This event… not to be confused with the new event in town in September … has been running for 6 years and winds around the beautiful Worcester countryside, taking in a section of the canal and some seriously challenging undulations along the way. The scenery is wonderful and if you get a chance, take it in whilst speeding along the country lanes. The lush green of the fields and forest that surround you are well worth enjoying on this country race. Race organiser Tempo Events, have perfected the art of event organisation. Securing the Worcester Sixways venue as a great start and finshing location, offering free parking, superb incentives to marshals who get a free lunch and free race entry to any of their other events, and these are just a few of the benefits of this event. (Website address)

This year I and my friend Chris Baigent-Reed marshalled the water station near Crowle Green with a delightful older couple who certainly knew their stuff and had us both in stitches. The official BPJ sponsored water station is at mile 10 (and 24), Himbleton. Not only did we all get to cheer on the 1000 or so odd runners who return year after year to run this great local race, we secured our guaranteed entry for next year.

Sponsorship and Winners

Raising money for St Richard’s Hospice, a much loved local charity often supported by BPJ’s, over £40,000 has been raised over the 6 years.  Hewett Recruitment have sponsored all of the races and are a great help with proceedings. Olli from the Active Foot Company, a firm favourite with the BPJ’s, is always on hand too. In the last five years a colossal 4000 people have trotted around the half and 1200 around the full course and many of them will have belonged to your local club.

You come away with a medal and t-shirt and the medals this year really were quite something, the best yet. Due to a glut of last minute entrants on the day, Sarah ran out of t-shirts, but will be furnishing all finishers as soon as her new order comes through. Marshals get t-shirts as well just so you know.

The sixth Worcester marathon and half was the biggest yet with 1012 finishers. The half was won by the biggest margin and with a phenomenal course record for David Webb, Telford AC in an outstanding 1 hr 10 mins and 4 secs, nearly 8 minutes ahead of the second place runner. The marathon was won in 2.37.36 by Daniel Clarke, Coventry Godiva Harriers.

Organisation

An awful lot goes into the organisation on the day and it is even more irritating for Tempo Events, when you discover thieves have stolen some of the signage over night. I wonder if it is the same killjoys who sometimes take Phil‘s Sunday run windmills and balloons? Luckily everybody rallied and Sarah and her crew were up at the crack of dawn replacing as many as they could. There is always so much that needs to be done and Tempo have enlisted a fabulous  regular group of volunteers. There are three lead bikes who have to keep everyone going the right way, 26 plus people manning water stations and 44 marshals on course. Registration, baggage, timing, handing out medals, t-shirts, bananas, getting sore runners back home if they give up, commentating and last but incredibly important, picking up 4000 empty water bottles!

Praise

Sarah gave a wonderful shout out to our club:

I generally try and avoid mentioning anyone by name because you all do an amazing job, but I must single out the Black Pear Joggers for their continuing support of this race and consequently St Richards’ Hospice. This year there were 13 of them running the full marathon and 49 in the half marathon, and to add to that they manned the water station at mile 10 and 24, and there were some 6 or 8 others round the course and the ever energetic Jo Evans & Hazel Sherrington bringing up the rear in the sweep car and keeping fellow runner Alison Law going to the end! Great club, thank you to everyone.

In the same spirit of camaraderie typical of BPJs and runners in general, it was lovely to hear that people were acting as pacemakers around the course. Big shout out to my very own fiance who trotted round with Chris Mabbit-Bromage. Chris achieved a stonking PB of 1 hour 51 and I know he was chuffed to bits with that. Luan Wall, a local lass from Kidderminster also helped her friend Lucy Dawkins around her first full marathon course. Derek Jackson guide running Lee Greatbatch to another great PB. This is what running is all about. Jo and Hazel and the amazing support from so many others (like Darren Fletcher who stayed right until the end despite running the half) to see Alison Law over the finish line as she battled with and won against her own demons and completed her first marathon. This is testimony to both her sheer determination and the support of an amazing club and friends.

Thanks

If you don’t want to or can’t run this local race in the future then remember that the jobs described above are deemed to be critical and are highly praised by many. The marshals get lots of mentions for how much they mean to the runners and here are just some comments that came through straight after the race:

Just wanted to say a big thank you to all the marshals who steered us around the course today – much appreciated.

I just wanted to say first of all how much I enjoyed this event today. Please pass on my thanks to all the marshals, who were all cheerful and encouraging throughout. This really made a difference when things got tough up those hit hills!

I really enjoyed the full marathon today. Well done on organising a great run. Please especially thank the two marshals on bikes who did a great job encouraging us on the second lap.

I would just like to say thanks for the great organisation of the Worcester Marathon yesterday.  Hard hilly course, but lovely scenery. Please pass on my thanks to the marshalls – they were all so supportive and upbeat, it was great to spur me on.

Many thanks to everyone for organising, managing, supporting & marshalling today, it was a great day with good support between the runners.

A big thank you to the guy who patted me on the back and offered supportive words when I had to break out of the run into a walk, that really helped me get back on track

Great event…Well done! Big thanks to all the brilliant and cheerful marshals too.

Felt this was a great event on Sunday, so well organised and a pleasure to run in, fab Technical Top &Medal, thanks for all the effort and hard work you & all the volunteers put it on the day. Portishead RC runners really enjoyed it. Very well organised race, thank you to everyone who did such a fantastic job in making this such an enyoyable race. Great event. Thank you everyone

Sarah’s parting words to you guys were another massive thank you but also:

We are looking forward to seeing some BPJ teams at the inaugural Cider Relays in July by the way – I’ve offered some free team places, it should be a great crack!

This is a new event on Friday July 21st and somehow I think it could well appeal to some of Ian Hornabrook’s Wednesday evening crew… but then I’m sure others could be tempted…it is after all just the two miles…I feel a potential social event coming on?

Details to be found here

BPJ results listed below. Link to results

Half marathon:

Full marathon: