An amazing race unfolded at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport as four amateur athletes and a local sport radio presenter competed to emulate Springboks and Toulon Rugby player Bryan Habana’s sprint against a British Airways’ A380.
Last year, Bryan Habana’s incredible Man vs Plane race, grabbed international attention, generating almost 2 million online views and rating as one of the top 10 most watched YouTube clips in South Africa.
This prompted British Airways to launch an international competition to find people who would take up the challenge, to pit their physical prowess against its largest and most modern aircraft.
“Last year I accepted the challenge to race British Airways new A380 and won, but it wasn’t easy,” says Bryan Habana, “To take this on, the runners need to be physically fit and have plenty of strength, stamina and speed.”
The competitors were selected from thousands of entries through a competition hosted on ba.com. They were flown to Durban, where they were hosted over the weekend by Tourism KwaZulu Natal.
Watched on by Rugby legend and local hero Bryan Habana and the world’s media, the runners from the UK, France, Israel and South Africa each took their turn to race the plane over 200m on a wet taxiway, parallel to the runway. Under starters orders, each runner gave all their might, as they faced the A380’s four Rolls Royce Trent-900 engines, each generating over
70,000 pounds of thrust.
In the end, there could be one winner, 23 year old Project Manager from Cape Town, Rudolph Raath took the crown to become the fastest runner on the day, with a time of 23.800 seconds. Raath wins two Club World return tickets on one of British Airways’ A380 direct flights to London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong or Johannesburg.
British Airways Man Vs Plane was designed to showcase the incredible capability of the human mind, body and soul. In the end, the power of the A380 was too much for the competitors, as it took the chequered flag on each of the five individual races.