Express & Star

Skier Tom's eyes unique record as he gets set to take on Great Birmingham Run

A runner from the West Midlands has a world record in mind as he gets set to take on the AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run while wearing ski boots.

Tom Bracey in St Paul’s Square

Tom Bracey, 23, is a hardened runner and a life-long skier and so has decided to combine both his passions at the run on May 7.

“I have always been into sports, and ran the London Marathon in 2019," he said.

"I have done a few half marathons too, but felt motivated to do something different.

"I was intrigued at the idea of going for a world record and as someone who is massively into skiing I thought why not give it a go.

“The only half-marathon world record for running in ski boots is currently only held in the female category so I applied to Guinness World Records for the male category. There’s a long process that you have to go through but my application and boots have finally been approved.”

Tom has already tackled 5k in his old ski boots and will be ramping up his training in a new pair once he returns from a trip to the slopes in March.

“After that I’ll try my first 10k in them," he said. "My new boots are slightly more lightweight but they are still very rigid. They don’t have any of the flexibility of trainers, so you get less muscle stretch and it really punishes your calves.”

The trainee accountant at EY fell in love with running when he was a student at Edinburgh University, finding it the perfect escape from his studies.

“I loved that in five minutes I could be on the coast or at the top of a mountain," he said. "It helped manage my stress at uni; I can put happy music on shuffle on Spotify and feel free.”

Now living in the second city, his new running routes take him along Birmingham’s canal network.

“I’ll be doing my training there rather than through the city centre," he added. "Hopefully that way less people will see me struggling!”

This year’s 10k and half marathon take place during May Bank Holiday weekend, with the routes showcasing the best of Birmingham.

Participants will kick off on Broad Street before taking to the streets through historic St Paul’s Square and heading south towards Digbeth; while the city’s famous Cannon Hill Park is included in the 13.1-mile route. The finish line is at the Smithfield site near Bullring, home to Commonwealth Games beach volleyball and basketball.

Entries are open now to join thousands of runners and walkers who have set their own challenges or are raising cash for charity. Everyone who completes their race receives an AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run medal, an exclusive (optional) finisher’s T-shirt and a goodie bag.

To donate to Tom’s fundraising campaign visit:

Sign up for The AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run by visiting

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