Thousands Take Part In Birmingham Marathon


Thousands of runners took to the streets of Birmingham for the city’s first marathon in over three decades, including one 106-year-old man.

The 26 mile event started at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium and took in a number of the city’s most iconic landmarks before finishing in the city centre.

22,000 people participated either in the Birmingham International or the half marathon on Sunday, in the city’s first marathon event since the People’s Marathon, which was held between 1980 and 1985.

Chris Ashford, from Harborne, Birmingham, was the first runner to cross the line, finishing in just over two and a half hours.

The world’s oldest marathon runner was one of the honorary starters at the Birmingham International Marathon.

106-year-old Fauja Singh, otherwise known as the ‘Turbaned Tornado’, took up running when he was in his 80s after moving to London from Punjab in northern India.

Mr Singh first made a name for himself at the age of 89 when he completed a marathon in six hours and 54 minutes – taking 58 minutes off the previous world best in his age bracket.

He became the first 100-year-old to complete a marathon, in October 2011, when he crossed the finish line of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 8 hours and 11 minutes.

Fauja, who was one of the torchbearers for the Athens Olympics in 2004 and for the London 2012 Olympic Games, said, “I feel privileged in being part of Birmingham’s first International Marathon because it makes me feel as if I am still running myself.

“Although I felt I still had many running years left in me when my coach and family wisely made the decision to retire me from running, I am proud to be part of the diverse Birmingham community that has always shown me love whenever I visit this great city.”

After passing the finishing the line in a time of 2:33:55, winner Mr Ashford said he was pleased to win in his hometown.

“To win at my home competition is absolutely fantastic. The crowd has been fantastic support,” he said.

“I’ve done the half marathon the last couple of years so to win the first Birmingham International Marathon, I’m so pleased.”


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