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Birmingham to pursue ambitions of hosting Road Running Championships

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A proposal to help cement Birmingham’s reputation as a host of major international sporting events is set to be considered by the city council’s Cabinet on May 18.

The event is scheduled in a format that would deliver a festival of running for the city. The programme would include the Men’s Half Marathon, Women’s Half Marathon, Men’s 5km and Women’s 5km races.

It is expected that any bid will incorporate a broader series of activities and events, including mass participation events for the public such as a half-marathon (incorporating a corporate business challenge to raise charity funds) and a mini race for children, as well as a running expo open to the public. 

Cabinet Members will be asked to approve the submission of a city bid for the right to stage the World Athletics Road Running Championships in 2023 or 2024.

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “we don’t want our ambitions or aspirations in this sector to end in August 2022. We know other Commonwealth hosts have gone on to stage many more big events, and we want to emulate this.

“The bid we want to submit for Road Running will offer something for people of all abilities from those who have never run a race before right through to seasoned amateurs to the world elite.”

As well as reconfirming Birmingham’s status amongst the elite locations for major events, it is envisaged the championships would boost the local economy and celebrate local culture. The Cabinet report asks for £1.5million to be earmarked for the event’s staging if the bid succeeds.

Birmingham City Council has already submitted an expression of interest to host the World Athletics Road Running Championships alongside eleven other international cities.

A formal bid is required to be submitted by June 1 2021. A month later, the World Athletics Council are expected to announce their selection of host.


Written by: David Watkins

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