A new course record was set at The Wigley Group Warwick Half Marathon which attracted its highest number of competitors on Sunday 1 March.
World and European athletics medallist Jenny Meadows started the race organised by Warwick Racecourse which involved over 1,800 runners setting off to raise money for the Barrie Wells Trust Box4Kids initiative.
Lightning quick Ian Allen from Spa Striders (Leamington) was the first home in 1 hour 9 minutes and 41 seconds which was a new course record while the first female over the line was Joanne McCandless.
The presentation group was led by Barrie Wells MBE from the Barrie Wells Trust Box4Kids initiative and Robert Wigley, chairman of The Wigley Group, while there was a complimentary half pint of Hooky Ale which was donated by Hook Norton Brewery waiting for everyone at the finishing line.
John Turner was the first home among the boys in the 2.5k family fun run for youngsters aged between six and 16 and the first girl was Isabella Davies while Knowle and Dorridge Running Club scooped the Warwickshire Club team prize due to the sterling efforts of Gareth Wainwright, Gary Polhill and Flick Sharp.
Andre Klein, General Manager at Warwick Racecourse, said: “We had a record entry of 1,800 which was a big increase compared to last year and there was also a record set by Ian Allen so it was a memorable day.
“It was windy on Sunday but it was great to see a blue sky which made a difference to everyone’s mindset.
“We had put up signage on certain parts of the course to warn runners that due to the heavy rainfall conditions could be tricky underfoot but by race day, it was largely dry throughout the route.
“I would like to thank everyone who took part for boosting the funds of such a great charity as well as the Warwick Rotary Club and the Lions Club for their involvement in the planning process as well as running the event on the day.
“My gratitude also goes to the St John Ambulance, and the local community for their patience if they were affected by any of the road closures.”
The event is UKA affiliated and followed the traditional route through the Warwickshire countryside before finishing back at Warwick Racecourse.
The competitors raised money for Box4Kids which gives VIP experiences at sport and entertainment events across the UK for seriously and terminally ill children through the use of executive boxes, and they have provided more than 9,000 children with experiences to date.
Barrie Wells MBE said: “I was delighted to see so many runners participating on our behalf at the race, all raising money to help us create fantastic VIP experiences for seriously ill children.
“A huge thank-you to the Jockey Club and Andre Klein and his wonderful Warwick Racecourse team for choosing The Barrie Wells Trust Box4Kids as the nominated charity for the race and for organising the event so brilliantly.”
James Davies, Managing Director of The Wigley Group, added: “It was fantastic to see the town out in force to cheer on the runners and we’re proud to have supported the Warwick Half Marathon for a second successive year.
“On behalf of everyone at The Wigley Group, I would like to congratulate all the runners, including some of our own team, who took part in the run, which I’m sure was the culmination of months of hard work, training and preparation.”
Caption 1: Robert Wigley (back, second left) surrounded by The Wigley Group runners who took part in The Wigley Group Warwick Half Marathon.