Football Stars And Charity Fundraisers Lead The Way

Runners from across the Midlands braved the weekend downpours to take on the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run 2018 and raise hundreds of thousands for good causes.

Bustling Broad Street was the place to be as participants made their way to the new start-line for the Midlands’ biggest half marathon.

Setting off from the famous entertainment hotspot, participants were taken through the Georgian splendour of Edgbaston, Bournville, Cannon Hill Park and past the iconic Selfridges building, along a route lined by cheering spectators who turned out in force despite the wet weather.

Many will have been aiming to finish the 2018 running season with a personal-best time after route planners created a relatively flat course that saw the once infamous hill of Lee Bank Middleway moved to an incline near the start.

First across the line among the male participants was Birchfield Harrier Kadar Abdullahi who finished in 1:06:06, followed by fellow Birchfield Harrier Omer Ahmed in 1:06:14.

First among the elite women was Bournville Harrier Nicola Sykes, who finished in 1:19:57, followed by Birchfield Harrier Chloe Richardson in 1:21:58.

The half marathon will help raise thousands for local and national good causes as runners were taking part to raise funds for charities close to their heart.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity had hundreds of runners wearing its famous red-balloon branded vests to show their support for such a great cause.

The brother of a Birmingham doctor who was tragically killed while they cycled together in Edgbaston made an emotional return to the scene of the accident to take on the half marathon in support of the Children’s Hospital.

Drew Bull led group of family and friends at the event in memory of his younger sister Suzanna – almost a year to the day since she died.

He was cycling with 32-year-old Suzanna, who was on a six-month GP training placement at the Children’s Hospital, when her bike was in collision with a lorry at the junction of Pershore Road and Edgbaston Road last October.

Bambos Neophytou, Brand Director at Simplyhealth, comments: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run today. The driving rain didn’t stop the thousands of people running for so many worthwhile causes; and what’s just as admirable is the thousands of community supporters encouraging all the runners every step of the way.”

Among the famous faces at the Great Birmingham Run were ‘Blues Brothers’ Paul Devlin, Paul Tait and Paul Robinson.

Former Birmingham City players Paul Robinson, who retired in May, and Paul Tait were running, or walking, the half marathon with Paul Devlin to help ‘Devs’ raise £20,000 to fund lifesaving treatment for his 12-year-old daughter Annie, who suffers from Addison’s Disease, a rare disorder of the adrenal glands.

Since the trio announced they would be pulling on their running shoes, Annie’s fundraising page had been inundated with offers of support, with a staggering £10,000 donated to their target.

The Mayor for the West Midlands, Andy Street, was also among the participants at the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run. He was taking part on behalf of city charity Acorns, which supports children with life-limiting or life-threatening illness.

And the Birmingham office of banking giant Deutsche Bank was out in force at the half marathon; sporting the colourful tee-shirts of its chosen charity, Cure Leukaemia.

Deutsche Bank were taking part in the annual Business Challenge, which invites office teams to compete for fastest-time trophies and those all-important bragging rights among colleagues or corporate competitors.