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Worcestershire Midweek Series 2022

Thank you to Andy Wadsworth for providing this race report from the summer Worcestershire Midweek Series. Andy ran a blinder coming away with first in his age category! Congrats Andy!!


A series of 4 races of approximately 10km run at various locations across Worcestershire on a Wednesday evening during May, June, July and August.


The fixture list for 2022 was:

Wednesday 18th May – Hagley

Wednesday 8th June – Redditch

Wednesday 13th July – Droitwich

Wednesday 17th August – Clent


All of the above taken from the Worcestershire Athletic Association website, and of course individual events advertised via RunBritain. This is a league series, best three of four races score in a similar sense to the cross country league with league tables based upon age categories as well as overall results, so something for EVERYONE to aim for.

I had not previously entered any of these; the first item that struck me was the cost, which from recollection was £20, not though I hasten to add per races but for the series! Now for that you get a well organised but low tech race, mainly club runners, no chip timing, no T shirts, medals, or goody bags, although water is available at the end of the race, and changing facilities were available at least at the first two. Half seven start and with plenty of car parking on all races made them even easier to participate in.


Race 1 - Wednesday 18th May – Hagley

So to race 1, on a rather wet evening in Hagley, two laps, predominantly on trail paths, partially stony, sand in places, and a small piece on a quiet road. Those of you knowing the Stourbridge Stagger would recognise some of the route, challenging and undulating though without being unduly steep. Tactically not great running from me in this one, was joined here and in race 2 by Paul Webster and whilst I stayed within reasonable distance of him on lap 1, I suffered on lap 2 for my folly, being overtaken by many. Still three more events to go, and an opportunity to improve the following month.

Race 2 - Wednesday 8th June – Redditch

Race 2, at the Arrow Valley Park in Redditch, the longest event of the three at 12km. Once again two laps with a mixture of tail and grass paths underfoot with an occasional muddy patch. A few ups and downs on the course, some narrow sections but plenty of variety to keep each competitor fully focussed. Picture below from the event.


Andy Wadsworth competing in the Worcestershire Midweek Series 2022.
Andy Wadsworth competing in the Worcestershire Midweek Series 2022. Photo credit David Ball BnR_Photos

Race 3 - Wednesday 13th July – Droitwich

Race 3 Droitwich : a return to Churchfields Farm, venue for the occasional cross country league event, and an ex parkrun venue, both courses featuring significant hills. In contrast to the other events, this one stayed away from the grass and trails and was exclusively on the road. It was though described as a hilly course, so my expectations were set. This event had the largest number of entrants of the series, a single lap around rural roads, starting and finishing at Churchfields. In truth I did not find the hills particularly challenging or steep, however, the undulating nature did cause my pace to regularly alter.

Race 4 - Wednesday 17th August – Clent

So to August, peak holiday season and the final event, a new venue at Hagley Park, although very close to the steep hills of the ‘old’ course at Clent. Hagley Park had recently opened a visitor centre, so this race was an ideal opportunity to view many of the parks attractions, and being two laps a second view to fully appreciate it all. . These included a ruined castle, a Palladian bridge, a classical Rotunda, although sadly I was unable to spot the deer, probably they were covering the ground somewhat faster than myself. Everything considered, an incredible location for a race. The shortest of the series, around five miles, however in common as I understand with its predecessor at Clent, very little of the course was on flat land, some significant climbs to test out those quads!


Post race, there was a presentation event for the whole series at the nearby Halesowen Athletic Club, where I was very fortunate to come away with first prize in my age category and was presented with two bottles of wine and a voucher from Up & Running.


Some summary stats finishers at each race:

Hagley 143, Redditch 124, Droitwich 155, Hagley Park 89.


An enjoyable series of races, one I would hope to repeat in 2023, hopefully with some other Sparkhill runners.

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