Early morning running isn’t normally my thing. Let alone what can only be described as “middle of the night” running. 2am. That’s what time my alarm went off in order to experience running on the tarmac at Luton Airport on Friday 21st June – The longest day of the year.
Arriving at the airport there was some confusion as to where to park. It turns out a group of us were earlier than expected. You have two types of runners: Those who get there hours early and nervously wait and those who arrive as the starter race is about to start. I’m the early arriving type of runner. I hate the feeling of being late. I would rather not turn up at all.
A little standing around followed and I arrived to check-in and security. Seems strangely odd being scanned with a metal detector in a pair of running shorts and a t-shirt. I’m not going to think about where they thought I might have been hiding something dangerous.
After about 30 minutes of waiting around (an airplane was late taking off) the bus made it’s way to the runway. The sun was slowly rising in the distance and it was looking like it was going to be lovely weather for the run.
Me and the other 200 odd runners lined up on the start line for out 4.4km fun run on the track. It was a really weird feeling. All of the “races” I have previously done have been semi-competitive. Thinking about a time I want to achieve or how I want to run. This was all about having fun and a gentle jog in an unusual setting.
Running down the tarmac on the runway is surreal. It isn’t as smooth of flat as I would have imagined. About halfway up the runway it’s decidedly sticky from the thousands of aeroplanes tyres with have been there before. An odd feeling which reminded me of my youth in dodgy nightclubs treading on stale cheap beer. I’m glad that’s all in the past. Now I only stand on stale expensive ever.
After stopping for a photo or two, the sunset was beautiful, I made my way to the end of the runway and back to the start. It was a lovely run and an experience of a lifetime.
As is customary at all running events I attend where there are other Redway Runners, a quick green photo followed.
Despite the security checks and waiting around. It’s safe to say, if you every get the chance to run on a runway – Give it a go!