People of all ages took to the Whanganui Airport runway over the weekend, not by plane but instead by foot.

It was all part of the second annual Runway Mile event in support of the Whanganui Airport Control Tower Restoration Group.

Eighty keen participants spent the Sunday morning of November 17 getting active by running, walking or getting around on a scooter or skateboard to go the distance of a mile.

Between 9.30am and 10.50am the runway was cleared and participants began at the holding line where the planes take off, heading from there towards the river and then turning around to make it to the finish line.

Advertisement
Despite the weather families and sponsors took to the runway either by foot or on skateboards and scooters. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Despite the weather families and sponsors took to the runway either by foot or on skateboards and scooters. Photo / Lewis Gardner

An entry fee of between $5 and $10, dependent on the age group, with the funds raised going towards restoration of the Whanganui Airport control tower.

The control tower group has already raised nearly $500,000 to restore the facade and cab of the structure, which was decommissioned in 1989.

Secretary of the restoration group, John Henderson, said they have finished refurbishing the outside of the tower and are now in the process of figuring out what they want to tackle next.

The plan is to convert the rest of the interior into an aviation museum and education centre.

The event was the second of its kind to be held, with the first Runway Mile event in 2018 raising funds for work on the exterior of the control tower and also marking the 57th anniversary of the tower's opening.

Henderson said it was probably the last time for a while that the tower would be open on a Sunday for people to have a look around.

"We're going to be doing some work on the inside and hoping to reopen it again for the Whanganui Vintage Weekend."

Henderson said due to the success of the event in 2018 they were hoping to make it an annual event.

Advertisement
Participants of all ages came out to get active in the event. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Participants of all ages came out to get active in the event. Photo / Lewis Gardner

He said they never expected to make a lot of money as it was all dependent on the weather.

Unsure on how much money has been raised from the latest event, he said everyone enjoyed themselves and loved the spot prizes that were up for grabs.

Maks Rietsma, who participated in the non-competitive walk, won a trip for three in a helicopter.

Georgie Bramley took home the biggest spot prize of the Air Chathams return trip to Auckland.

Whanganui District Councillor Helen Craig took out the title of the fastest walker in the final race.