Over 20,000 people took part in the annual Bupa Great Britain Run
Over 20,000 people took part in the annual Bupa Great Birmingham Run challenge 2014. Gold medal triathlete Jodie Stimpson had the honour of sounding the starting horn before the race began in Town Hall. The race course went through Canon Hill Park and the Cadbury Factory, up the mile-long hill from hell to Five Ways Island and finishing on Broad Street.
Racers wore fancy dress with colourful costumes including Batman, gorillas, a gingerbread man, a giraffe, Kermit the Frog, a bunch of bananas, and even a Jamaican Bobsleigh Team complete with a bobsleigh. Catching the public’s eye however was Luke Grubb, who drew laughter from the crowd as he ran the course dressed in a 20 kilo sumo wrestling suit.
As one of the biggest races in the UK, participators ran not only to challenge themselves but raise money for charities close to their hearts. One inspiring story is from Jodie, who ran the 13.1 mile route to raise money for the New Cross Hospital neonatal unit, after her nephew Zak was born last month at just 26 weeks.
“The people around the Birmingham course are so friendly and make it a really special race,” said Jodie prior to the race.
“I ran the race with my Mum last year, which gave me a different perspective.
“I got to take it all in and talk to people. But this time I want to go for it.”
Despite serious weather conditions such as heavy winds and a week of non stop rain, racers were undeterred and fortunately the sun shone brilliantly on the day.
Another partaker, 47-year-old Karen Foort, was diagnosed with bowel cancer two-and-a-half years ago. Upon discovering the condition was terminal she chose not to give up, instead choosing to raise funds for spear-heading immunity therapy in Germany.
“I was told I wouldn’t survive past September but we’re now in October and I’m feeling great,” said Karen, of Redditch. “I play tennis four times a week and I was considering doing the run but I realised it would be too much.
“I was thrilled when some of my son’s friends said they would do it on my behalf. I am immensely proud of them.”
They had raised almost £1,000 for Karen’s charity, the Foort Foundation. The money raised will help towards two cancer patients receiving the treatment in Germany.
For the first time a Lord Mayor of Birmingham joined in the race as Shafique Shah aiming to complete the course within three hours.
“The race is very special” he said.
“I’m the first Lord mayor to take part-hopefully I will he setting a precedent.
“The run brings people from all different backgrounds together and is a great thing for the city.”
For a chance to run next year visit: www.greatrun.org