One of the most popular sporting events in the regional calendar returned to Leamington after a 12-month absence – with two teammates sharing top spot on the podium.
More than 1,000 runners lined up for 18th annual Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10k Run which had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic, and were given an autumnal soaking.
Leamington Cycling & Athletics Club made it a clean sweep, with the first male and female runner across the finish line both representing the club.
It was 26-year-old Callum Hanlon who took overall victory in a time of 32 minutes 33 seconds on a course he has plenty of experience on.
“I’ve been running this race most years since the age of 16,” said Hanlon.
“I actually really enjoyed it – I know it was raining but the temperature was perfect and there was no wind. I broke away with about 2km to go.
“It’s really nice that races are back – I miss things like the Regency Run and the Two Castles.”
Rob Michaelson-Yeates of Lonely Goat Running Club came through in second place, with Andrew Boon of Coventry Godiva Harriers rounding off the men’s podium.
Katie Sykes of Leamington C & AC was the first woman across the line in 38 minutes and 15 seconds, holding off competition from runner-up Louise Balloch of Higham Harriers and Monica Williamson of Leamington C & AC in third.
Katie is taking on the London Marathon in two weeks, and she said the Regency Run was just for practice ahead of the iconic race.
She added: “The course was a little slippery underfoot but I got into it – it was enjoyable. I was really surprised with how strong I felt today.
“I did the Leamington Half Marathon this year so this was my second proper race in 2021. It felt like being back to normal.
“I’m a bit nervous about doing the London Marathon, but I’m also really excited because I was supposed to do it last year.”
Leading law firm Wright Hassall has sponsored the event every year since it began and this year saw several of its staff take on the course once again.
Sarah Perry, Managing Partner at Wright Hassall, said: “We are celebrating our 175th anniversary as a firm this year and over the last 18 years we have been proud to support the Regency 10k Run.
“Despite the cancellation of last year’s race, the event has bounced back and to see the streets of Leamington filled with cheering friends and family was a great reminder of what makes this run so special.
“It’s a marvellous event for Leamington and year-on-year sees more people take part to raise money for incredible charities and local causes.”
The day also saw the return of the 1km kids fun run at the event, which is organised by Kids Run Free.
The Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10k Run has raised more than £350,000 for local causes since it launched in 2004 and is organised by Leamington Round Table.
Harpal Singh of Leamington Round Table and this year’s Race Director, added: “After a difficult 18 months of cancellations and postponements of running events - including the Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10k on two occasions - it was wonderful to see everyone out there taking part.
“All of the money raised by competitors on the day will go directly to support good causes in the local community and it will make a huge difference after a difficult year for many charitable organisations in the area.
“We would like to thank our team of volunteers for making this event possible and look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.”
“And for those who are enthusiastic enough to run again or for the first time, entries are now open for the Regency 10K 2022 which will be held on Sunday 10th April."
Runners can enter by visiting www.regency10k.co.uk