BBC Newsbeat Ben to tackle next month’s AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run

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A key member of the BBC’s Newsbeat and Asian Network News will be among the thousands taking to the streets for the AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run on Sunday, 7 May.

Ben Mundy is Deputy Editor of Newsbeat and Asian Network News. He’s been working with the team for more than a decade – having been the senior presenter.

He also presents on the BBC News Channel – and can be heard, most Saturdays, on BBC One’s Final Score. Ben won back-to-back Golds at the Audio Production Awards in 2017 and 2018. And, in 2021 his work on mental health and Newsbeat’s 100 Days of Lockdown was acknowledged when the department won Gold at the ARIAs for Best News Coverage.

The AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run will be a celebration of the city with a new and improved route that starts on Broad Street at Centenary Square.

Runners for both the 10k and half marathon distances will head for the city’s world-famous Jewellery Quarter, passing the Chamberlain Clock at Warstone Lane and Vyse Street, beautiful St Paul’s Square and a city-centre route that features the Mailbox, Grand Central at New Street station, St Martin’s Church, Southside and Digbeth.

Half-marathon participants will follow the same iconic landmarks before heading out of the city centre along Pershore Road, reaching Selly Park at eight miles and a return route that takes in glorious Cannon Hill Park and Edgbaston Stadium.

Both distances enjoy a grandstand finish at the Smithfield site near Bullring; home to Commonwealth Games beach volleyball and basketball.

And if you need some family inspiration to get your whole team active this year, the AJ Bell Junior & Mini Great Birmingham Run is a brilliant introduction to running events for kids.

Ben is looking forward to tackling the Great Birmingham Run and its new route, having recently moved to Birmingham for his work at BBC’s Newsbeat. He describes the event as ‘the perfect way of exploring this fantastic city’.

“Having broadcast the news on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network over the pandemic – running became a must for me, an escapism – and a great way to clear my head,” says Ben.

“Just like our young listeners here – I fully appreciate how important that is. Our mental health is just as key as our physical health and running helps with both of those for me.

“And do me a favour… give me a big whoop, if you see me out on the course. I’ll be wearing the purple vest of Pancreatic Cancer UK – and running every step for my grandad Ted.

“The charity is dear to my heart – working tirelessly to battle a cancer that has the lowest survival of all common cancers. A stat Ted’s family know all too well.”

Free-to-download training plans aimed at all abilities for both 10k and half marathons are available online and there’s also a Business Challenge for work colleagues or like-minded mates. Sign up for The AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run by visiting here.