” by competing in the 12km race (four runway lengths). For these purposes Walters has assembled a brand-new team of five largely “fanatically competitive” runners boasting extensive racing resumes, and a chillingly-young 26-29 age range (profiled in detailed below).

To see some of the airlines, airports and others who have already signed up go here

Click here to sign up for the bud:runway run

Team Southwest Airlines

Team Southwest Airlines is entirely drawn from the Revenue Management Department: Paul Zigler, Eric Walters (team principal), Doug Buehring, Adam Drennan, and Brian “Never more than 40 miles/week” Wellman.

In a statement issued yesterday the airline said: “Southwest Airlines is consistently the most competitive airline in the world, and we now look forward to confirmation that WNCO is also the world’s leading airline when it comes to sport. The runway at Budapest Airport is a very long and level playing field in which to compete against 40 other airlines but, as the record-best-ever on-time performer, we have full confidence in the ability of the Southwest Airlines team to return home from Europe with ‘The anna.aero-Budapest Airport Trophy for Fastest Airline In The World.’ We are all proud of our team, and proud of the on-going contributions Southwest is making to child cancer charities, and our many other closely-held good causes.”

To see some of the airlines, airports and others who have already signed up go here

Click here to sign up for the bud:runway run

Who’s who: The Southwest “bud:runway run” team

Eric WaltersTeam Principal

Eric Walters, 26, Market Pricing Strategy Senior Analyst

Home: Carmel, Indiana, USA

Are you a competitive or a recreational/keep fit runner? Recreational/keep fit

Training regime: 10-20 miles per week, almost always in the morning, with weightlifting and other exercises mixed in between runs.

Have you ever run on a runway before? Nope! But as an aviation enthusiast I am very excited to!

Do you always take your running shoes when you fly WNCO? Yes, usually!

Best-ever races and times: Best 5k: DFW Area Corporate Challenge 2012 (19:44). Best 10k: Ft. Worth Cowtown 2014 (41:41). Best Half Marathon: Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll 2014 (1hr 35min)

Favourite domestic pet: Dogs, preferably larger breeds.

Most exciting moment in revenue management: Seeing each quarter produce record revenue results so far in 2014.

Please state preference: Burger King or Wendy’s? It’s hard to choose, either Chick-fil-A or Whataburger (a Texas-based fast food chain).

First time in Budapest? This will be my 2nd visit to Budapest. I was there in 2008. I plan on showing my team mates around the historical sites. It is a magnificent city to visit.

Favourite WNCO destination and why? Favourite: OAK/SFO. Most frequent: IND. OAK/SFO are packed full of fun activities in and around the Bay area (hiking, wine country, etc). IND is where my family and many college friends live, but it is arguably the nicest airport terminal in the United States (and I’ve been to over 65 U.S. airports).

Further relevant information: I did not start running distances more than 2-3 miles until I was 22. I grew up playing baseball, basketball and soccer. I was never a competitive runner, but continue to improve my times. I’ve never run a race slower than the time before. My previous best half marathon time was 1:44 (from 2012) and my previous best 10k was 42:22.  This will be my first 12km event though, so I only have my personal best to run!

 

Adam DrennanAdam Drennan, 29, Senior Research Analyst, Operations Research in Revenue Management

Home: Norman, Oklahoma

Are you a competitive or a recreational/keep fit runner? 70/30 split, favouring competitive.

Training regime: I usually run about 15 miles per week in the evenings.

Have you ever run on a runway before? Nope

Do you always take your running shoes when you fly WNCO? Yes

Best-ever races and times: Recently 5k in 21:34

What is your favourite domestic pet? Dog

Describe your most exciting moment in revenue management: Opening our first international flights for sale.

Please state preference: Burger King or Wendy’s? In terms of American fast food, I’ll go with Chipotle.

First time in Budapest? It is, and I plan to stay a few extra days. No concrete plans yet.

Favourite WNCO destination and why? San Francisco. I have a friend who lives there, and I always enjoy visiting him and biking around in the perfect weather.

 

Brian WellmanBrian Wellman, 27, Business Consultant, Planning & Development, Revenue Management.

