Second years reveal how hard it really was to do the Great Birmingham Run

Someone ran with a washing machine on their back

birmingham Great Birmingham Run half marathon Run sport students

Last week was the Great Birmingham Run, and from the vantage point of the sofa, it’s pretty hard to understand why someone would willingly put themselves through 13.1 miles of torture.

The route started out just past the Bullring in the city centre, through Edgbaston and round into Bournville, before coming back and finishing on Broad Street.

Second year Tom is a regular runner and volunteer at the event, and languages student George also took part this year. They revealed running is a lot more brutal than a breathless 10 minutes round a field somewhere, and the distance can really take its toll.

Geography student Tom said: “People piss and shit themselves all the time. Paula Radcliffe used to shit herself mid-race. People have died doing the London Marathon before just from being too exhausted or having a heart attack or something.”

He's got the jacket on and everything

Tom’s always good at finishing

Involuntary bowel movements aside, there were some nicer aspects to the race.

He added: “Loads of people did it for charity, and there were quite few good costumes like the Cookie Monster and the Hulk and that. There was also this old lady that ran it – I think she did it in about two hours 40.”

When we asked Tom about what he found hardest about running, he said: “I find it quite hard to get started, but I feel best in my last minute. I was always really good at finishing.”

Despite only doing three runs in preparation and still doing regular nights out in the lead up to the run, George managed the course in one hour 45 minutes.

The horror

George mid-run

Solid effort

Solid effort

George told The Tab: “I just listened to a drum and bass playlist. My family were there as well so it kept me going throughout the course. You had to double back on a few parts of it so I got to run past them twice. The last two miles were uphill though, and it was horrendous. It finished off quite a few people.”

Luckily for George, he made it through without any major problems: “Honestly it was just boring as fuck. There were a few funny costumes though – someone was wearing an actual washing machine just on their back. I think they must have taken the heavy bit out, but it was still ridiculous. Another guy was wearing a full three-piece suit and a briefcase.”

He added: “People were jumping out of bushes and back into the race, and I had to piss on the side of the street at the start. I’m pretty sure I saw someone throwing up as well. They were just sort of leaning over a bush on the side of the road.”