Worcester City Runs to go virtual due to COVID-19

Organisers of the Air Products Worcester City Runs have announced the cancellation of this year’s event, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following extensive discussions with Worcester City Council and sponsor Air Products, Events of the North has confirmed that the event, which was scheduled for 5-6 September, will not go ahead as planned. In its place, the Virtual Worcester City Runs will take place on the same weekend, raising money for the event’s charity partner, the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust. The full schedule of Worcester City Runs will return in 2021.

The Air Products Worcester City Runs were due to expand in 2020, with the addition of a new family event to the popular line-up of the Worcester City Half Marathon, 10K and Young Athletes Run. However, organisers, partners and sponsors have been monitoring the ongoing situation with regard to the COVID-19 restrictions and have concluded that safely delivering a mass participation in early September will not be possible, in light of the latest guidelines from the Government and Public Health England. They will now start planning for a full return in September 2021.

The Virtual Worcester City Runs will include the half marathon and 10K distances, but runners will also have the added opportunity to take part over 5K. Those who want to take part can register online at worcestercityruns.com/virtual-event and, with the help of a special app, record and submit their best time for a solo run at any time from 5-7th September 2020. All times that are submitted will be validated and results will appear online. Runners can tackle either or both distances – entry for each costs £12.50 and the price includes a bespoke Virtual Worcester City Runs medal and tote bag, with the option of adding a technical t-shirt or headband to the registration. There will be prizes for the top three runners in all three events, plus spot prizes. A proportion of every entry fee will be donated to the Worcester-based Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, the event’s official charity partner. 

Event founder Steve Cram comments: “We’re incredibly disappointed that we can’t go ahead with this year’s Worcester City Runs as planned, but we also know that we’ve made the right decision in the current circumstances. We intend to be back even bigger and better next year and will work closely with Worcester City Council and Air Products as we plan for that.

“Meanwhile, it will be great to see loads of people who were intending to take part this year join us for the Virtual Worcester City Runs. They will provide a great opportunity to ‘compete’ for anyone who was already preparing for a race, or wants a fitness goal to focus on over the summer. Most importantly, we can use the virtual event to raise much needed funds for our wonderful charity partner, the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust.”

The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Jo Hodges, said: “Starting the Worcester City Run has become a highlight of the year for every Mayor, so I am personally disappointed that this year’s event has been cancelled, and I’m also feeling very sorry for the thousands of city residents who were looking forward to pounding our streets again. 

“Under the circumstances this is, of course, the correct decision. And it’s fantastic news that the Virtual Worcester City Runs will be happening, helping to raise funds for a much-valued local charity, the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust.”

Dr Jen Kelly of the Grace Kelly Childhood cancer said,

“We are obviously disappointed that the Worcester City Run cannot take place in its normal format this year but it is the right decision as safety must come first. However we are so grateful to the organisers for setting up this fantastic virtual event and enabling the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust to play a part in it. We would love as many people as possible to sign up to enjoy this virtual event as we are grateful to be receiving a proportion of the entry fees. 

“We would also love to encourage people to set up a fundraising page for their challenge to see if you can raise some sponsorship as well. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in families needing our support, but at the same time so many of our fundraising events have had to be cancelled. The team at the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust are grateful to everyone that is able to help support us in any way.”

For the latest news about the Worcester City Runs, visit www.worcestercityrun.com, follow @worcesterrun on Twitter and @worcestercityrun on Instagram, or find the event on Facebook.