THE runaway success of last year’s inaugural Halesowen Fun Run has paved the way for its successor to be one of the biggest events the town has ever seen.

The Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotary Club has announced ambitious plans which will see the run rebranded and thrown open to hundreds more runners designed to attract thousands of visitors.

The newly-crowned Great Black Country Road Run will include a five kilometre fun run and a 10 km road race which is set to entice athletes from across the country.

Rotarian Alan Bowler, event director, said: “Last year’s fun run was an unprecedented success, a community fun-filled event and raised £6,000 for good causes but the 2013 event will be even bigger and better.

“I am delighted to announce the Great Black Country Road Run will take place on Sunday, September 22.”

He added: “We wanted to open up the event to the whole region so from now on it will be called The Great Black Country Road Run and we have implemented changes so even more money can go to local charities and good causes.”

Last year the money raised by runners was distributed by the Rotary Club to the Air Ambulance, MacMillan Nurses and Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s cancer unit.

However, now runners will be able to collect sponsorships for their own chosen charity and teams of people will be able to enter together for the first time.

Mr Bowler said: “We are hoping to have at least 800 people for the five km fun run and 500 people involved in the 10km road race and with all the spectators descending on the town it will certainly be a day to remember.”

Dudley Council has already sanctioned road closures and a new route for the run and a dedicated website to the GBCRR will go live shortly.