Birmingham’s half marathon, which took place on Sunday, saw a hugely successful turn out of 22,000, attracting competitors from all over the UK. Known as the ‘Great Birmingham Run, the event has been ongoing annually since 2008. England cricketer Ian Bell and Olympic gold star medalist Jodie Stimpson sounded horns to start the race.
The charity run takes into sight some of Birmingham’s most iconic sights, including the Bullring, the Cadbury’s Factory and Edgbaston cricket grounds. It is the biggest half-marathon in the West Midlands. Those who sign up chose to complete the race as a personal challenge or to raise money for vital charities.
Many students took part or went to watch the event. One third year medical student stated, ‘It was an extremely exciting event. There was a real sense of community with so many people running together. At some points it was quite emotional, seeing people run for their family and friends. It also made me really proud to live in Birmingham’.
The event saw a light-hearted side, with some runners chose to wear fancy dress- including costumes such as Batman, Kermit the Frog, Banana’s in pyjama’s, and the Powerpuff Girls. Bupa Great Birmingham Run tweeted, ‘we are still smiling with the memories from yesterday’. Deputy City Council leader, Ian Ward has even outlined an ambition to double the marathon in size, which would lead to rivalry of the Great North Run.
Kenyan Joel Kimutai finished first just after 11:15 BST with a time of 1:01:39.