Home: Dallas, TX

Are you a competitive or a recreational/keep fit runner? Fanatically competitive

Training regime: It depends on what I’m training for! Never more than 40 miles/week (!!!!!!) and typically in the evenings.

Have you ever run on a runway before? No; but I’m very excited to!

Do you always take your running shoes when you fly WNCO? I typically always wear them since they’re comfortable and easy to slip on/off through security.

Best-ever races and times: 2-time Boston Marathon qualifier. Newport Marathon 2013 (3:03:37), Houston Marathon 2014 (3:02:38)

What is your favourite domestic pet? Dog

Describe your most exciting moment in revenue management: Leading the department through its first Department Olympics in years.

Please state preference: Burger King or Wendy’s? None of the above; my guilty pleasure would have to be a giant pizza…especially after a long, hard run!

First time in Budapest? Yes it will be my first time and I have no plans yet – I’m open to some ideas!

Favorite WNCO destination and why? Austin, because I love the City and it’s a short, 40 minute flight.

 

Doug BuehringDoug Buehring, Age: 27, Market Strategy Yield Analyst

Home: Pittsburgh, PA

Are you a competitive or a recreational/keep fit runner? Recreational/keep fit runner

Training regime: I usually run about 3-4 times per week during the evening even when its 100 degrees out in Texas. I run anywhere from 2-4 miles each time.

Have you ever run on a runway before? Nope, but I’ve always wanted to.

Do you always take your running shoes when you fly WNCO? Sometimes, but mainly when I go back to Pittsburgh.

Best-ever races and times: I’ve only ever run a couple of 5 and 10Ks before. My goal is to run a half marathon soon.

What is your favourite domestic pet? I’ve never had any pets except fish, and they aren’t too exciting.

Describe your most exciting moment in revenue management: Participating in the Revenue Management Olympic Games since it was hilarious watching your co-workers play in some of the crazy events.

Please state preference: Burger King or Wendy’s? Primanti Bros; nothing beats meat, coleslaw, and French fries on a sandwich. It’s a Pittsburgh thing.

First time in Budapest? This will be my first time in Budapest. I haven’t researched Budapest too much yet, but I do want to go to the top of Gellért Hill.

Favourite WNCO destination and why? Seattle since it’s so beautiful and there are so many outdoorsy attractions to visit.

 

Paul ZiglerPaul Zigler, 28, Business Consultant in Global Pricing Analysis

Home: Houston, Texas

Are you a competitive or a recreational/keep fit runner? Recreational/keep fit runner

Training regime: 20-25 miles per week, lunchtime and morning

Have you ever run on a runway before? No

Do you always take your running shoes when you fly WNCO? No

Best-ever races and times: The marathon I ran in Phoenix Arizona

What is your favourite domestic pet? Dogs

Describe your most exciting moment in revenue management: I accidentally dropped my badge outside of the office and it was recovered by my co-workers. They held it hostage until I performed a poem (rap) about it in front of the entire department, and our Vice President.

Please state preference: Burger King or Wendy’s? Hopdoddy Burger Bar

First time in Budapest? This is my first trip to Budapest and I haven’t started planning yet.

Favourite WNCO destination and why? Aruba because I love the beach and the water is astounding!

Teams and individuals from some 40 airlines and over 50 airports and other aviation enterprises have so far signed up for the “bud:runway run” which offers two race lengths (6km = two runway lengths and 12km = four runway lengths). The race benefits child cancer charities and other good causes – as most airlines and airports already have major charity commitments, there’s no need for participants to raise big cash sponsorship targets – competitors just have to pay an entrance fee (€75 for individuals or €50 per runner for team entries) with 100% of this sum donated to the benefiting charities.

The events has is organised by an expert coalition of race host Budapest Airport, Nike, Wizz Air (official carrier and Platinum Sponsor), and marketing partner, anna.aero.

To see some of the airlines, airports and others who have already signed up go here

Click here to sign up for the bud:runway run

Ryanair CEO reacts to Southwest Airlines invasion threat

anna.aero asked Ryanair’s “new nicer” CEO, Michael O’Leary if he was in any way concerned about the apparent European invasion by the mighty Southwest Airlines: “The Ryanair Team has been climate training, so I’ll be very upset if we don’t win.”


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