BLUE skies greeted the much-anticipated return of one of Warwickshire’s biggest sporting spectacles, the Two Castles Run, which took place at the weekend for the first time since before the Covid pandemic.
The 38th staging of the renowned run between Warwick and Kenilworth castles on Sunday (June 12) lived up to its well-established reputation as one of the best 10k runs in the country.
After an enforced break in 2020 and 2021, huge crowds came out to support the return of the event, which was once again organised by Kenilworth Rotary Club and Leamington Cycling and Athletics Club and sponsored by Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins. There was repeat success for 2019 winner Callum Hanlon (Leamington C&AC), who crossed the finish line at Kenilworth Castle in a time of 32 minutes 01 second, beating his winning time from three years ago by 56 seconds.
Second home was team-mate Frazer Knowles with a time of 32mins 59secs, with Luke Morgan (Kenilworth Runners) completing the top three just a second behind, in a time of 33 minutes flat.
Julie Emmerson (Coventry Godiva Harriers) went one better than 2019 and was the first woman home in a time of 36mins 20secs, with Kelly Edwards (Leamington C&AC) second in a time of 37:43 and Natalie Bhangal, also of Leamington C&AC, completing the top three in 40:03.
Rotary press officer Bob Kelly said: “It was fantastic to see such a successful return for this much-loved event after an enforced absence.
“A big thank-you to everyone who made it happen, from the volunteers to the runners and the large crowds who came out to support the event.”
It was the 17th year that Blythe Liggins was the event’s headline sponsor, with the firm also fielding a squad of some 30 runners, as well as providing race marshals.
Senior partner David Lester said: “We’re delighted the day went so well and it was wonderful to see such a large crowd come out to support the runners.
“The Two Castles is a huge event for the county and it has been much missed the last two years. It’s a great boost to see it return, not least for the charities who benefit from it and who have seen their fundraising hit hard since the start of the pandemic.”
The race is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers and annually raises more than £100,000 for local and national charities. The first run had 400 runners and now more than 3,000 take part.
To see the full results of the Two Castles, visit www.stuweb.co.uk