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baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club
The World Airline Road Race (WARR)
The World Airline Road Race has its roots with the Joggeroos, a group of runners from Qantas Airways Running Club, who invited their interline friends ‘down under’ to the famous 1978 Sydney-to-Surf 6.2 mile race. Other informal gatherings in Texas, Finland, Spain, Portugal and Georgia served as a springboard for airline clubs to devise an annual airline road race held in different locations around the world and to encourage the participation of as many airlines as possible.
The inaugural World Airline Road Race was held in San Francisco's Golden Park in September 1982, with 300 runners representing 30 airlines. The event was deemed a great success and the following year many more came to the second WARR in Orlando, Florida. An International Committee was formed to oversee the smooth running and continual success since. Airlines are awarded the opportunity to organise and host this annual festival and this results in different venues every year and introduces variety into the event so that even regular attendees don't know quite what to expect! No two WARR events have been the same although most feature all of the core elements of:
In 1985 the World Airline Road Race was held outside the USA for the first time with British Airways hosting the races in Hyde Park, London. For the 10th, in 1992, we returned to San Francisco; for the Millennium we ran and partied in Cancun; for the 25th, in 2006, it was the turn of Amsterdam and in 2009 the 28th event was held in Hangzhou, China - the first time the event has been held on continental Asia.
In 2010, twenty five years on from the event's first visit to London, British Airways hosted the event for a second time with the race course being around the parameter of the Royal Victoria Dock in East London.
Amongst the WARR traditions is the T Shirt Party. The origins of this go back to 1984 when the British Airways team arrived for the event in Honolulu, Hawaii wearing team T Shirts specifically designed for the event. These were well admired at the pre-race evening party which also proved to be an opportunity for airline attendees to exchange pins and other airline memorabilia. Other airlines caught on to the idea of having team T Shirts and so in Atlanta in 1986 there was an award given to the team with the shirt that best represented the event and that year's host location. Attendees were then keen to exchange T Shirts and the pre-race T Shirt Party was born and has been held ever since.
There are various websites that can provide more information on previous and future WARRs (open new windows):