Birmingham's biggest ever weekend of running is soon upon us, with 22,000 runners expected in the city centre for the Birmingham International Marathon and the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run this weekend. Here's your essential guide to get through event day fuss-free.

Do Your Homework

‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ should be a mantra for any runner taking part in an event. Detailed road closure, parking and travel advice is all available across your event magazine and on the event page. Make sure you have your plans nailed down so all you have to worry about on the day is the small matter of completing a marathon or a half marathon. No sweat.

Shuttle Runs

The brand-new Birmingham International Marathon starts at the home of UK Athletics in Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, and organisers The Great Run Company are laying on shuttle buses for runners to get to the start line from the city centre. Tickets are £3 per person, for participants only. Click here for the details – you can book your place until Wednesday at 10am.

New Gear

Our official retail partners Pro:Direct are offering Great Run Finishers hoodies at the event village on Sunday.

These unisex hoodies are available in navy or sky blue and can be personalised with the event, date and your finishing time. Hit the link now to find out more and to pre-order your hoody here

What To Do With My Stuff

Bring as little as possible! But we do have baggage buses for both the marathon and half marathon. For the Birmingham International Marathon the baggage buses are based outside Alexander Stadium and will then relocate to Woodcock Street/Aston Street at the finish for baggage collection. Baggage can be dropped off from 7.30am.

The buses for the Great Birmingham Run open at noon, located on Aston Street and do not move from this area.

Baggage buses will be clearly marked for the marathon and the half marathon.

No pack? No problem

If your event pack has not arrived yet, fear not – the Great Run customer service team can help you. Visit the customer service point at the finishers’ village at Aston University from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and from 10.30am on Sunday.

There is an additional information marquee outside Alexander Stadium on Sunday, open from 6am.

Stay Hydrated

Aqua Para bottled water will be available at the start and finish of your event. On the Birmingham International Marathon course there will be a further eight drinks stations at miles 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22 and 25.

There will also be GU Energy Gels at miles 13 and 22. GU Energy Gel gives you a tasty boost of energy just when you need it but if you have never used this product before it is recommended that you try it during training.

On the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run course, Aqua Pura bottled water will be available at miles 3, 6, 9 and 11.

Sweet Treats

Jelly babies are scientifically proven to improve runners’ performances over distance. We may have made that bit up. But they are tasty and available to participants of both the marathon and the half marathon. If you’re taking on the 13.1mile distance a supply of the delicious sweets is at mile 4. Marathon runners will get their sugar fix at mile 17.

Get the App

Download the Great Run app from iTunes or Google Play. It’s great for tracking runners, handy maps and as a guide for spectators.

Free Wi-Fi

There will be free wifi available to all runners and spectators on event day at the finish area. Simply locate ‘Great Run Free Wifi’ on mobile devices and enter your email address.

Meeting up

The family reunion area is within the charity village at Aston University. Follow the signs and meet up under the A-Z banner that matches the first letter of the runner’s surname. If you choose to meet up elsewhere, make sure you plan this in advance of event day so everyone in your party is aware.