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Bethan Parkes in Two Tunnels 10K 2020

Relish Running shows there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Two Tunnels; 676 runners and one shared ambition - to have fun while raising funds for a good cause

There are plenty of times when the Coronavirus pandemic seems like a long, dark tunnel with little sign of any light at the end. Fortunately, for us runners, there is always the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and test ourselves; either virtually, or if we are really lucky, for real. 

However, only one event combines both elements described above: The Bath Two Tunnels series by Relish Running Races, which resumed on 16 August and 12 September and continued on Sunday, 25 October. runABC South caught up with the latest event, enjoyed by 676 finishers in the 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon races on offer.

First, we needed a little more information about the Two Tunnels. The Somerset & Dorset Railway closed in 1966 and until April 2013 both tunnels were sealed and inaccessible. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Two Tunnels Group and Sustrans, the Two Tunnels now have a new lease of life as a shared-use path. 

The Devonshire Tunnel is 408m and the Combe Down Tunnel is 1,672m long. Both are well lit and well surfaced and are open for the enjoyment of runners, walkers, and cyclists looking to make the most of the city, whilst remaining on flatter ground.

Every entry includes a donation of £1 to Sustrans to help maintain the Two Tunnels and in 2019 runners raised £5,254 for the project. The race HQ is in Brickfields Park, in the heart of Bath city centre, and all three race distances incorporate both tunnels in their routes.   

This event was rescheduled from May 2020 due to the pandemic. Runners started at 15-second intervals, with the fastest first to comply with COVID-secure rules. Series competitors can build an interlocking, four-part medal by completing any four different race distances.

The half marathon winners were Edward Burke (1:19:18) and Caroline McAleese (1:29:00). The 10K leaders were Dan Tate (34:01) and Phillipa Williams (35:37), while at 5K the express performers were Alex Hamblin (17:15) and Molly Shorey (18:24).

Our image, selected from more than 2,300 available for free download from 1000th.co.uk features Bethan Parkes, who ran 54:00 for the 10K, with two little passengers in her carriage!

Race details and full results are available at runABC South race listing here

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