PERSISTENCE paid off for Callum Hanlon in the 14th annual Wright Hassall Regency 10k Run – taking victory in Leamington eight years on from his first attempt.
The 23-year-old from Leek Wooton first ran the race at age 15 and is currently a part-time athletics coach after finishing his studies at University of Bath.
More than 2,000 runners took part in the run but couldn’t keep pace with Leamington C & AC’s Hanlon who crossed the line in 32 minutes and 40 seconds.
Finishing in second place was Andrew Savery with last year’s winner Paddy Roddy rounding off the top three runners.
Callum said: “I’m very happy with how it went today. I knew I was up against tough competition, Paddy won it last year and is very very good.
“I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s great to finally win this one. It’s a quick course for me, I did my first one eight years ago and have got down from 36 minutes to where I am now
“It was quite muddy out there in places this year, so the start became quite tactical. I know it quite well and made my break around the 6km mark and didn’t look back.
“A couple of the kids I coach were running today, so it was great to see them at the end too.
“It’s a really great event, I absolutely loved it and if I’m around next year I will definitely be here.”
Nuneaton Harriers’ Eleanor Fowler was the first woman across the line in 37:52 minutes, holding off competition from runner-up Joanna McCandless and Anita Howe in third.
Leamington law firm Wright Hassall which has sponsored the event every year since it began, entered a ten-strong team in the run.
Paul Rice, Wright Hassall’s senior partner, said: “It is fantastic to see the people of Leamington out in force to cheer on the runners and we are very proud to have supported the Regency 10k Run for 14 years now.
“Year-on-year more people are taking part in the run and raising money for the great charities and local causes the event supports.
“With all the competitors’ supporters lining the route and the huge team of volunteers helping out, the day brings the whole community together.
“We know that countless hours of hard work and preparation goes on behind the scenes to stage the run and everyone at Wright Hassall would like to congratulate the Leamington Round Table on organising another fantastic event.”
The day also saw the fourth annual 1k kids run at the event, which is organised by Kids Run Free and gave 250 children the chance to take part in the day.
The event has raised more than £275,000 since it began and is organised by Leamington Round Table.
William Frazier, chairman of the Leamington Round Table, added: “We’d like to thank all the runners that came out and took part in this year’s event, the weather is a worry every year but this year it came good and made for perfect running conditions.
“Our team of volunteers make this all possible and of course the great work from the organising team in the months leading up to the run.
“The unique thing about the Regency 10k is that it is all about raising money for good causes in the local community, so thank you to everyone who donated and fundraised for this year’s run.”
1. Callum Hanlon (Leamington C & AC) 32:40
2. Andrew Savery (Leamington C & AC) 32:58
3. Paddy Roddy (Kenilworth ) 33:11
1. Eleanor Fowler (Nuneaton Harriers) 37:52
2. Joanna McCandless, 38:23
3. Anita Howe (Northbrook AC) 39:35