A RECORD number of runners took to the city’s streets for the various 2017 Worcester City Run events.
Almost 4,000 runners signed up for the Young Athletes Run, Worcester City 10K, and the inaugural Worcester City Half Marathon and were cheered on by thousands more spectators as they followed routes around the city centre and surrounding area.
Among the participants were 11-time Paralympic gold medal winner Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson, Ben Smith, the charity fund-raiser who ran 401 marathons in 401 days, and local athletics star Jenny Nesbitt.
The Worcester City Run events were organised by athletics legend Steve Cram’s company Events of the North, in partnership with Worcester City Council.
As well as record numbers in the adult races, the young athletes run saw attracted large numbers as under 11s and under 16s tackled one mile and and 3K courses respectively.
Hundreds of fun runners also laced up their running shoes once again for good causes including the Worcester City Run’s official charity partner, Worcester Samaritans.
The inaugural Worcester City Half Marathon winner was Stuart Hawkes of Tipton Harriers in one hour 10 minutes and 24 seconds while Alice Burgin of Bedford and County AC scooped success in the women’s race in one hour 21 minutes and 19 seconds.
Phil Beastall of Cheltenham Harriers won the Worcester City 10K in 31 minutes and 18 seconds while Jenny Nesbitt of Worcester AC regained the women’s title she won in 2014 in 34 minutes 26 seconds.
Les Hampton of Cheltenham Harriers won the wheelchair race in 45 minutes 12 seconds.
Joshua Sanders triumphed in the under 11 young athletes run in seven minutes eight seconds while the first girl over the line was Ellie Harle of Worcester AC in seven minutes 20 seconds.
For the third consecutive year, Worcester AC enjoyed a clean sweep in the boys’ under 16 race over
3K, with James Dale triumphant in 10 minutes 36 seconds ahead of Andrew Jeavons and Laurie Higgins.
Wolverhampton and Bilston AC’s Elizabeth Marshall was the first girl across the line in 12 minutes 15 seconds ahead of Lauren Kennard and Ruby Taylor.
Event found Steve Cram hailed the first Worcester City Half Marathon a ‘great success’.
“We always believed that the event would work well and that has proved to be the case. Worcester has delivered another excellent sporting event.”
Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson took part in the Worcester City 10K but was forced to use her normal wheelchair after a mechanical problem with her race wheelchair.
“The atmosphere was absolutely amazing out there and there was a lot of emotion on the course as runners pushed themselves to achieve their goals and raise money for good causes.
The inaugural half marathon was Ben Smith’s first long run since the London Marathon.
“There was great support for the runners, even out in the countryside, and I could see people were really enjoying the experience, despite having to work hard at times.
“The hills weren’t too bad and I certainly appreciated the three mile downhill stretch towards the end!”
Visit www.worcestercityrun.com for more results and information.