If your training for the AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run is well underway but you’re tired of the same old routes, we’re here to help. Whether you’re into urban flavour or prefer green spaces, we’ve teamed up with our on-the-ground running team, Run of a Kind to bring you three levels of tried and tested Brummie runs.
Clock easy steps whilst distracted admiring the street art line streets within Digbeth. Find some of the best murals along Lower Trinity Street, Floodgate Street, Little Ann Street, New Canal Street and The Custard Factory.
Start with a trip to Millennium Point and prepare for some impressive urban views whilst within one of Birmingham City Centre’s greenest spaces. Head past ThinkTank, Millennium Point and head through Eastside Gardens. Make it as steady or as nippy as you like, and repeat as many of these 0.6 mile laps as you fancy – or go faster and build in some speed training.
Go round “the ressie” twice and you’ve banked three miles – woop! Plus, it’s flat and traffic free, so there’s nothing to worry about apart from the three Ps: your pace, performance and playlist (or podcast).
If you go on a Saturday morning at 9am, you can run this route as part of Parkrun: free, local, times 5km runs organised by friendly volunteers. As well as Edgbaston Reservoir, they take place at Cannon Hill Park, Oaklands Park, Woodgate Valley Country Park and many other great areas around Birmingham. You can walk, jog or run and they’re a great way to meet like-minded runners.
Sutton Park is Europe’s largest urban park and offers the choice between smooth terrain or trails, stunning views and hardly any traffic. You might even spot a wild pony! Discover loops, laps and, most importantly, cafés for an invigorating post-run coffee.
The Lickey Hills
Ready to up the challenge level? Head for the Lickey Hills and introduce some hills and steps to your running regime. Feeling brave? Try warming up by racing up Rose Hill and take in the stunning scenery.
The Vale Village
Who doesn’t love a leafy run? Start outside the Mailbox, then take the canal to the University of Birmingham’s Vale Village. Once you’ve lapped the park and headed back to the Mailbox along the canal, you’ve clocked 4 miles.
Hopwood House pub is a great starting point for some stunning countryside running. You’ve got so many options, from heading up Clare Hill and dropping back down through leafy Alvechurch, to heading along the canal towards Tardebigge and freestyling it over the fields.
Banish memories of grim cross country lessons with a session at Cofton Park – hills, varied terrain, ancient oak trees and gorgeous Warwickshire and Worcestershire views. Lots of scope for different intensity levels and varied distances.
The Waseley Hills Country Park
If you’re really ready to push it to the next level, head to Waseley Hills Country Park and get a taste for trail running. Beautiful and tough in equal measure, you’ll experience stunning views and unrivalled thrills. Good luck!
Follow the AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more training tips and advice ahead of the big day. If you’re yet to sign up you can find our more information, and enter, here.
RUN OF A KIND is the West Midlands first and only running tour team and they help runners explore Birmingham through mind, body and sole.
They are passionate about running their city, and so are the awesome runners that have joined them on their running tours and activities since they launched amidst a pandemic in July 2020.
They’ve connected thousands of (mainly local – which is unusual for a tour biz!) runners to each other and Birmingham and have also donned a fair few of them in uplifting orange Brum-inspired Activewear. In 2021 their aim was to develop new themed running tours (focusing on shorter distances, street art & greener suburbs). Find out more and run with Run of a Kind here.