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There will be 11,000 people pounding the streets of Birmingham in their trainers, vests, shorts and an array of fancy dress costumes for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run 2019.

The Midlands’ biggest half marathon – and the second biggest in the UK – is back.

And we will be following all the action from start to finish. Good luck to everyone taking part!

Here’s a look back at how it went last year – can you spot yourself among the 2018 runners?

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This year’s event has a different route including a new starting point in New Street, where it will set off in waves from 10.30am.

Like previous years Bournville and Cannon Hill Park feature in the 13.1 mile course, which will also take in the world’s biggest Primark store for the first time.

The half marathon will finish on Jennens Road and Aston University campus – watched by thousands of spectactors.

First men and women to cross the finish line

The first three men to cross the finish line at the Great Birmingham Run 2019

Here are the first male finishers; Omar Ahmed (1st), Douglas Musson (left – 2nd) and William Mycroft, 3rd.

William said:

I’ve not done the Birmingham run before.

It’s a shame that is short distance but I’d rather not be running through two feet of water.

Hayley Carruthers, the first female to cross the finish line at the Great Birmingham Run 2019

And Hayley Carruthers – the first woman across the finishing line.

First runner crosses finish line

Omar Ahmed crosses finish line

Omar Ahmed is the first runner to cross the finish line.

He said:

It’s only my second time doing this event and i’m really happy.

Very disappointed it’s not a half marathon though.

Still an incredible achievement!

And they’re off!

BREAKING – Route shortened over flooding

‘Boos’ have rung out amongst participants after announcers revealed part of this year’s route has been axed due to flooding.

Our reporter Sanjeeta, who is live at the event said:

The route has been shortened due to flooding at Cannon Hill Park.

There was some boos as the announcement came.

It’s now 12.1 miles instead of 13.1 – so not a half-marathon.

A section of the park has been cut from the route due to it being flooded.


Road closures

The 13.1 mile event starts in waves from New Street and will finish on Jennens Road and Aston University campus.

Residents and business owners have been warned of “necessary traffic management arrangements which will ensure the event takes place in a safe environment.”

This means a number of road closures will be in force along the route today.

Here’s a full list of the roads affected.

Times are approximate and the road closures will not affect the access of emergency vehicles.

Reopening of roads will be done in a structured manner following the last runners in the event. Event infrastructure will be removed and roads cleaned ahead of reopening.

The organisers said: “We understand that the road closures will cause some inconvenience. Please plan journeys in advance and allow for additional time as the road network will be busy.

“Where possible, it would be appreciated if cars can be parked on driveways or on side streets. We will have an uplift system in place on event day to relocate vehicles left on the route. Vehicles removed could be subject to a penalty charge notice so please remove vehicles before closures come into effect.”

“This is my way to say thank you”

Andrew Day

Andrew Day, from Dudley, is running to raise money for Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

He said:

My mom is terminally ill and had a liver transport at the hospital.

Her body rejected the liver and she only had Christmas to live.

The staff have been brilliant.

This is my way to say thank you and hopefully help other people by supporting them and their families through terminal illness.

Potential world record breakers

Mother and son Clare Bovill and son Jonathan Scott

Knowle mum Clare Bovill and son Jonathan Scott are bidding to become world-record holders at the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run.

Clare, 53, a singing teacher at Solihull School, and former Arden Academy School pupil Jonathan, 27, are aiming to set the ‘fastest half marathon run by parent and child (mixed)’.

They will achieve a Guinness World Record Book slot if their combined times, when crossing the Jennens Road finish line, is less than four hours.

Good luck!

“It’s going to be interesting in the rain”

Runners Jemma Valentine (left) and Sophie Radcliffe

Jemma said:

It’s my first time taking part in the Birmingham half marathon.

I’m from Edinburgh, Sophie is from London.

Sophie mentored me as part of Special K Powering You campaign.

I think it will be interesting to do it in the rain.

It sounds like a really pretty route – looking forward to seeing the Birmingham sights along the way!

A look back at last year

As today’s runners ready themselves for the half marathon, lets take a look back over last year’s event.


11,000 runners to take part

What a brave bunch!

