19 Jan 2022
Come on down for the Crowle 10K
09 Dec 2021
Run in the New Year at the Fladbury Festive 5
30 Sep 2021
Malvern Buzzards women on point at Joust 2021
27 Sep 2021
Thrill to the Wyre Forest Trick or Treat 5K
Race Listing for Worcestershire
|26 Feb 2022||Winter Wychavon Way||Lido Park, Droitwich Spa|
|27 Mar 2022||Pendock Spring Chicken Run||Pendock Primary School, Staunton|
|30 Apr 2022||Malvern Hills Ultra||Abberley Hall, Abberley|
|08 May 2022||Bromsgrove Fun Run||Finstall Park, Bromsgrove|
|08 May 2022||Crowle 10K||Parish Hall, Crowle|
|22 May 2022||Worcester Marathon & Half Marathon||Sixways Rugby Stadium, Worcester|
|22 May 2022||Bulmers Bash||Bulmers Orchard, Wichenford|
|25 May 2022||Fast & Furious 5K Series May||Sports Club, Stourport-on-Severn|
|29 May 2022||Worcester Pitchcroft 10K||Pitchcroft Racecourse, Worcester|
|03 Jun 2022||Grand Union Canal Ultra||Gas Street, Birmingham|
|29 Jun 2022||Fast and Furious 5K Series June||Sports Club, Stourport-on-Severn|
|02 Jul 2022||Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon||Railway Station, Wolverhampton|
|10 Jul 2022||Evesham Vale 10K||Crown Meadow, Evesham|
|29 Jul 2022||Fast & Furious 5K Series July||Kidderminster & Stourport AC, Stourport|
About the area
With the exception of its north-east corner which is part of the Birmingham conurbation, Worcestershire is largely rural with a geography dominated by the Malvern Hills - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which run from the south of the county into Herefordshire. The rest of the county consists of undulating hills and farmland stretching either side of the Severn valley.
The geography of the county is reflected in its general life. And its running scene where well-organised clubs provide a focus for local activity. See our profile of Malvern Joggers and check out our online club list to find out more. Great events like the Blakedown Bolt, the Vale of Evesham 10K, the exquisitely named Timberhonger 10K and many others showcase Worcestershire's rural charms.
The other pieces in the Worcestershire running jigsaw are the usual ones - two popular Saturday morning 5k parkruns at Worcester and Redditch; Race for Life events in those towns too; the Worcestershire AAA which, as well as track and field, supports a cross country championship event, a midweek 10k series plus a separate 10k and half marathon championship.
Opportunities for beginners are excellent but mostly come through the established clubs like Black Pear Joggers and Malvern Joggers - these names are indicative of an inclusive approach - rather than RunEngland which has yet to become active in Worcestershire. The exception to that is in Redditch and Bromsgrove where the local council has been hugely pro-active - read our group profile to see what we mean.
And the future? One interesting development is the arrival of 'big time' events with the launch in autumn 2014 of the Worcester City Run Bike Run (incorporating the Worcester City 10K). This event is being organised by Steve Cram's company and the former World record holder will bring a welcomed sprinkle of cosmopolitan glamour.
We are compiling a list of running groups, clubs, stores and facilities in Worcestershire. If you would like to add information to our listing please get in touch with us.
Running clubs in Worcestershire
At A Glance Malvern Joggers
We take a look at award-winning club Malvern Joggers, and their contribution to both Worcestershire running and their local community...
Running clubs in the 21st century come in all shapes and sizes and they are imaginative in their activities, taking inspiration from all sorts of sources to create vibrant, popular and varied groupings. And that is definitely the case with Malvern Joggers who break the mould, if such a thing exists any longer, in a number of ways.
Firstly, they are ‘summer gypsies’, leaving behind their winter base at MSJ Sports & Fitness Centre and literally ‘heading for the hills’. Wednesday nights sees an enthusiastic crew of joggers meet up at various locations in the nearby Malvern Hills. They have 3 or 4 set runs that start at different places allowing members to sometimes have a short journey to base point and sometimes a longer one. It also means that they take full advantage of the brilliant views available across scenic Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
The way that the summer runs are organised reflects the nature of the club. Club chair Carl Flint explains: “We go out in a number of small groups with paces ranging from walk/run to 8.5 minute miles and faster. Places for everyone across a very wide range. We pride ourselves in making everyone welcome and making sure that all our runners are looked after at a session.”
Carl continued: “We’ve grown as a club that is an important part of the local community. We were established in 2003 and for a couple of years we were quite a small group but then we put a notice in the local paper and almost overnight we were transformed into a medium-sized club with a growing reputation. In the way of things in a rural town we became the ‘go to’ place for people taking up running or wanting to get fit.
