Entries are now open for this year’s Birmingham Half Marathon taking place on Sunday October 11th. The route is changed to a flatter south Birmingham one (from last year’s undulating north/west Birmingham one) that happens to go very close to my house in Bournville. There are some undulations as you come into Bournville and it looks like the last half mile is a bit uphill but other than that it’s relatively flat. I’ve mapped an approximation of the route in g-maps:
This year’s event incorporates the World half-marathon championships so there’ll be an elite field competing for quarter of a million dollars in prize money. I still have a vague hope that Paula Radcliffe will squeeze it into her schedule as it would form the perfect build up to the New York marathon in November.
Even if she doesn’t show then rest assured I will – my entry is already in. Online entry attracts a hefty booking fee of £3.10 so it may be worth just printing out the form and putting it in the post. The race may well fill up early this year so do get your entries in ASAP.
Presumably the city council will update their own site soon but it’s worth noting that this year’s Birmingham half-marathon on October 11th is also the world half-marathon championships. That means us casual Brummie runners will be racing with the world’s elite.
The IAAF page on the event is quite illuminating. From it you can glean that the elite women will start separately from the men at 9am with the men (and probably the rest of the field) starting at 9.30am. No word on whether the route will change but you do learn that top prize is $30,000 (puts my £30 to shame) and that “the payment of prize money is dependent upon the athletes clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.” I best leave my steroid-based asthma inhalers at home then.
The IAAF do a nice little descriptor of Brum: “This city has been the industrial heartland of the country; it is still important industrially but this has also made way for an increasingly high position in the service sector.” Yep – about sums it up. Of course I’m still hoping my prediction for Paula Radcliffe to run it as a warm-up for the New York marathon comes true but most of all I hope it’s as good a race this year as it was last time around.
(nice pic from Flickr by hartlandmartin. Note Bournville Harriers’ star female athlete Linda keeping those guys on their toes)
…according to Monday’s Guardian anyway:
“November 2009: Three marathons in a year might be tough but will she resist the temptation of being back in New York? She might opt for the world half marathon the month before in Birmingham as well”
In fact I’d mentioned this as a possibility to a couple of people recently and there is some logic in thinking she’ll come to Brum. This year she would have gone to the world half marathon championship as preparation for running the New York Marathon which she won in style on Sunday. However, as the halves were in Brazil she opted for the 10 mile Great South Run instead.
So next year, if she decides to run New York again, I reckon the Guardian have it spot on and she’ll come to next year’s world halves in Birmingham in October as well. Now that would be just great, both for the city as a whole and for us runners who would have the privilege of running in the same race as her in our home town. The thought of Paula legging it past the Bartons Arms and avoiding bolshy Sunday shoppers at the back of Rackhams fills me with glee. Bring it on!
(pic by matt semel)