Collis Birmingham

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Collis Birmingham
Personal information
Nickname(s)Colonel, Ham[1]
Born (1984-12-27) 27 December 1984 (age 34)[1]
Height189 cm (6 ft 2 in) (2012)[1]
Weight71 kg (157 lb) (2012)[1]
SportMiddle and long distance running
Event(s)5,000 and 10,000 metres
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals2008 and 2012
Updated on 5 February 2014.

Collis Birmingham (born 27 December 1984)[2] is an Australian middle- and long distance runner. He is a two-time participant at the Summer Olympics (2008 and 2012) and four-times at the World Championships in Athletics (2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015). He has competed at five editions of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He was an Australian and Oceanian 10,000 metres record holder from 2009 to 2011.


Born in Carlton, Victoria,[3] Birmingham made his international debut at the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, placing 84th in the junior race. His first senior international race came four years later at the 2007 Championships.[4] That year he won his first national title in his debut over the 10,000 metres distance by winning the Zatopek 10K ahead of Martin Dent.[5] At the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships he took 73rd place and he participated in the 2008 Olympic Games in the 5000 metres event but failed to qualify for the final. He came third at the Great Yorkshire Run 10K and made a half marathon debut at the Great North Run, running a time of 65:46 minutes.

The 2009 season saw Birmingham break the Oceanian record for the 10,000 m with a run of 27:29.73 minutes in Berkeley, California.[6] He won the Australian 5000 m title in March,[7] then placed 29th at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships – his best ever placing at the competition. He came fourth in the Emsley Carr Mile and was selected for both 5000 m and 10,000 m races at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. He failed to finish the longer race and came 16th in the 5000 m final.[4] Near the end of the year he won his second 10K race at the Zatopek Classic and also placed second at the Great Australian Run, winning the Australian 15K road title.[8][9]

In 2010, Birmingham ran a 1500 metres best of 3:35.50 minutes, a 3000 metres best of 7:38.77 minutes and a 5000 metres best of 13:10.97 minutes. He was 83rd at the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and was chosen to represent Oceania in the 5000 m at the 2010 IAAF Continental Cup, where he came sixth. He ran in both 5000 m and 10,000 m events at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, finishing sixth and ninth, respectively. He represented Australia at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, but did not progress beyond the 5000 m heats.[4]

He entered the 2012 New York City Half Marathon and ran the distance in 63:10 minutes. He set three track bests that year, recording 1:49.36 minutes for the 800 metres, 7:35.45 minutes for the 3000 m and 13:09.57 minutes for the 5000 m. His 5000 m best came in a runner-up performance at the London Grand Prix,[10] although he was eliminated in the heats for that event at the 2012 London Olympics a month later.[3] He set his fourth personal best of the year at the Great North Run, reaching seventh place with a time of 61:25 minutes. Birmingham improved this further to 60:56 minutes at the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon, which he won by a margin of twenty seconds.[11]

In August 2013, Birmingham attended the London Marathon Young Athletes Training Camp at St Mary's University College, Twickenham as a special guest and was interviewed by 80–90 potential future running stars. Other special guests who attended the camp were Andrew Osagie, Ross Murray and Mick Woods.[12]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Australia
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 15th (h) 5000m 13:44.90
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 16th 5000m 13:55.58
10,000m DNF
2010 Commonwealth Games Delhi, India 6th 5000m 13:39.59
9th 10,000m 29:35.65
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 19th (h) 5000m 13:47.88
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 34th (h) 5000m 13:50.39
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 24th 10,000m 28:44.82
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 10th 3000m 7:57.55
IAAF World Relays Nassau, Bahamas 4th 4 × 1500 m 14:46.04
Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 12th 5000m 13:35.44
2015 IAAF World Relays Nassau, Bahamas 3rd Distance medley relay 9:21.62
World Championships Beijing, China 15th (h) 5000m 13:34.58
2016 World Indoor Championships Portland, United States 13th (h) 3000 m 7:54.51

Personal bests[edit]


Birmingham is currently running 100 miles to 120 miles every week. He currently lives in Australia but comes to England for 6 weeks in the summer to train; often at St Mary's University College, Twickenham in London. Also, he trains at Bushy Park – the second largest of the Royal Parks of London, at 445 hectares (1,100 acres) in area.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Collis Birmingham". London 2012. Australian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Collis Birmingham. London 2012. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Collis Birmingham. IAAF. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  5. ^ Hurst, Mike (13 December 2007). Birmingham debuts impressively to seize Australian 10,000m title. IAAF. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  6. ^ Birmingham breaks national record Archived 27 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Inside Athletics. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  7. ^ Hurst, Mike (5 March 2009). Weather deters sub-10 in Melbourne; Hooker outstanding again – IAAF World Athletics Tour. IAAF. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  8. ^ Johnson, Len (10 December 2009). Birmingham and Wellings take Zatopek 10,000m titles; rain restricts World Champion Samuels in Melbourne. IAAF. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  9. ^ Johnson, Len (29 November 2009). Weidlinger upstages Wanjiru in Melbourne. IAAF. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  10. ^ Brown, Matthew (13 July 2012). Hurdlers provide the highlights on Day One in London – Samsung Diamond League. IAAF. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  11. ^ Nakamura, Ken (3 February 2013). Gelana under pressure but retains Marugame Half Marathon title. IAAF. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links[edit]