ATHLETICS legends Steve Cram and Paula Radcliffe both put their best foot forward at this year’s Worcester City Run weekend of events.
Cram, founder of the event, took part in the half-marathon for the first time while Paula Radcliffe brought her Families on Track event to the city for the first time.
Thousands of runners and spectators attended events over the weekend in Worcester after the landmark event on the city’s calendar was axed in 2020 because of the pandemic.
After an enforced absence last year, the event returned with a two-day programme of races. The popular Worcester City Half Marathon, 10K and Young Athletes Run were joined for the first time by Paula Radcliffe’s Families on Track, which saw family groups complete a 10K distance in a continuous relay.
Around 3,000 people took part in the events, organised in a partnership between Worcester City Council and Events of the North and sponsored by local company Air Products.
The Air Products Worcester City Runs kicked off the weekend with Paula’s Families on Track, powered by Atom Bank.
The brainchild of athletics legend Paula Radcliffe, Families on Track gives family groups the opportunity to complete a 10K distance in a continuous relay on laps of either 1,000m, 500m or 250m, in a safe setting and format that allows everyone to contribute, no matter what their age or ability.
More than 50 family teams of between three and five took part in the event at Worcester Racecourse, including Pete’s Butterflies, which featured Paula, her children Isla and Raphael, and two competition winners.
Sunday’s (September 5) Worcester City Half Marathon, 10K and Young Athletes Run were all held under blue skies and in bright sunshine. The races attracted many leading club athletes, including large numbers from local clubs
Black Pear Joggers and Worcester AC, plus hundreds who were raising money for good causes, including the event’s official charity partner, Worcestershire Ambassadors, which supported Worcester Community Trust through the event.
Winner of the Worcester City Half Marathon was Gary Whitehouse of Tipton Harriers in a gun time of 73 minutes and 52 seconds while the women’s race was won by Gemma Hillier-Moses of Charnwood AC in 78 minutes and 17 seconds.
The Worcester City 10K was won by previous half marathon winner Omer Ahmed of Birchfield Harriers in a very impressive time of 29 minutes and 40 seconds while Sally Russell of the Black Pear Joggers won the women’s race in 41 minutes and 15 seconds.
Event founder Steve Cram, who set three world records in 19 days at his peak in 1985, ran the half marathon at the age of 60 and crossed the line in 87 minutes and 11 seconds.
“The good weather always turns up and so do the runners and spectators. Paula’s Families on Track proved to be a fantastic addition to the event and we had two wonderful days of running. The excitement at being back at a big city centre event was clear on so many faces,” he said.
“For the first time, I was able to join the athletes on the course and it’s a lovely city to run around, though it was hard work in the heat!.
“We’re very grateful to Worcester City Council, sponsor Air Products, the enthusiastic spectators, and our wonderful army of event volunteers, who all made it possible to put on the event safely and with such a great atmosphere,” he added.
Visit www.worcestercityrun.com for all the results.
With thanks to David Dunbar, Purple Swan Photography for the pictures from the Families on Track event