“Today we have around 200 members, are allocated four places for London Marathon and take a quiet satisfaction in being one of the county’s most active clubs. We organise the Malvern 10K which has developed into a top Worcestershire event and had 300 entries for the 2014 race. We get big contingents from Black Pear Joggers - they usually head back home with a few prizes, Tewkesbury AC and Almost Athletes.
“I’m pretty sure they come for the challenging, mostly off-road course, the splendid views south towards Gloucestershire and the sound organisation. However I’m told the free post-race curry - supplied by our valued supporters at the Vasai Restaurant - is a big attraction!”
“We’ve pegged entry for the Malvern 10K at £8 and our annual membership fee is very reasonable at £20 considering it also includes discounts at the Splash Leisure Complex, for various events and at the Vasai. We also have a well-established junior section which meets on Sunday mornings at the MSJ Centre.
“As at any club, we are hugely dependent on a hardcore of enthusiastic volunteers so a big ‘shout-out’ to Cathy Spence, Andy Dickinson and Andy Blanning who look after the juniors. Also to Neil Humpage, Steve Roode, social secretary Lynda Broadway and Mark Cooke.
“It’s the efforts of those guys and a number of others that mean Malvern Joggers provide a real service to the local community. A service that was recognised in 2012 when we were voted Club of the Year by Malvern Hills District Council.”
Not that it’s all ‘goody two shoes’ with the Joggers! We asked Chairman Carl about club trips but he was reticent mentioning a few low-key trips to Majorca, to Wales for Race the Train and a big group heading north to Crowle for the local 10K (one of the key events in the very healthy club championship). No mention of the bacchanalia at Liverpool in April!
Your correspondent has uncovered a “night of revelry in downtown Liverpool arriving home when the birds were singing and the sun was rising around 5.30am. We realised at this point that the planned park run wasn’t going to happen. After a few hours’ sleep we all got up around 10am to a full English breakfast.”
Fortunately the tourists dusted themselves off, slept soundly the night before and turned in some impressive performances at Liverpool Half Marathon. One member who probably resists the attractions of a ‘Full English’ is England international mountain runner Emma Gooderham and Emma and a handful of serious fell runners highlight another side of Malvern Joggers as a club with exceptional talent achieving rare feats.
Find out more about award-winning Malvern Joggers at their website
Running clubs in Worcestershire
- Black Pear Joggers
- Bromsgrove & Redditch AC
- Droitwich AC
- Evesham Vale Running Club
- Kidderminster & Stourport AC
- Kingfisher Harriers
- Malvern Buzzards
- Malvern Joggers
- Pershore Plum Plodders
- Redditch STARS
- Stourbridge RC
- Taylor Made Fitness (Worcester)
- Worcester AC
- Worcester Triathlon Club
Something missing? If you'd like to add something our list of clubs in Worcestershire then please get in touch with us here
Running groups In Worcestershire
Focus On Reddi Runners / Fartlek Flyers
Two groups in Redditch are part of a local running revolution that’s providing opportunities for people to get fit and stay active...
Ernie Heaton has seen the benefits that running can produce. At 37 his weight had ballooned to 19 stone and his level of fitness dropped to an all-time low. Gradually the ex-soldier from Redditch eased himself back to a healthier lifestyle via running - initially walk-jogging then building stamina and managing longer more sustained running. As he logged the miles, the pounds disappeared to bring him back to a trim 13 stone.
Then a couple of years later Ernie discovered parkrun and was soon a regular at the Arrow Valley event. Shortly after he joined with a small group of parkrunners, who were looking to improve their 5k times, for a ‘quality’ midweek session that included hill work, tempo runs and fartleks. The sessions gave the group its name - Fartlek Flyers.
Another parkrun chum, run director Hayley Gwilliam was impressed by Ernie’s input to Fartlek Flyers and suggested he do RunEngland’s Leadership in Running Fitness course with a view to working on one of Redditch Council’s Couch to 5K programmes. Ernie was quick to agree and, suitably qualified, turned up on the first morning of the nine week programme.
Ernie and Hayley hoped the first 2014 post-festive period programme would be busy but neither were prepared for the 133 running hopefuls who assembled at Arrow Valley Park. Needs must, and the pair with a handful of volunteers led their new recruits through their first steps. It was now that Ernie’s own personal experience was invaluable as he coaxed the group from the easy walk-jog sessions to more sustained periods of running.
