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Thousands take part in Great Birmingham Run despite route being shortened

By Harriet Evans | Entertainment | Published:

A popular half-marathon was cut short over fears of a "suspicious vehicle" on a part of the route, organisers have said.

Laura Hyde and her son Flynn (age 4) taking part in his first race from Bromsgrove (Credit Laura Hyde)

The Great Birmingham Run saw more than 11,000 brave the harsh weather and take to the city's streets for good causes.

It was originally thought heavy rain and flooding caused the route to be shortened.

But organisers, at around 7pm last night, revealed they had been in consultation with the police.

A statement said: "Following today’s Great Birmingham Run we apologise to everyone who had their event day experience affected by the reduced distance of the course.

"This morning we were advised of a suspicious vehicle in the Cannon Hill Park area of the route.

"Your safety is our number one priority and after consultation with the police we altered the route to avoid Cannon Hill Park and Edgbaston.

"A decision, again in consultation with the police, was made to progress with the event over the reduced distance and we can assure participants and spectators that their safety was not compromised at any point.

"At a later point in the day the vehicle was subsequently declared as safe."

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This year's Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run began at a new starting point in New Street and participants set off from the starting line in waves from 10.30am.

The weather couldn't keep supporters away, who stood at the sidelines and cheered on friends and family.

Among the runners were Acorns CEO Toby Porter, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, and Carmel Caldicott, deputy head nurse at the Black Country hospice, who all took part in the annual event to raise thousands of pounds for Acorns who launched a fundraising campaign to save them from shutting down earlier this year.

James Wright, who ran 31 marathons in 31 days for the hospice, also took part – dressed in a giant acorn costume.

The half marathon finished on Jennens Road and Aston University campus - watched by thousands of spectators providing runners with the last bit of support needed to get them over the finish line.

The first male finisher was Omar Ahmed and Hayley Carruthers from Walsall was the first woman to cross the finishing line.

Harriet Evans

By Harriet Evans
Community Reporter - @HarrietEvans_ES

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, covering the issues affecting young people across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Contact me at harriet.evans@expressandstar.co.uk

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