Race Report - The Birmingham Run - 2015


The Birmingham Run is a Half Marathon from The Great Run Series, the same organisation that hosts The Great North Run. But the Great North Run it is not………

This was the first time I have ran the race and the first time that I wouldn’t be running on my own. I had the pleasure of 21km with Tracy, who has competed here before and was keen to beat her previous time.

It’s difficult to write this review without comparing it to the Great North Run and without sounding negative, but there were so many things that really annoyed me. Like the fact that the trains weren’t running in the morning, so we had no choice but to drive.

The Race Start was fairly close to the finish, which is much more spectator friendly than the GNR, once the runners set off, its a sort walk for friends and family to get to the finish line.

The queues for the limited number of toilets was crazy! In fact, the whole start area was a bit of a disorganised mess.

Based on our predicted run time, we were placed in the orange start group, however, nobody checked race numbers, so people just went wherever they wanted, which meant that we spent some time trying to pass some pretty slow runners.

The Route was pretty bad too. Starting from Aston University the runners were immediately split up. Runners on the right taken down Moor Street and the left side running down Park Street, merging together again at Selfriges. Then started the weaving in and out of random streets, snaking around dull industrial areas. At one point, we ran through the car park and around the Edgebaston cricket ground, this was one of the many areas where the runners were kettled through a narrow area, bunching everyone up and slowing the runners down. From the cricket ground it was then over the road and into Cannon Park, where I narrowly avoided running into a grey steel bollard in the middle of the path! This should have been marked off or at least had a traffic cone on it.

After a quick loop of Cannon Park, we were back onto the fairly quiet streets.

The last few km of the run was some quite steep hills, many of the runners ahead of us were walking at this stage, but we powered through with the end in sight.


I’m embarrassed to say that my competitive nature took the shine off the finish, I had planned to run across the line with Tracy, but I could see Daz in the distance :( my selfish competitive streak kicked in and I sprinted past to ‘win’ ruining it for both Daz and Tracy. I wasn’t running for a time, there was no need for me to show boat over the finish line. Idiot.

The Finish Line on Broad street was packed with people cheering the runners on. The reason it was packed was that the finish line was on one of the narrowest points of Board Street. It would have been better if they missed out the cricket ground loop and finished further up Broad Street, where it is a much larger area.

I enjoyed the day out, I enjoyed the run, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again next year. Its such a shame, I know its difficult to close roads in a city, but I’m sure a more interesting route exists.



  • 2 wholemeal bagels with honey and peanut butter
  • Pre race mix of SIS Go Energy and Hornet Juice in a 650ml bottle
  • 1 Torq gel
  • Post race SIS Rego shake.

Kit Used

  • Zoot performance Trishorts
  • Compressport Triathlon top
  • Compressport Calf Sleeves
  • Newton Motion IV (Puma Cell Socks)
  • Garmin VivoActive
  • Blue seventy race belt
  • Result, 01:47:04