Around 22,000 runners took to the streets of England’s second city for the annual Great Birmingham Run Half Marathon and the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon on Sunday. Amongst those taking on the full marathon were Tamworth AC’s Ben Evans and Howard Bush.
The race started at the famous Alexander Stadium, taking in two laps in and around Birmingham before finishing in the city centre. The conditions were ideal for running, but the new and unfamiliar course presented some challenging inclines along the 26.2 mile route.
Just three weeks after his personal best performance at the Berlin Marathon, Ben Evans looked in good form again, settling in amongst the front end of the field from the start. As the race drew on, Ben paced himself well, holding enough back to progress over the final miles from seventh to a fourth placed finish with a time of 2:38:25.
Speaking after the race Ben said “As we came around the second lap we started to pass a few of the runners at the back of the field and I lost track of my position, but knew I was somewhere in the top 10. When I approached the finish line and heard the announcer say I was fourth I couldn’t believe it! It’s such an amazing way to end what’s been a really great season for me. I’m truly overwhelmed!”
Howard Bush made his first appearance in a marathon since 2013, although he showed little sign of such a prolonged absence on the day. Despite expressing little love for the hills, Howard put in a fantastic performance to finish 11th in his age group with a time of 03:03:51; setting a new Men’s 45 club record in the process.
Shortly afterwards Howard said, “I knew it would be a big ask to finish under 3 hours again, with not really enough miles in my legs. But I gave it a shot and have to be pleased with the end result”
Following some well-deserved rest, Howard and Ben will soon be back in action with the rest of the Tamworth AC Cross Country Team. Our first fixture of the Birmingham Cross Country League 2017/18 season will be at Telford on Saturday 11th November.
Tamworth AC were also represented in the Half Marathon that started from the city centre in the afternoon and followed much of the same route as the marathon with a single lap before returning to the finish line. Malcolm Perry finished 12th in the Men’s 65 category with a time of 02:02:42 followed shortly by Tessa Barnard in 02:14:47.