Birmingham was alive with the sound of music and the pounding of thousands of feet along a city centre 10K route on Sunday (1 May). This ‘loud and proud’ race proved to be popular with the famous and not-so-famous from all walks of life.
With more than 7,000 runners taking part, the Great Birmingham 10K was a number one hit for organisers Great Run who are also staging the Half Marathon in October this year. An international marathon will follow in 2017, completing a Birmingham triumvirate of top running events. This will help establish Britain’s second city as the European Capital of Running.
The entry list for Sunday's race read like a who’s who with celebrities from the worlds of television, radio, music and sport toeing the line. Notable examples included former Birmingham City FC stars Geoff Horsfield and Michael Johnson; Warwickshire and England cricketer Jonathan Trott; Birmingham-born TV and radio host Adrian Chiles and local and international athletics legend Ian Stewart. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Raymond Hassall was amongst the masses of runners, raising money for his designated charities along with Great Run regular and keen fundraiser ‘Blind’ Dave Heeley.
Musical motivation was on the playlist with each of the waves warming up to tunes from different decades before being set off. Live music from top acts including UB40 and Britain’s Got Talent Connie Talbot helped runners on their way with plenty of support and encouragement from crowds along the route.
The UK’s Jack Gray of BRAT/Birmingham University won the 10K in 31:45 followed by Aaron Bienenfeld (Germany) in 32:12 with Sascha Strotzel (Germany) taking third place in 32:20. The first female finisher was GB international mountain runner Emma Clayton in 34:27 followed by GB elite triathlete Jodie Stimpson in 35:17 with Leonie Balter, third in 37:09. This resulted in Team Birmingham winning the Birmingham European Capital of Running 10K trophy.
Entries are now open for the 2017 event. For more information, visit the Great Birmingham 10K
Photo courtesy of Jack Tyrrell, Great Run