BIRMINGHAM will be rocking to the sound of the beat of more than 7,000 runners as the music-themed Great Birmingham 10K returns to the city.
The second staging of the 6.2-mile event will see runners take in the sights of Birmingham, starting on Jennens Road and finishing on Broad Street in the city centre.
Runners will be split into waves based on their musical preferences, with the Now wave playing current hits as the participants get under way, with 70s, 80s and 90s waves helping to create a unique atmosphere for runners – and walkers – of all abilities.
And the musical theme continues with UB40 honorary starters of the event, alongside Britain’s Got Talent star Connie Talbot, who will be performing before the start.
Several bands will perform along the route, which takes in the Bullring and Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
As the event grows in popularity, there will be a range of celebrities taking part. England cricket star Jonathan Trott will join Olympian Ian Stewart, while broadcaster Adrian Chiles is also running.
New for this year is the Ding Dong Derby, where the region’s football clubs will battle it out to be crowned the fastest club in the Midlands. Former footballers Geoff Horsfield, Richard Sneekes, Darren Moore, David Barnett, Ian Taylor and Michael Johnson will all be representing their old clubs in Birmingham on Sunday.
Former Apprentice contestant Gary Poulton will complete the 10K run wearing a mankini, while triathlete Jodie Stimpson will be taking part too.
Returning this year, the Birmingham European Capital of Running Team 10K Cup will be featured as part of the Great Birmingham 10K.
Teams from Birmingham, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Lyon will battle it out for the right to be crowned Europe’s best team.
Each team consists of three male and three female club runners, specially selected by their home countries, and will be recognisable by the national colours featured on their running numbers.
The event holds special significance for Birmingham and Frankfurt as it marks the 50th year of twinning between the English and German cities.
The results are based on the first men and first women from each team and an average team result for the remaining four runners from each team.
The event is organised by The Great Run Company, who also stage the Great Birmingham Run, a half-marathon, in October, and this week launched the Birmingham International Marathon, which will take place in the city in October 2017.
Interest in the marathon, which will form part of a three-event series in Great Britain, has been high, after 73% of Great Run participants said they would be interested in taking part in such an event. Thousands have registered for the reminder service which will alert participants when entries are open.
David Hart, director of communications, said: “We’re delighted to have more than 7,000 taking part in this event which is growing in popularity in the city.
“With the Great Birmingham Run also taking place here later in the year, and the new marathon event coming to the city next year, Birmingham is proving itself to be the centre for running in the UK.
“The musical theme has clearly captured the imagination and I am particularly impressed with the amount of celebrities who are taking the time to get involved with this event.
“It’s not every day that entrants will get a chance to run with former Olympians and professional sports personalities, and I’m sure everyone is going to have a great day.”
All finishers receive a technical t-shirt, medal, finishers’ pack and chip timing and this year’s event has a walking wave; perfect for first-time participants.
For more information, visit greatrun.org/Birmingham10k