Birmingham’s summer of sport kicked off in spectacular style as thousands of runners and charity fundraisers took part in the Great Birmingham Run 2022.
With music playing and a carnival atmosphere in Birmingham city centre, the Bank Holiday Weekend celebration of running was also the first time both the 10K and half marathon distances had been held on the same day.
Runners were welcomed to the start-line with live music at the Heart FM DJ truck, and an inspirational set-list from DJs Gemma Hill and Ed James to help motivate them for the challenge ahead.
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Muhammad Afzal, and Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, set off each wave with air horns and high-fives.
Both the 10K and half marathon started on Jennens Road in Birmingham city centre before heading south into the suburbs of Bournville, Edgbaston, Selly Oak and Stirchley where cheering friends and family waved on the thousands of participants.
Beautiful Cannon Hill Park was another route highlight before runners returned to the city centre, past iconic St Martin’s and Selfridges and a grandstand finish on Jennens Road.
A pirate, Mr Potato Head, Spiderman, Batman and Father Christmas were among the fancy dress runners adding colour to the run route, while live music and cheer points including the brand new Run Thru Carnival and People’s Playlist zones added to the party vibes.
Hundreds of Birmingham children took part in the Junior and Mini runs, which also took place along Jennens Road, with many taking part in their first ever event, and all earning a medal for their efforts.
All finishers enjoyed a new-look Event Village at the Aston University campus with live music and food & drink available for runners in the Apres Run zone, as the celebrated their achievement.
More than £10 million has been raised for good causes at the Great Birmingham Run since 2017 and charities will once again benefit from the efforts of the thousands running for good causes this year. Three charity cheering buses were on the course – with wonderful supporters representing Cancer Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Birmingham Children’s Hospital – to thank the runners for their fundraising exploits and keep their spirits up and legs pumping.
All finishers of both distances received a stylish, new-look t-shirt – inspired by The Birmingham Colour Palette – a goodie bag and a very popular finisher’s medal to show off to friends, family and social media followers.
First male finisher in the 10K distance was Hercules Wimbledon AC runner Jonathan Cornish with a time of 30:14, with Reading AC’s Jessica Gibbon the first female across the finish line in 34:33.
First male in the half marathon was Swansea Harriers AC runner Dewi Griffiths in 01:05:10. First female in the half marathon was Tamworth AC’s Abigail Halcarz in 01:20:01.
Paul Foster, Chief Executive of the Great Run Company, said: “It’s been an incredible event in Birmingham today, running together again for the first time in two and a half years.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came out, supported, volunteered and of course, to those who ran, for making it so memorable.
“It was great to see so many people taking on their individual challenges in the Junior and Mini, 10K and half marathon events, with a huge number of them raising much needed funds for charities.
“If you enjoyed today, be part of the action in 2023 and sign up to our Reminder Service to be the first to hear when entries open.”