For all you need to know about the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run – including road closures, bus diversions, where to leave bags and where to meet up again with family and friends, read our guide on the event here.

What can we expect at Great Birmingham Run 2019?

Next year?

We’ve spotted something exciting in our media pack for the run today!

Look out for an announcement about next years Great Bham 10K – it looks like there might be a new course…

Also, anyone who signs up before 10am on Friday, October 18 can take advantage of 20% early bird discount on entry fee for next year’s events.

May should be better weather, runners!

“The atmosphere is always amazing”

Runner Sarahleigh Richardson is fuelling up in Tim Hortons ahead of the event.

Great Birmingham Run 2019 participant Sarahleigh Richardson

She said:

This is my third one.

I’m doing it in honour of my brother Richard who died of diabetes aged 21 in 2006.

This is why I’m an idiot for doing it in this weather!

I always says I won’t do it but it’s always good fun.

The atmosphere along the route is always amazing!

Put off by the rain?

Here’s one man not put off by today’s torrential downpours…

Great Birmingham Run 2019 participant Stuart Murphy

Stuart Murphy, 38, got the train from London especially for the occasion.

He said:

I usually do full marathons but had an injury.

Never been to Birmingham before.

I am looking forward to today, despite the weather.

Workers prepare the route

It looks set to be an incredibly wet day for this year’s participants.

Workers are putting the finishing touches to the course, which snakes 13 miles throughout our city.

Runners are expected to begin gathering at 9am.

Good luck everyone!

Acorns Children’s Hospice team gears up for Great Birmingham Run

Emma Aspinall, Acorns Director of Care (pictured left) (Image: Acorn Children’s Hospice)

Team Acorns is gearing up for this weekend’s Great Birmingham Run.

Acorns Children’s Hospice has a large number of champion fundraisers and representatives taking part.

Among them will be:

Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor and Acorns Black Country Appeal Patron;

Toby Porter, Acorns Chief Executive (pictured bottom);

James Wright, who ran 31 marathons in 31 days for Acorns in August, will be dressed as Acorns Children’s Hospice mascot Alex the Acorn (Image: Acorns Children’s Hospice)

James Wright, who ran 31 marathons in 31 days for Acorns in August. He’ll be dressed as mascot Alex the Acorn (pictured above);

Acorns Ambassador Luke Corbet, who took part last year and even got a commemorative tattoo;

Emma Aspinall, Acorns Director of Care (pictured top, on left);

Carmel Caldicott, Deputy Head Nurse at Acorns in the Black Country;

Bereaved dad Tony Clarke

Toby Porter, chief executive of Acorns Children’s Hospice (Image: Acorns Children’s Hospice)

Toby Porter, Acorns Chief Executive, said: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s Great Birmingham Run. The atmosphere at these events is always spectacular and really helps spur you on when the going gets tough – something I know I’m definitely going to need during the last few miles!

“We’ve got lots of fabulous runners taking part for Team Acorns this year, including West Midlands Mayor and Black Country Appeal Patron Andy Street and many more champion fundraisers.

“I’m proud to be among such good company. Thank you all for your support – your tireless efforts enable us to continue our work caring for children and families. I wish everyone a wonderful run.”


Runners and spectators guide to Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run 2019

Running along Jennens Road at the half marathon in 2017 (Image: Jonathan Hipkiss)

Sunday, October 13, sees the return of the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run, the biggest half marathon in the Midlands and the second biggest in the UK.

The route, with a new start, showcases the best of the city centre plus popular spectator spots in Bournville and Cannon Hill Park.

Starting on New Street, thousands of runners will pass the famous Rotunda, the world’s biggest Primark on High Street, Selfridges and St Martin’s Church before going along Pershore Road and into south Birmingham.

The run will begin its return to the city centre when it reaches the six-mile mark in Bournville, a favourite place for spectators to cheer on family and friends. It will finish on Jennens Road and Aston University campus.

Runners and spectators should be sure to check out our complete guide to this year’s event including a map, all the start times, where to leave bags, where the toilets are located and much more.

And we wish everyone taking part the very best of luck – hope you get that personal best time you are looking for as well as raising lots of cash for your chosen charities.