University challenge will take on a whole new meaning this year after three of Birmingham's academic institutions signed up to get staff and students active at the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K.

The University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University and Aston University have all pledged to commit teams of hundreds of runners and walkers at the annual 10K, which takes place on Sunday, May 26; a Bank Holiday weekend.

The University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University will be hoping to build on their impressive teams taking part at last year's 10K, while Aston University is committing to the event in numbers for the first time.

The Aston University team has the support of Birmingham-based fitness clothing brand Gymshark, founded by Aston University alumnus and entrepreneur Ben Francis. Those taking on the 10K as part of the Aston University team will be given a Gymshark tee-shirt.

More than 10,000 people are expected to sign up for this year's 10K, making it the biggest Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K to date. The 10K is perfect for people thinking of taking on their first organised event, with its Walking Wave growing in popularity.

The 10K also features the Business Challenge, which sees companies compete for fastest-time trophies and bragging rights in the corporate community.

A University of Birmingham spokesperson said: “Whether you want to walk, jog or run the 10k, #TeamUoB welcomes everyone.

“As well as a free technical running tee-shirt in your discounted race fee, you'll get to be part of the largest university 10K team in the only university wave in the country, featuring walkers and runners of all ages and abilities.

“So whether you're staff, student or just have a connection with the University of Birmingham, join #TeamUoB for the 10k – this year, we are also raising money for life-changing cancer research on campus, including new ways to prevent and treat blood, brain and bowel cancer.”

Sue Smith, Aston University Head of Brand, Reputation and Events, said: “Team Aston is really excited to be running the Birmingham 10K this year, especially as we will be crossing the finishing line on the Aston University campus.

“We are lucky to be supported by our sponsors Allwag Merchandise, Aston Students' Union, Gymshark, Guarangutan and the Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre which means that our runners will receive a special goodie bag as an extra incentive to take part.

“We've had a great response from our staff, students and alumni so far and we're hoping to sign up even more members of the Aston University community to join us on 26 May.”

Mark Jeffreys, Birmingham City University Director of Sport and Physical Activity, said: “This is the second year that BCU have been involved with the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k, with 150 staff and students taking part last year.

“The Birmingham 10k presents a great opportunity to staff and students to represent the university whether they want to get fitter, set themselves a challenge or raise money for charity. We have a target of 250 this year, so encourage any member of the university to sign up and get involved in what is a great event.”

Visit www2.aston.ac.uk/teamaston to join Team Aston. Visit facebook.com/BCUSport to find out more about the Birmingham City University team, or visit sportandfitness.bham.ac.uk/great-birmingham-10k for the University of Birmingham.

For general entries to the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k click here