There’S No Place Like Home For Adrian Chiles

Great Comeback 1

To join Adrian and enter the Great Birmingham 10K, visit here

The New York Marathon, the Great North Run and three London Marathons – Adrian Chiles boasts a cosmopolitan catalogue of running conquests.

Yet it is his old Birmingham stomping ground that remains one of the Quinton-born broadcaster's preferred places to exercise.

And Adrian is set to rekindle his love of running in Brum – after entering the Great Birmingham 10k.

Although a regular visitor to the Second City, which he is becoming increasingly proud of, it was a decade ago when Adrian last donned his trainers in Birmingham while co-presenting BBC magazine programme, The One Show.

“Birmingham is one of my favourite places to run,” said Adrian, who grew up in Hagley.

“The One Show moved to London in the end, but it was launched as a pilot series at The Mailbox.

“It lasted about six weeks and I did loads of running along the canals. My favourite route was heading from The Mailbox down towards the University, which is lovely.

“Although I try to do some exercise every day, it's been a while since I've done any proper running, so I need to get in training.

“When I was younger, I used to run and run and run – a bit like Forrest Gump! That wasn't good for the body, so I've been taking it a bit easier.” 

This is one challenge Adrian hopes he won't have to complete in fancy dress.

The 48-year-old joined a team of Scooby Doos representing Cure Leukaemia – the Birmingham-based blood cancer charity he is patron of – at Brindley Place's Dragonboat Race last May.

He also completed the 2005 London Marathon dressed as BaggieBird, the matchday mascot of his beloved West Bromwich Albion, in aid of Sunfield Children's Home, Clent.

It coincided with the Baggies completing their famous ‘Great Escape' from relegation, and Adrian says he would consider donning the outfit again if the team needs a lucky omen.

“If we're ever in serious danger, I'll ask the club for the BaggieBird outfit,” quipped Adrian, who presents 5 Live Daily on BBC Radio 5 Live on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“We've got 39 points after our win against Manchester United so I'm hoping that won't be necessary at the 10k – but I don't even want to think about it.

“West Ham once went down with 42 points and if we're not mathematically safe by May 1, my heart-rate will be ten per cent higher than normal.”

Adrian won't be short of Baggies running mates during the 10k, with former players Geoff Horsfield and Richard Sneekes both signing up.

“I'm going to tuck in behind those two and try to keep up,” he added.

“I don't want to see Geoff even break sweat, as I've always regarded him as indestructible.

“Richard had a great engine as a player but, being from Holland, it'll be interesting to see how he gets on going up the infamous hill, which I've heard is a bit of a challenge.”

Adrian is in better shape than expected after a traumatic experience while filming two-part BBC2 series ‘My Mediterranean', which focused on the three widespread religions that co-exist in the region.

“While we were in Istanbul, I watched a lamb called Karaman sacrificed for Eid,” said Adrian, who once cycled virtually non-stop from Newcastle United to the BBC's London Studios, via The Hawthorns, with former England striker Alan Shearer in aid of Sport Relief.

“I haven't been able to get Karaman out of my head and have stopped eating meat and animal products. Consequently, I've lost a bit of weight.”

Adrian may have been brought up in Hagley but he actually feels more like a Brummie.

“I could have turned towards Worcestershire or the Black Country, which are great places full of lovely folk, but I've always felt drawn to Birmingham,” he added.

“My dad was born in Handsworth and I feel more and more proud of the city each time I visit. Grand Central is the cherry on the cake.

“The people are so self-effacing and, in my opinion, more humble than anywhere else in the country.

“Other cities boast about being the best but Brummies never say that about themselves. I think the ‘Birmingham: It's Not S***' website sums up the down-to-earth Brummie attitude.”

To join Adrian and enter the Great Birmingham 10K, visit here