A RECORD number of people took part in the 2018 Worcester City Run, cheered on by thousands of spectators. 

Over 4,000 people had signed up to take part in the Worcester City Half Marathon, 10K and Young Athletes Run, which all took place on Sunday, as the event grew again after last year’s record field. 

On a dry and increasingly sunny morning, the runners were given loud support around the route.

The Worcester City Run events were organised by athletics legend Steve Cram’s company Events of the North, in partnership with Worcester City Council.

The second Worcester City Half Marathon attracted a strong field, with the winner setting a course record, while the well-established Worcester City 10K and Young Athletes Run both sold out. 

The races attracted some of the best athletes from the region, with many of them representing local clubs. 

There were also hundreds of fun runners who were raising money for good causes, including a team of over 50 who took part to support the event’s official charity partner, Worcester Samaritans.

Winner of the Worcester City Half Marathon was Phillip Matthews of Swansea Harriers in a course record time of 69 minutes and 40 seconds. Daniel Hallam of Wreake & Soar Valley AC claimed second place (70:05) and last year’s winner, Stuart Hawkes of Tipton Harriers, was third (71:17). 

The women’s race was won by Nicola Sykes of Bourneville Harriers (81:33), with Sarah Davis of Rugby & Northampton second (87:47) and Catie O’Donoghue of Bristol & West AC third (88:04). 

The wheelchair race winner was Les Hampton of Cheltenham Harriers (1:43:14).

The Worcester City 10K was won by Kadar Abdullahi of Birchfield Harriers in 32 minutes and 21 seconds. Samuel Mitchell of Notts/RAF/Worcester AC claimed second place (32:33), with Marcus England of Cheltenham Harriers third (33:30). 

In the women’s race, 17-year-old 10K debutant Grace Brock of Cornwall AC won the title in 34:26, replicating the achievement of local athlete Jenny Nesbitt who beat Paula Radcliffe to win the first 10K in 2014.

In her first race at the distance, Louise Small of Aldershot, Farnham & District AC was second (35:17) and Jo Moultrie of Victoria Park City of Glasgow AC third (36:50). 

Winner of the 10K wheelchair race was Ed Grazier of Cheltenham Harriers (31:22).

In the under 11 Young Athletes Run over one mile, first boy was Joe Maddock of Worcester AC in 6:55, followed by Rufus Jeffrey (7:16) and Arlo Williams (7:24).  First girl was Natalie Seyler of Worcester AC (7:36), with Annabel Plant in second (7:47) and Scarlett Eagland third (7:48).  

In the boys’ under 16 race over 3.2km, the winner was Ciaran Lines of Sedgefield Harriers (10:33), with Sam Davey of Worcester AC second (10:38) and Oliver Hill of Worcester AC third (11:31). 

First girl was Evie Hawkesford-Johnson of Worcester AC (12:22), with Charlotte Broadhurst of Kidderminster & Stourport AC in second (12:25) and Lauren Kennard of Worcester AC third (12:31). 

Event founder Steve Cram said: “It’s been another brilliant day for the Worcester City Run.  Once again, the weather has been kind to us and it was great to see so many people from the local community out on the course cheering on our runners. The event has continued to grow, year on year, and we had our biggest ever field of runners, which brings its own challenges. 

“We’re really grateful to the huge Air Products Volunteer Crew who made everything possible on the day, and to Worcester City Council for continuing to back this great event in a beautiful city.”

The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Jabba Riaz, said: “It’s an incredible sight to see thousands of runners pounding Worcester’s streets, and it’s a remarkable reminder of what a healthy and active city we live in.

“Congratulations to everyone who tested their stamina in the Worcester City Run and thanks to the organisers and volunteers for another big success.”

To find out more about Worcester City Run events, visit worcestercityrun.com