British Olympian eyes victory over the new half-marathon course

British Olympic marathon runner Tsegai Tewelde leads a field hoping to clock quick times on a new, faster course for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run on Sunday.

In a reverse of previous routes which finished along Broad Street, the half-marathon event will now start on the city’s Golden Mile before taking runners to Highfield Road in Edgbaston and down the infamous hill of Lee Bank Middleway, once a challenging incline towards the end of the half-marathon.

Participants will then do a lap of Cannon Hill Park and Edgbaston Stadium before turning back to the city centre after they reach Bournville and finishing on Jennens Road and the Aston University Campus Charity Village.

Birchfield’s William Richardson was last year’s winner and Rio Olympian Tewelde, who has a personal best of 63:14, is quickest in the elite field this time around.

Mercia Fell’s Lloyd Biddell and Tipton Harriers’ Richard White, third last year, will also be in contention.

The 2017 women’s race was won by Birchfield’s Chloe Richardson. Nuneaton duo of Eleanor Greenfield and Alison Taylor are expected to feature prominently this time, as is Bourneville Harrier Nicola Sykes.

The Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon also takes place on Sunday and this year’s entries are headed by New Zealand-born Victoria Park Harrier Paul Martelletti, who ran 2:17:29 in Berlin only a few weeks ago. Another sub-2:20 athlete, James Connor, is also likely to be in the mix.

The women’s entries are headed by Millmore, top master Julie Briscoe and 100km specialist Joasia Zakrzewski.