IT IS almost upon us – more than 7,000 runners are going to be pounding the streets of Birmingham for the Great Birmingham 10K.
The event, on Sunday, will see the city centre transformed into a festival of running, with the streets rocking to the sound of music.
From start to finish, those taking part in the 6.2-mile event will be treated to music, from reggae legends UB40 starting the event, with Britain’s Got Talent star Connie Talbot serenading runners and spectators – to bands on every kilometre of the run, including Free Radio playing out the tunes to keep runners motivated.
We take a look at some of the musical treats runners are in for on Sunday here.
CONNIE’S GOT TALENT
She was the six-year-old who wowed the nation when she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.
Now 15, Connie Talbot is set to inspire the runners as they prepare to get under way on Jennens Road.
Connie, from Streetly, who has achieved international fame since her stint on BGT in 2007 is joining Brummie music legends UB40 at the start.
Her version of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep was viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube, and she recently released her fifth album.
AZAAD DHOL DRUMS
Children from charity Services for Education will be playing along the route of the Great Birmingham 10K – after UB40 have fired the staring pistol.
The group aged from 11, known as the Azaad Dhol Group which has been running for 18 years, regularly play across the city and is part of the charity’s Music Service.
A band playing steel pans from the organisation will also accompany the runners.
Harjit Singh, who has been with the charity for more than 20 years, leads its world music and percussion programme, said: “We’ll have four different bands out on the 10k: Two steel pans and two performing the Dhol at different spots along the route.
“It will be noisy! You cannot miss the sound as you run past.”
Known for their multi-million selling hits Red Red Wine, Kingston Town, Higher Ground and Baby Come Back, UB40 return to their home city to get the Great Birmingham 10K started on Sunday.
Earl Falconer, Jimmy Brown, Norman Hassan, Brian Travers and brothers Duncan and Robin Campbell will all be on Jennens Road as more than 7,000 runners prepare to start their 10K run.
Robin, who recently returned from touring Australia and New Zealand, said: “This is a great event to be part of and it is inspiring to see so many people taking part raising money for charity.
“It’s such an important event as many of the runners will be raising money for great causes, like cancer charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, a cause dear to our hearts after our dad passed away a few years ago.
"One of my close friends is suffering at the moment and I have just lost another dear friend.
“Sadly, neither of us can run it as our knees are shot! But we’ll be there at the start and finish, cheering everyone on.
Duncan added: “I’ve actually been involved in the run every year – but only because it comes past my house!"
THE BIRMINGHAM COMMUNITY GOSPEL CHOIR
The Birmingham Community Gospel Choir will be in attendance on the MacDonald Street junction with Barford Street.
They won Gospel Choir of the Year in 2015, ten years after they were formed.
The choir brings together singers of all ages and backgrounds from across the city, and have made appearances on Ed Doolan’s and Jeremy Vine’s radio shows, supported Fair Trade, Global Warming and Vivienne Westwood charities and also worked with Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital. The choir have performed regularly at Birmingham Arts Fest and many other prestigious events.
UB40 won’t be the only reggae act in town on Sunday. Midlands-based White Rabbit will also be at the Great Birmingham 10K, playing their wide array of covers on Pershore Road.
The band, who play rock and pop hits from across the decades, will keep the crowds running with their energetic brand of performance.