The Midlands is buzzing with running mania after organisers of the Birmingham International Marathon revealed more than 4,000 people have already signed up for next year’s inaugural event, just two weeks after entries were opened.
The marathon takes place on Sunday, October 15, 2017 – the same day as the Great Birmingham Run half marathon – which means more than 25,000 runners are expected to hit the streets of the city for a true festival of running.
And with a year to go before the event takes place, the Birmingham International Marathon has already become the UK’s sixth largest 26.2-mile run.
Birmingham is widely regarded as the birthplace of mass participation long-distance running events and the Birmingham International Marathon will cement the city’s position as the European Capital of Running.
It also promises to be a medal of honour for Birmingham’s bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Anyone can now sign up for the first Birmingham International Marathon, which will fittingly start at Alexander Stadium, the home of British Athletics
It will take in several iconic city sights like Villa Park, Matthew Boulton College, Selfridges, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and the picturesque Cannon Hill Park before finishing at Millennium Point.
Birmingham staged one of the country’s first open-to-all marathons, the People’s Marathon, which ran from 1980-85 and was organised by late Solihull-based elite runner John Walker.
David Hart, Communications Director for the Great Run Company, organisers of the Birmingham International Marathon, said: “Coming hot on the heels of a hugely successful Great Birmingham Run 2016, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the first-ever Birmingham International Marathon with more than 4,000 people signing up in the two weeks since the event was opened for entries.
“And with a year to go before the event takes place, the Birmingham International Marathon has already reached an entry level that would make it the UK’s sixth largest 26.2-mile run.”
The debut People’s Marathon was held a year before the first London Marathon and Athletics Weekly predicted at the time that it would be ‘the event which triggered off the mass long-distance running movement in this country’.
The 2017 Birmingham International Marathon will be held on the same day as the Great Birmingham Run but neither course will include ‘the hill’.
The first Birmingham International Marathon will be a milestone for Steve Edwards, one of the world’s leading multi-marathon runners. He plans to run his 800th marathon in Brum and maintain his record of completing each challenge in under 3hrs20mins.
Conversely, Aston mum Shah Begum is planning to tackle her first marathon. Since taking up running, she shed six stone in just 18 months and is about to take on her first half marathon at the Great Birmingham Run on October 16, having completed her opening 10k, at the Great Birmingham 10k, in May.
Entry for the Birmingham International Marathon costs £55 and entrants must be 18 on the day of the event. The provisional entry limit is 10,000.
Sign up for the Birmingham International Marathon at https://www.greatrun.org/birmingham-international-marathon
Entries are now open for the Great Birmingham Run 2017. Sign up at https://www.greatrun.org/great-birmingham-run
Press release issued by Edwin Ellis Creative Media on behalf of the Birmingham International Marathon