Paula Radcliffe made a successful return to competitive racing on Sunday (21 September) by taking third place at the Worcester City 10K. The inaugural event, organised by Steve Cram, attracted a field of over 1300 runners and saw Reuben Chumba and Jenny Nesbitt take top positions in their respective fields.
Radcliffe, who hadn’t raced since taking part in the Vienna Half Marathon two years ago, finished in an impressive 35:48. The marathon record holder, whose seven-year-old daughter Isla participated in the Young Athletes Run, said: “It feels amazing to have returned to competing again and it was a joy to run, thanks to all the people who supported us, it was great to see.”
The 40-year-old, who is planning to end her career at next year’s Virgin London Marathon, added: “But today wasn’t about me, it was about the people of the city coming together and challenging themselves for a variety or reasons, and I’m delighted myself and my family could be part of what has been a great event.”
Worcester athlete Jenny Nesbitt, 19, secured top place in the women’s competition with a time of 34:21, with Nicola Sykes (35:38) and Radcliffe following behind. In the men’s field, Reuben Chumba (30:37) won in a close contest with Adrian Holliday (30:44), with Tommy Davies taking third (31:53).
Organiser Steve Cram commented: “We were confident that the people of Worcester would make this an event to remember and they delivered. The enthusiasm for the event from spectators and competitors alike was infectious and helped produce a fantastic day for everyone involved.
“We wanted to stage races in Worcester as part of our ambitions to get people active, and that coupled with the picturesque nature of the city made it a perfect venue, and that’s exactly what people said to me throughout the day – that it was the perfect venue to race across.”