Dear Editor, I attended the Birmingham Half Marathon at the weekend and wish to express what a fantastic event this is for the city.
We have set out with our partners an ambitious goal of Birmingham becoming the most active and successful sporting city in England, and this goal is taking on even greater importance in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The positive impact of an event like this is quite far reaching – from inspiring spectators along the route to get out their running shoes, to enabling runners to see sights and engage with communities that they have never seen before.
The city council, EDF and their key partners should be congratulated on their commitment to developing such a fantastic event, and I know how keen they are to build an event that becomes the favourite half marathon for runners from Birmingham and beyond.
The Great North Run has now been running for 30 years and other major races for similar lengths of time, and I am sure that they are still making improvements from one year to the next.
I know that the Birmingham Half Marathon team are keen to keep improving and developed a great dialogue with runners after last years event, receiving feedback from 76 per cent of those taking part. I am sure they will be keen to respond to feedback they receive this year.
The event has come a long way in three years and key ingredients are already in place: The heart of a route that is interesting and does not take on too many of Birmingham’s city centre hills; many Birmingham people who if not competing are keen to turn out and support on the day; an attractive city centre start and finish in Broad Street; the Indoor Arena to accommodate runners before and after the run.
I am sure it will take time to get everything spot-on and I know that the challenges of establishing a quality route in a major bustling city cannot be easy – but the heart of a great event is already there.
Mike Dickenson, Partnership Director
Birmingham Sport and Physical Activity Partnership