Czech Airlines wins ‘Fastest Airline in the World’ at 10th Budapest Airport Runway Run

Budapest’s Runway 13L/31R: The flattest, straightest track in the world – for runners, the joy and privilege of running on a runway is unequalled.

Representing the maximum capacity allowed airside, 1,024 entrants lined up for the 10th Budapest Airport Runway Run on Saturday 3 September on the airport’s Runway 13L/31R. For the first time, the “Sunset Run” moved from its traditional hot midday sun slot to a cooler, albeit still very balmy, 17.30 early evening mass start.

The fact that Budapest has done this every year for 10 years – even managing to maintain the event during the pandemic – is testament to the commitment of Budapest Airport and its shareholders to firmly maintaining this event in the sporting calendar – while also remaining loyal to the great charitable causes that the race supports.

Czech Airlines’ Adam Poustka (centre) a Departure Control System Duty Supervisor, accepted the Fastest Airline in the World trophy from Publisher Paul Hogan (left) and Jerome Rozenblum (right) Sales Director, Airbus – also a generous sponsor of the event.

Why this runway run is truly unique

Other European airports have copied the Budapest example, staging smaller-scale runs in the middle of the night, but no others have been able to emulate the scale of Budapest Airport’s daytime-Saturday epic celebration where the race is staged by a professional sporting company – complete with chip timing, specially produced technical shirts, and finishers’ medals for every runner. The runway run is then followed by what can only be described as a totally-awesome post-race party – this year held on the apron of the historic and protected Terminal 1.

Proceeds from race entries and sponsorship (Airbus, Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Turkish Cargo) are shared by two charities – Hungary’s “Suhanj!”, which promotes inclusion in sport for people with disabilities, and the Anthony Nolan foundation which enables bone marrow transplants and other treatments for suffers of blood cancer.

The Budapest Airport Runway Run also has a long-standing partnership with whose publisher, Paul Hogan, lost his daughter, Brontë, to leukaemia in 2011. Subsequently, in 2021, the race organisers were awarded with Anthony Nolan’s Organisational Fundraiser of the Year Award after having raised over €110,000 for the charity. Since then the sum raised will have well-exceeded a combined €250,000 for both the causes it supports.

A full airside capacity 1,024 entrants pack Runway 13L/31R for the 10th Budapest Airport Runway Run (Photo: Budapest Airport/Gergely Zákány)

The race also serves to be a major community event for Budapest Airport but, as in previous years, it was the international aviation community which swept the podium for the top places this year. Winner of the individual 10k race prize was Wizz Air’s Oleksandr Petrus, Aviation Security Manager, Group Security and Resilience with an incredible 36:20 time; while the fastest 10k woman was KPMG’s Anna Votin (42:04). Both received a flight voucher for two for anywhere on the Turkish Airlines system (donated by Turkish Cargo; one of the main event sponsors).

The event also supports a 5km race with many serious competitors over this distance, evidenced by the performance of the winners with Budapest Airport’s own Balázs Csuka triumphing in the men’s 5k with 17:42, and by Gabriella Gelencsér, an API Integration Support Specialist with Lufthansa Systems, being the fastest woman with a 20:45 finishing time.

The Budapest Runway Run is an all-inclusive event raising significant sums for Hungary’s “Suhanj!”, which promotes inclusion in sport for people with disabilities, as well as Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity. Eszter Teazári won the 5k push chair race with a time of 34:57, László Schober won the 5k handbike race with 27:37, and the visually impaired race was jointly won by Gábor and Nelli Fejes with a stunning time of 44.10 over 10k. (Photo: Budapest Airport/Gergely Zákány)

Airbus presents Fastest Airline prize

However, the Fastest Airline team prize is always the most coveted trophy and, for the first time, this year this went to Czech Airlines, closely followed by previous two-times champions Aer Lingus.

Representing a total of six runners, Czech Airlines’ Adam Poustka, a Departure Control System Duty Supervisor, accepted the Fastest Airline in the World trophy from Jerome Rozenblum, Sales Director, Airbus – also a generous sponsor of the event. “We were very pleased to have the Czech Airlines team participating in this charity event and more than happy to have them winning – congratulations to Czech Airlines!” said Rozenblum at the prize-giving.

Results in the other aviation prize categories were:

  • Fastest Airport Concessionaire – SSP
  • Fastest Aviation Business Services Team – KPMG
  • Fastest On-airport Authority – National Tax and Customs Office

BUD wins Fastest Airport

For the first time in the 10-year history of the series, the Fastest Airport Team was Budapest Airport. The Budapest Airport CEO, Chris Dinsdale (second from left) said: “This trophy truly goes to the whole team of airport employees and shareholders who always put in such a supreme effort.” (Photo: Budapest Airport/Gergely Zákány)

Unbelievably, and for the very first time in the 10-year history of the series, the Fastest Airport Team was Budapest Airport. As a part of the BUD team, in which he ran his own 10k in a respectable 57.09 finishing time, the Budapest Airport CEO, Chris Dinsdale, said: “While I accept this prize on behalf of all the Budapest Airport runners today, in this 10th year this trophy truly goes to the whole team of BUD employees and shareholders who always put in such a supreme effort, much of it in their own time, in order to deliver what has consistently developed over a decade into the world’s best aviation-sporting-charity event.”

Dinsdale also went on the record to thank all the race participants and sponsors:

  • Airbus
  • Turkish Cargo
  • Lufthansa Technik Budapest
  • Lufthansa Systems
  • Credit Express
  • KPMG
  • SITA
  • Z&Z Biztonságtechnika
  • Celebi
  • PWC
  • Heinemann
  • SSP
  • Smarteq
  • Nutri 8 (whose “rum and chocolate” flavour recovery bars were absolutely delicious!)

2023: Budapest to celebrate 150 years

This year’s 10th Budapest Airport Runway Run was the best; ever. So, with next year’s 150th Anniversary of the founding of the city of Budapest, one can only imagine what wonder the great organising team have in store.

The After (Sunset Run) Party: Previously a two-time winner of the event, the Aer Lingus team at the superb post-race party on the apron of the historic Terminal 1.

Treasuring their medals: Kam Jandu Budapest Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Hogan Publisher, and René Droese Chief Development Officer.







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