If you're not running this weekend and plan on catching some of the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run and Birmingham International Marathon events, here's your essential guide to Birmingham's biggest weekend of running....ever!
The fantastic Simplyhealth Mini and Junior Great Birmingham Run events take place in a new location on Saturday to kick-start the city’s biggest ever weekend of running. Starting and finishing at Alexander Stadium, where the Birmingham International Marathon will start a day later, there are 1.5k and 2.5k distances available for 3-8 and 9-16 year olds respectively.
All finishers will receive a goody-filled pack, a medal and a bottle of water as soon as they cross the finish line on the running track. Spectators can cheer their loved ones on at close quarters as they will be allowed trackside on the day. There’s still time to be a part of the Saturday events, but hurry – entries close on Friday at 5pm.
WAVE THEM OFF
Around 9,000 runners will be starting their Birmingham International Marathon journey from Alexander Stadium in Perry Park on Sunday – and they don’t have to go it alone as friends and family can join them in the stadium to see the start of the brand new marathon. Parking is available at Perry Park for £5, and the site opens at 6am.
There will be a fleet of buses in operation on event day taking runners from the city centre to Alexander Stadium, which should have been booked in advance. Both runners and spectators can catch a lift from these buses back to the stadium after the event from Priory Queensway, operating on rotation. These services are free.
The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run starts and finishes on Jennens Road this year, so will be bustling with runners. Spectators are encouraged to come along and sample some of the event atmosphere. You will not only see the half marathon start and finish here, but if you get there in time the marathon finishers will be crossing the line at the same point. And, if you feel inspired to run next year, then go for it!
There are plenty of places to watch the events unfold but do plan in advance as there are road closures in operation on the day. Bristol Road is a useful access point for spectators to see runners go by.
Cannon Hill Park is an area of the city where you will see both marathon and half marathon runners throughout the day as both courses go past here - all 22,000 runners will pass here so a great spot for spectating!
The Edgbaston area, along Pershore Road, is a fine spot to watch runners go by as they take on their marathon and half marathon journeys.
Parking is available in Birmingham city centre – make sure you are fully up to speed with the road closures ahead of the event.
WE’LL MEET AGAIN
There will be alphabetical meeting points in the finish village in Aston University so you can reunite with runners once they have finished - there's also food and drink while you wait!
TRACK YOUR RUNNERS
The Great Run app is perfect for tracking your friends and family on their run – visit the Google Play Store and the App Store and search for Great Run. Make use of the free wifi available to all runners and spectators at the finish area!