The 2023 Worcester City Runs saw thousands of participants and spectators take to the streets of the city for the annual festival of running. Over three days, people of all ages and backgrounds took part in a series of events, including Paula Radcliffe’s Families on Track and the Worcester City Half Marathon, 10K and Young Athletes Run. Around 4,000 runners took part this year, as numbers returned to pre-pandemic levels. They were cheered on by thousands more, who lined the streets of Worcester. Organisers are already looking ahead to the tenth anniversary Worcester City Runs event in 2024, with entries now open, including an ‘early bird’ discount.
The Worcester City Runs were organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Worcester City Council and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity, for which many runners raised funds. This year, the event moved to a new date in the calendar to coincide with the Worcester Paint Festival and Worcester Music Festival. Next year’s tenth anniversary Worcester City Runs will take place on 14 and 15 September.
The 2023 Worcester City Runs kicked off in the morning of Saturday 16 September with Paula’s Families on Track, as family groups teamed up to complete a 10k distance in a continuous relay on laps of either 1,000m, 500m or 250m at Worcester Racecourse. Event founder Paula Radcliffe was on hand to supervise and joined one lucky team to help them complete their 10k.
Sunday 17 September saw the return of the annual Worcester City Half Marathon, 10k and Young Athletes Run. Leading local club athletes lined up alongside fun runners for the races, many of whom were raising money for good causes, such as the event’s official charity partner, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity.
In the Worcester City Half Marathon, Alex Lawrence retained his title in a time of 69 minutes and 33 seconds, ahead of Ben Jones in 70:58 and James Denne in 71.23. Gemma Collier won the women’s race in a very impressive time of 81:50, Natalie Bhangal was second in 86:24, and Helen Knight third in 87:01.
The Worcester City 10k was won by Euan Wilson in 31:14, just ahead of Charlie Jones (31:18), with Jason Bennett third in 31:41. Sophie Wood won the women’s race in 35:36, ahead of Anna Domville in 36:05 and Nikki Juniper in 37:35.
In the under 11 Young Athletes Run over one mile, the winner was Reece Yarnold in 6:25, with Henry Bedford in second (6:30) and Amber Teale third (and first girl) in 6:34. Third boy was Freddie Preston (6:36), second girl was Becky Dunnett (7:05), just ahead of Katie Harte (7:07). In the under 16 Young Athletes Run over 3k, the winner was Ffion Collins in 11:35, followed closely by first boy James Cooke (11:37), with Arlo Williams third in 12:02. Third boy was Lucas Seyler (12:04), who crossed the line at the same time as second girl Scarlett Eagland. Third girl was Sophie Purves in 12:41.
Event founder Steve Cram comments: “Once again, Worcester has played host to a brilliant two days of running. From Paula’s Families on Track to the Sunday races, we’ve seen some great running in an excellent atmosphere, and sharing the weekend with the paint and music festivals really added to the buzz in the city. We’re delighted that the number of participants has returned to pre-pandemic levels and are already excited about working closely with Worcester City Council and other partners as we build towards the tenth anniversary of the Worcester City Runs in 2024.”
Entries are now open for the 2024 Worcester City Run events at www.worcestercityrun.com, with special ‘early bird’ prices available. Entries for the Worcester City Half Marathon cost £35.50 for non-affiliated runners and £33.50 for those in affiliated clubs (they will increase to £38.50/36.50 after the early bird deadline). Places on the 10k currently cost £26/24 and will increase to £28.50/£26.50.