Two months later dozens of Couch to 5K graduates reported how nine weeks of steady progress, lots of sweat and a few tears had transformed their lives and given them greater energy and confidence. They said it was great fun too and many wanted to keep going.
Fartlek Flyers’ Tuesday sessions were a possibility but Ernie felt that an intermediate option was needed. He told runabc.co.uk/midlands: “We decided that a Monday night group that would cater for runners who had reached the 5k threshold was the way to go, and so Reddi Runners was born."
“We took some of the principles from the Flyers - feature sessions that involved more than just a steady run - but applied them sensibly. It’s early days but they are a great bunch and getting a buzz from their further improvements. Some have stepped-up to the Flyers for more full-on sessions so there’s a genuine pathway from Couch to 5K to training for 10ks and, in some cases, further.”
Ernie cited the example of 20-something Julie Swain who had started at Couch to 5K and just kept moving up the grades - 10k, a couple of half marathons this year and ambitions to go further. But Ernie emphasised that there was as much satisfaction in the Couch to 5K graduate who completed the programme and continued as a parkrun regular enjoying a weekly exercise fix and the social side of the Saturday run.
The Redditch ‘running experiment’ is already proving a big success with initial ‘seed’ funding creating the momentum for an expanding beginners programme, a growing number of leaders, more local running groups and overall a culture of exercise and activity that is spreading across the town.
Running groups In Worcestershire
- Fartlek Flyers
- Reddi Runners
- Alvechurch Road Runners
If you run or are a part of a running group in Worcestershire and would like us to feature your group here, then please get in touch with us!
Running services in Worcestershire
If you are offering a service to runners - physiotherapy, sports massage, podiatry, personal training, nutrition advice etc please contact us and we’ll add you to this page.
Running retailers in Worcestershire
For a country with a population of half a million people, Worcestershire is limited in terms of specialist running retailers. But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality with RunStuff in Evesham and Runaround Sports in Worcester.
David and Louise Bugg are the proprietors of Birdseye Sports on Evesham’s High Street where the RunStuff brand is a major part of the operation. David and Louise acquired the RunStuff name in 2010 and have been working hard since then to build links with the local running community. And there they have an advantage, as a young family they are already part of the local sporting scene. Both David and Louise are runners with Louise a keen triathlete too.
Louise took time out recently to talk about their plans: “This is something of a lifestyle business and involves the whole family. We’re always busy at the High Street store where we stock a good range of shoes and clothing (runabc.co.uk/midlands noticed Asics, Brooks, Puma and Mizuno on the shelves) plus ancillary items like Soleus watches, 2XU compression clothing and SIS energy products. We pretty much cover all the bases there. However we love to get out and about whether that’s on RunStuff business at races we support like the Blackminster Half, Evesham 10K or Fladbury Festive 5; or at events we’re taking part in.
“We have three children - they provide instant feedback on the junior running products we stock - so we’re always to be found in the outdoors. Maybe that’s why we have a big soft spot for trail running - there are lots of great routes around the town including the Evesham battle trail and the Blossom trail and our friends at Cotswold Running organise some great events both near at hand - the Evesham Ultra, and further afield - the Broadway Marathon and Half and the Naunton Nearly 19. Naturally we keep a good stock of trail shoes - lots of Salomon models - and Helly Hansen apparel.
“Shoe fitting is one of our strengths whether for trail or road running and our excellent gait analysis service ensures customers leave the store with the right product. We are extending both our shoe and our clothing range on an ongoing basis, and we’ve worked hard over the last three years to build both trade and reputation despite a period of transformation in Evesham town centre. However as that settle downs and we await the arrival of Waitrose, the team here at RunStuff is looking forward to a bright future.”
We left Louise and David updating plans for a 3,000km challenge they are undertaking as a family - Will, Emma and Zoe are involved too - to bike, swim and run over 1,800 miles in a six month period to 31 December in aid of the Mary Jane Fund - see themaryjanefund.co.uk.
Just 15 miles west across the county, Ollie Davy is the man at the helm at Runaround Sports on a leafy street in historic Worcester. Ollie migrated north from Malvern a few years back so his connections extend throughout Worcestershire as does his reputation for first-class service. One online review said: “Called in for some advice … absolutely bowled over by the sound, quality advice and customer care. A really knowledgeable and enthusiastic manager; if you’re into running and need anything go here first! A far cry from a regular multichain sports shop! While another said: “I called in on the off chance when in Worcester to look at some running shoes and I was blown away by the professionalism of the staff. It was like going to a Saville Row tailors but for your feet!”
Ollie also hosts a very informative Runaround Sports Facebook page with lots of great advice for runners on avoiding injury, new products and local events.