NINE runners will be raising cash for Stourbridge’s Mary Stevens Hospice when they take part in the first Birmingham International Marathon and the city’s established half marathon.

Chris Pearson, Alice Batham, Will Davidson, Gary Thorpe, James Kneller-Evans, Gary Shaw, Ian Russell, Peter Hodgkin and Luke Pollard will all be raising funds for the Oldswinford charity when they take to the streets this Sunday (October 15).

The new Birmingham International Marathon, which starts at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium and takes in a host of city landmarks, is taking place alongside the well-established Great Birmingham Run half-marathon.

Alice Batham, half-marathon runner and hospice supporter, said: “I'm doing the run for the hospice because I wanted to support a charity closer to home and they provide invaluable support and help to patients and their families.

"I'm fundraising for the day services refurbishment which will allow even more people to be supported.”

A £3million regeneration project is currently underway at the Hagley Road hospice to revamp the residential day services centre so the charity can care for more people and offer an onsite apartment so families can stay close to loved ones during critical times.

Luke Pollard, who is also running for the hospice, said: “It's only in the last year or two that I've started to really get into my running, and with the marathon returning to Birmingham for the first time in decades, I wanted to make sure I was a part of the day.”

He added: “It's a special feeling to know taking part in the run will make the truly wonderful work of the hospice possible.”