Sun shines on biggest ever Great Birmingham 10K

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Thousands of Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K participants basked in beautiful Bank Holiday Weekend weather as the annual event, with music at its heart, took to the streets today.

A record-breaking 8,000 people signed up for Sunday’s 10K, which was broadcast live on Channel 5.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anne Underwood, was honorary starter for the 10K and was joined by the Leader of Birmingham, Cllr Ian Ward, to wave off the runners and walkers taking part for personal goal, charity support, or a fun day out.

The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K is expected to raise around £1.5 million for local and national charities with runners and walkers taking on the challenge to support a cause close to their heart.

Among the thousands of participants were inspirational Great Barr husband and wife Daniel and Donna Kerr.

Donna jogged around the 6.2-mile route while pushing husband Daniel, a wheelchair user who suffers from Huntington’s Disease.

And there were uplifting scenes at the finish line as Donna helped 49-year-old Daniel onto his feet and supported him in walking the final few yards, cheered on by family and friends.

Darren Carter, Solihull Moors’ Player/Academy Coach, tackled the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K for the first time.

‘Carts’, who fired Birmingham City into the Premier League for the first time with the decisive spot-kick in a 2002 play-off final shootout aged just 18, made almost 50 appearances for Blues.

He is raising funds for Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge, which has been providing critical care for Natalie Osborne, the cousin of his fiancée Sally.

Halesowen-based Natalie has been bravely battling Dementia for almost half of her life, despite only being 29.

Birmingham boxer Frankie Gavin was taking part in the 10K to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital after his cousin Mike McMahon’s newborn son Callum was treated by the hospital’s emergency nurses.

Mike believes their expert care saved little Callum’s life when he was just 48 hours old and he and Frankie have now raised more than £2,000 to thank them.

Commonwealth Games gold, silver and bronze medal-winning hammer thrower Lorraine Shaw, from Gloucester, made the trip across the Midlands to take part and raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society.

Winner of the 10K elite men’s field was triple Commonwealth Games winner Moses Kipsiro of Uganda with a time of 29:08. In second place was Great Britain’s Andy Vernon in 29:35, with third place going to fellow Brit Luke Traynor with a time of 30:01.

Poland’s Aleksandra Lisowska won a thrilling women’s race just five seconds ahead of Ireland’s Shona Heaslip in a time of 34:14. In third place was Fatna Maraoui of Italy with a time of 34:26.

The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K is organised by The Great Run Company, who will also stage the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 14th October.

Entries are open now for the annual half marathon, which reverts to its popular morning start time.

The 10K featured a 220-strong team from the Birmingham office of global professional services company PwC, which embraced the spirit of the event and inspired its Midlands workforce to take part in the Business Challenge.

Thirty Midlands companies of all shapes and sizes took part in the 10K Business Challenge to battle it out for fastest-time trophies and all-important bragging rights in the corporate community.

The University of Birmingham royal blue running vests could be seen in their hundreds at the 10K, with runners and walkers of all abilities running for the UBSport team.

Not to be outdone, Birmingham City University has been promoting an active lifestyle among its staff and students with more than 250 taking part.

David Hart, Partnerships Director for The Great Run Company, said: “It was a day that showed off Birmingham at its finest, with a sea of runners from so many different communities joining together in a celebration of sporting activity.

“It was fantastic to see the huge levels of support across the route as runners of all abilities took over the streets.”