The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Shafique Shah, led the way as thousands of sore feet pounded the streets of the second city in the inaugural Morrison’s Great Birmingham 10k race. Marking the start of a council-backed campaign to make their citizens fitter and for Birmingham to be one of the major running cities of the world.
Raising monies for his charities, which include; Birmingham Children's Hospital, Focus Birmingham, SIFA Fireside and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, he was joined by Lady Mayoress, Sadia Shah at what was the pinnacle of the Bank Holiday, attracting seasoned runners and first-timers, young and old, male and females, in equal numbers, all being part of history -the first of its kind - in Birmingham.
He said: “I like to keep fit and I really enjoyed taking part in the Morrison's Great Birmingham 10k Run. I hope it encourages more Brummies to get fit and help to raise money for my chosen charities. Please support the valuable work carried out by Birmingham's Children's Hospital, Focus Birmingham, SIFA Fireside and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.”
Starting near to the Millennium Point, in the eastside, and led by Game of Thrones star, Jerome Flynn, some 7,000 or so hardy souls took part, running for a number of charities, as well as to just get fit as the centrepiece of the council's campaign attracted people from all walks of life, some who put on a pair of running shoes for the very first time. All to be part of a great occasion for Birmingham.
Here, there were varied start times for the runners, walkers and Sunday-strollers-dependant on ability-all taking in the sights and sounds of this fast developing city as they completed the 6miles to the famed Broad Street where the sun was at its brightest for the day – breaking through clouds which threatened to dampen the spirits of runners and watchers on alike.
One runner was Ian Widdows, who was another raising money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The 42-year-old civil servant said: “The QE treated my mother for cancer a while back and fortunately she is still with us today. This is the least I can do for them.
Plus I'm raising money, awareness and support for Fisher House, a home from home at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which gives first-class treatment to injured service men and women, plus provide fantastic facilities for their families. This is the least I can do.”
Organisers said they were "thrilled" by how the event had gone, as well as the crowd that gathered to cheer people on and are already looking forward to do it again next year.