MIDLANDS runners inspired by the amazing sight of thousands of people on the start line at this year’s London Marathon are being urged to consider the first ever Birmingham International Marathon in October.
With less than six months to go until the inaugural event, organisers have revealed the number of people signed up to take part has now surged past 7,000 and places are selling fast. Birmingham is on target to become one of the UK’s top six marathons.
The Birmingham International Marathon takes place on Sunday, October 15 – the same day as the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half marathon, which means more than 25,000 people could be running in Birmingham that day.
And to make the Great Birmingham Run weekend a true family festival of running, entries are now open for the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Birmingham Runs, taking place at Alexander Stadium, the home of UK Athletics, on Saturday, October 14.
The Mini Run is open to children of all abilities aged three to eight and the Junior Run is open to 9-15 year-olds.
Birmingham is widely regarded as the birthplace of mass participation long-distance running events and the Birmingham International Marathon will cement the city’s position as the European Capital of Running.
Birmingham staged one of the country’s first open-to-all marathons, the People’s Marathon, which ran from 1980-85 and was organised by late Solihull-based elite runner John Walker.
Starting at Alexander Stadium, the marathon will take in iconic city sights like Villa Park, Selfridges, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and picturesque Cannon Hill Park before finishing at Millennium Point in front of thousands of cheering spectators.
One of the world’s leading multi-marathon athletes is still on track to break a running record when he takes on the Birmingham International Marathon later this year.
Coventry-born Steve Edwards is aiming to break the world record for running 800 official marathon races in the fastest average finish time at the first-ever Birmingham International Marathon.
Conversely, Aston mum Shah Begum is planning to tackle her first marathon in Birmingham.
Since taking up running just two years ago, she shed six stone and now inspires other running first-timers through inspirational social media messages.
The Birmingham International Marathon will also feature on the schedule of extraordinary fundraiser ‘Blind’ Dave Heeley.
The endurance athlete is marking his 60th year by taking on the Great Run series’ entire 2017 events calendar, in aid of the Albion Foundation, which it is understood will be a world first for a blind pairing.
Sign up for the Birmingham International Marathon at https://www.greatrun.org/birmingham-international-marathon
Entries are now open for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run 2017. Sign up at https://www.greatrun.org/great-birmingham-run
Sign up for the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Birmingham Runs at http://www.greatrun.org/great-birmingham-run/juniorandminibirmingham