RUNNERS in this year’s Two Castles 10k have raised £15,000 for local charities – despite the event having been cancelled.
The 4,000 runners normally raise more than £100,000 through their entry fees and sponsorship say organisers Kenilworth Rotary and Leamington Cycling and Athletics Club, which includes £50,000 for the rotary club’s local charities.
But as this year’s scheduled 38th running of the race, which would have taken place last Sunday (June 14), was called off because of Covid-19, Rotarians were not expecting to raise a penny.
Rotary press officer Bob Kelly said many of those offered a refund had chosen to donate their fee instead.
“Whilst the event has a ‘no refund’ condition of entry the circumstances that led to cancellation were unprecedented, so Kenilworth Rotarians felt we should refund as much as possible.
“Bearing in mind that we had already paid our forward suppliers, we dipped into our contingency funds to refund as much of the entrance fees as possible. This, of course, would have left us with nothing to distribute to charity.
“However, more than 850 runners generously advised they did not want a refund and asked the club to donate their entry fee to our charity accounts. This means that despite no event this year some £15,000 will be distributed to charity and good causes.”
Richard Thornton, joint senior partner at Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins, which has been the main race sponsor for 15 years, said: “At this time of extreme economic hardship this has been yet another example of people’s generosity in the face of this catastrophe. We cannot thank them enough.”
Mr Thornton confirmed that Blythe Liggins had pledged to sponsor the event again next year.
Mr Kelly added: “This week is the right time for all of us at Kenilworth Rotary to say a big thank you to everyone concerned. We will be back in 2021 where a big welcome awaits our supporters.”