Sunday sees Birmingham’s first half marathon, starting from Perry Barr and winding it’s way through Aston and Newtown, a quick detour up to Bearwood and then finishing in town. Most excitingly they’re getting to run over the overpasses and through the Queensway tunnels, an experience that you would be advised against trying when the roads aren’t specially closed for you. Cool as the tunnel running is, it’s created a hilly course where it would have only naturally had quite gentle slopes.
I don’t understand how the race can be billed as ‘A Race Against Climate Change’, I simply don’t see how it helps in any way. Excpet to get the sponsor’s name next to the words ‘against climate change’ on lots of web pages. If they were that worried they would have insisted on the start of the race being properly accessible by public transport, the Alexander Stadium is on a couple of bus routes (that will be dirverted off the course I assume) but its nearest train station (a couple of miles away) doesn’t have trains at that time on a Sunday morning.
That said there’s plenty of fun to be had, sitting warm in the Barton Arms for example with a pint and watching tired people run past, or for the more geeky watch as Oliver Westmancott uses his iPhone to track his progress. Interested as I am in geo-location stuff, I won’t be running with my iPhone. For top geekery I would expect a runner to tweet their progress, maybe one for Dave Harte (Digital Birmingham man, and inexhaustable runner). Come on Dave, bluetooth headset, and twitterfone should be easy.
While I doubt they’ll have empoyed Jimmy Saville, Central’s website is prommising live coverage.
In related running news, entries are now open for the 2008 Pantomime Horse Grand National [pdf] (BiNS won in 2006). Due to our poor show last year, we’ll be looking for new runners — get in touch if you have legs like Shergar.