Birmingham and Black Country Half-Marathon



  • I run a fair chunk of this very frequently - I park up just the right side of the tunnel (i.e not having to run through it) and do between 4 and 6 miles out and the same back. Even if it has been raining there aren't that many places that get really muddy. Just before Tipton can be a bit bad but that's about it.

    It's not a PB course though - the bridges towards the end can be tough.

    I'll be wearing Vivobarefoot breatho's - trail bottom which works with the different surfaces really well.

    Can't wait.

  • Hi folks,

    thinking about signing up for this race - but can't quite decide... can people who have run it before give me three reasons for and three reasons against to help me make up my mind?

    Thanks image

  • Entered for the second year. Last year was my first 1/2 and I said I would never do it again, now I can't wait! 

  • Roo,

    Against, not a PB course, if you are scared of the dark or clostrophobic the tunnel may give you problems, can be lonely at some points out on the course (but unlikely).

    For, gives a different view of the city, great start and finished areas, excellent orgainisation.

    I am now going to give some more for's, great goodie bag, showers in NIA, bag transport, easy to get to start and finish areas, the staggered start is well done, massage for a fiver last year.

    My fifth running for this event.


  • Hi Chris, thank you very much - I will bring my goggles (in case I fall into the canal) and sign up for it - will run it 'for fun' rather than for a PB then from the start... so how long is that tunnel then?  Sounds exciting... Cheers, The Roo

  • ringo100ringo100 ✭✭✭

    Good decision roo 38 halfs later this is one of my favorites. Totally unique,no a PB race but great organization and a post race beer at Brindley place. My fourth time I would never miss it. Rain or shine(and it's usually shine) a top race

  • The tunnel is 385yards I think (not sure why I have that memorised image), but if you look on the very first post on this thread by Irondog that is a pic of the tunnel.


  • I've run this race before and I'm not sure I can answer this question. It's flat, no congestion, ok ish surface, so why isn't a pb course?  I plan to run it as a marathon paced effort as part of training for Chester. Probably.

  • I am looking forward to it again. I found it a great fun run, with staggered start. The finish is best ...ending in Brindley place with a great atmosphere and a drink on the ready image

  • Hi Graeme,

    I think the course is slightly long, certainly Garmin has given 13.6 for this in the past, but with tunnels and high embankments Sat nav isnt the greatest. I think just the overal lost of traction, the little bridges at the end all readdy begin to 'eat' into your time.


  • Just entered. Looks like a good event.

  • ringo100ringo100 ✭✭✭

    hi Graeme,

     as well as being slightly long I think the surface does not feel as bouncy as tarmac. I'm always about 6 or 8 mins slower despite being flat. Great run though

  • I ended up with a bad knee upon finish due to the surfarad. Was out for months but must say I enjoyed it and hoping for round two image

  • Just back from a 10 mile canal run - felt ok - I am a bit behind on the training front but should get there just in time to make it relatively painfree.... i hope  - how is everyone's training going? image 

  • Just entered, training is not going great and having been hoping for around 1hr 45 unless things pick up a ridiculous amount I think it will be nearer 2hours (I've predicted 2hr 5 on the entry) but just plan on coming up and enjoying as it's several years since I've been on those towpaths and really looking forward to it.

    One little point (which isn't a problem) as I think the organisers are on this thread - but it says £20 on the event page for un-affiliated advance entries but it is actually £22.

  • Morning all image.

    Not long now, only four weeks to go image, need to ram up the training big time !

    Anyone know if the race is filling up / full ?

  • yaaaa KAKS.............


  • Just entered. I think this will be my sixth. However long it's been going apart from the first year. Love that it's on a saturday & you can use public transport & have a few beers in Brum.

  • Bob, me too. image.

    You can enjoy your Saturday night & Sunday ~ no long run to do.

    Love meeting Family & Friends in Brindley Place and having a few drinks image.

    Chris M wrote (see)

    yaaaa KAKS.............

    LOL ! ~ Meant to put RAMP UP THE TRAINING 




  • I did this last year and it was my first run over 7 miles. It was muddy and exhausting but it gave me the running bug. Since then I've done 5 marathons and three ultras including London to Brighton (62 miles) a couple of weeks ago and have another 5 marathons booked before the end of October. For any first timers worrying about this please don't, if I can do it anyone can, and it might just be the start of something really least that's what I've told my wife who is doing it this year for the first time!!

  • Hi Ian, you are not one for taking it easy by the sound of it image - I have just come back from a 12 mile canal run - feeling fine - so bring it on I say image

  • Hi The Roo 

    well done on your run????. Can't wait for this race, just trying to get some speed back in the legs as I'd love a pb, that said, if its as muddy as last year I'll settle for just having a laugh and enjoying it. See you there!

  • Ran a 10km on Sunday, over 7 minutes slower than my PB - that bodes well...

    And one of my favourite bands are playing in Stourbridge the night before, so if I'm coming all the way back up North I may as well go and see them and hope I'm not too tired/hungover...

    Oh and on a slightly more serious point - are there showers available at the finish?

  • 2wheels, going off on a bit of tangent, where in stourbridge is the band playing, and who are they?

    Living in stourbridge it doesnt always get much of a mention on here so when it does i like to be a nosey git image

  • John, not sure the name of the venue it's what used to be the rock cafe. Stourbridge's finest The Wonder Stuff are playing there, I'm thinking it will be the "ideal" half marathon warm up!


  • Could be tempted by a pre run gig. Have never seen the wonder stuff. Interesting.

  • Lots has been said in this thread about the bridges towards the end and how tough they are. Can I ask how many bridges exactly, and how high? Something like the climb to the first floor of a building? It seems to me that, if the bridges are not too brutal and at least are spaced-out and done with quick, that it should be ok. Are we making the bridges out to be a bigger challenge than they are?

    Can someone also shed some light on the issue of the route length? I'm a fairly serious runner - maybe 1:25 or so that's all - and am always looking to nail a good time. That's really hard to do of course if the route is long. Any chance that the route length will be looked at before this year's running? 

  • Just been prescribed a week long course of anti-biotics for tonsillits, feel absolutely destroyed from walking 5 minutes to the doctor's, at least it explains why I ran so shocking on Sunday... hopefully be alright to run again by the weekend but not overly optimistic image

  • 2wheels, bad luck buddy. Just come off Penicillin myself but that was for a week.


  • Sorry to hear that 2wheels - but don't push back too early it will only backfire - if you were training and fit until you got ill you should be able to have a complete rest for a week and have another good training week or 10 days before the race, then taper down... take it easy - pushing when you are ill does not pay off! Mum image

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