All set for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run

By on 22/10/2011 in News

The first Bupa Great Birmingham run is taking place tomorrow (23 October) in Birmingham City Centre.

15,000 runners will join an international field of elite athletes including the world's greatest distance runner, Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie.

Gebrselassie will compete alongside Commonwealth Games gold medallist John Kelai of Kenya amongst others.

Runners from across the UK will take on the challenge of the region's biggest half marathon with a significant amount of money expected to be raised for good causes throughout the Midlands.

The event, which reached its entry limit last month, will be televised live on Channel 5 from 09:45. It will also be shown to spectators on the big screen in Victoria Square, where they will also find the event charity village and retail outlets from partners Asics and Cadbury.

The Bupa Great Birmingham Run, formerly the Birmingham Half Marathon is organised by Nova International, the team behind the Bupa Great North Run, the world's biggest half marathon with 54,000 participants. The course will feature a modified start and finish area in the city centre, with runners being set off in a series of waves from 10:00.

Former Olympic medallist and Chairman of Nova, Brendan Foster said: “We are delighted to be staging the Bupa Great Birmingham Run. The city has all the ingredients for hosting a major international running event. The City Council has laid the foundations with the Birmingham Half Marathon in recent years and we hope, with their support, that we can take it to the next level.”

“To bring the greatest runner of all time, Haile Gebrselassie, to England's second city for the first staging of the Bupa Great Birmingham Run will be fantastic.”

The course takes in many famous Birmingham landmarks including Centenary Square, the world renowned Edgbaston cricket ground and Bourneville, the home of Cadbury. Runners will be entertained by a number of bands on the run with a local flavour including a gospel choir, drummers and a samba band throughout the day.

A number of recognisable faces will also be taking part including former England footballer Geoff Thomas, opera singer Sean Ruane as well as television stars from BBC1's Doctors and Channel 4's Shameless.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney said: “Sunday is the culmination of months of hard work for thousands of runners and I’m sure people from across Birmingham will be out in force to support everyone taking part in the run.

“This event continues to go from strength to strength and let’s not forget that Sunday’s runners will raise thousands for a wide range of charities.”

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