The inaugural Birmingham International Marathon will truly live up to its name after organisers revealed dozens of runners from across the world have already signed up to take part.
The 26.2-mile run, which takes place on Sunday, October 15, 2017 – the same day as the popular Great Birmingham Run half marathon – has attracted entries from as far afield as Singapore, the USA, Canada, Cayman Islands and Australia.
Dozens of runners from across Europe will also be heading for the Alexander Stadium start line next autumn, entry data has revealed.
Almost 5,000 people have already signed up to take part, just six weeks after the entry window was opened.
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.
The city 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.
It also promises to be a feather in the cap 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
The route will take in iconic city sights like Villa Park, Matthew Boulton College, Selfridges, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and picturesque Cannon Hill Park before finishing at Millennium Point.
The 2017 Birmingham International Marathon will be held on the same day as the Great Birmingham Run but neither course will include ‘the hill’.
Birmingham-born Ian Stewart, one of the world’s leading distance runners between the late 1960s and mid-1970s, said: “I think the fact that Birmingham now has a major International Marathon next year is a fantastic addition to Birmingham’s portfolio of major athletic events. It is also the perfect time of the year for athletes who want to qualify for major games the following year.
“Looking at the amount of entries and interest it has created so far just goes to show that it has been long overdue.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It’s great that runners from around the world are entering the Birmingham International Marathon, as this highlights our truly international reputation as a sporting city.
“Events like this showcase Birmingham and the wider region to the world, something we hope to do again in 2026, as we prepare to bid to host the Commonwealth Games.”
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