The Great Black Country Run in Pictures

Hundreds of runners took part in the inaugural Great Black Country Run. See if you got snapped!

The event attracted more than 600 competitors for its 5km and 10km races from the town centre on Sunday.

Formerly a fun run, organisers Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotary Club rebranded the race in a bid to get more runners.

And it worked – with this year’s total beating the 450 runner figure for last year.

Event director Alan Bowler said: “It went unbelievably well – we’re delighted and would like to thank all those who took part.

“We changed the event this year to include a longer race to get some more serious runners along – we think we got about 300 for the 10km so we’re pleased with that.

“I’d ask people to continue raising money following the event so we can get as much as possible for our charities.”

The 10km road race was started off by Halesowen-born kickboxing champion Simon Akufo at 9am. A fun run then took place at 11am.

There was also entertainment and charity stalls in the town centre to complement the event.

Mr Akufo, aged 31, a former pupil at Windsor High School, said: “It’s fantastic to support this – it’s raises good money for charity and helping people get fit.”

Friends Suzanne Thompson and Michelle Bowen were among the hundreds who took part in the 10km race.

The pair only started running together three years ago, but between them have completed five half-marathons.

They took part in the country run as a warm-up to next month’s Birmingham Half Marathon.

Mrs Thompson, aged 39, of High Haden Road in Blackheath, said: “Running has been life-changing for me – it started as a stress-buster from work but has helped me be a fitter, healthier person. 

“And I really enjoy it.”

Nigel Collumbell, 39, of Causey Farm Road in Halesowen, is also a new-starter in sport, taking up running two years.

He said: “I’ve always been a sporty person, but used to hate running – I then got into a few runs and really enjoy it.

“Events like this are great for having fun and meeting new friends.”

The Great Black Country Run will benefit a range of good causes, including Sunfield School in Clent, Midland Air Ambulance, MacMillan Nurses and Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s cancer unit.

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