Former Olympian and current world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe MBE came to the Midlands to meet a group of inspirational women runners who are currently training for the Morrisons Great Birmingham 10k.
Paula was in Birmingham to meet the Saheli Women's Group, who took part in last year's Great Birmingham Run, and who are currently training for the first ever Morrisons Great Birmingham 10k, which takes place on Sunday 3rd May.
Paula said: “Birmingham has a great tradition of athletics and it's fantastic to see a rise in the number of local people taking up running. The Morrisons Great Birmingham Run is going from strength to strength and the introduction of the new Morrisons Great Birmingham 10k shows there is a growing appetite for the sport in Birmingham and across the Midlands.
“A 10k run is a great first challenge to set yourself if you want to get into running.”
The 17 members of the Saheli Women's Group come from a range of cultural backgrounds, as well as having a range of health conditions. Before training for last year's Birmingham half marathon, none of them had ever run before.
The group includes a mother and daughter, and women with physical issues such as a very high BMI (Body Mass Index), high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease and diabetes.
Shebina Gill, Saheli hub manager, said: “Paula's visit has given some real direction to our training and made sure we're focused on the 10k.
“The group all remarked how humble and inspiring Paula was, and how much time she spent with us, which was lovely.”
New to the 2015 Great Run series, the Great Birmingham 10k will give runners a choice of musical starting waves to choose from.
With music from the 70s, 80s, 90s and the 00s, the event promises to bring a party to the streets of Birmingham.
Sign up for both the Morrisons Great Birmingham 10k and the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run in October to receive a £10 discount.
To enter, go to www.greatrun.org/great-birmingham-10k