Showpiece sporting event scrapped after just one year

Birmingham International Marathon

One of Birmingham’s showpiece sporting events is being scrapped after only being relaunched last year.

Organiser of the Birmingham International Marathon – The Great Run Company – said it had been collaborating with partners such as Birmingham City Council and emergency services to provide an improved event after feedback from participants at last year’s event.

However, it said ongoing redevelopment and roadworks at key areas in the city centre had restricted options for a new and improved route.

It has therefore taken the decision to cancel the event and implement a full redesign ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Great North Company had hailed last year’s event – which attracted 9,000 runners – a major success and a great platform for the city to showcase its Commonwealth Games credentials.

The company said that after securing the 2022 Games it was vital that a showpiece event such as the marathon was the best it could possibly be.

Paul Foster, CEO of The Great Run Company, said: “We apologise to those who have already entered the event. It’s a difficult, but sensible decision. Rather than compromise the event, it’s better to go back to the drawing board.

“Our ambition is to create an iconic marathon route showcasing the best of the city and we hope to be able to announce a new date and improved route later in the year.

“We have listened to the feedback from participants in the 2017 Birmingham International Marathon and feel that it is best to work with our partners in the city to improve the running experience and create a marathon that Birmingham can be truly proud of in the build-up to 2022.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “We could carry on with the route established last year, but it is much more important to look at this from a long-term perspective.

“We’ve proven we can stage a marathon in the city and that there is a clear desire from runners for such an event – but it is better that we take stock, wait for the completion of some of the infrastructure projects making this city an even greater place to be and then re-route the marathon so it showcases our ever-transforming city in the best light possible.

“I have every sympathy with those who were looking forward to running the marathon here again, and hope they take up the opportunity of entering the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half marathon instead.”

Everyone who had signed up for this year’s Birmingham International Marathon will automatically receive a full refund and be offered discounted entry into the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half marathon, which is still taking place on Sunday October 14.

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