Birmingham aims to join the pantheon of world-class marathon events and raise the profile of British distance running at the same time. Britain’s second city will host an international marathon in October 2017 that will help establish Birmingham as the European Capital of Running.

The inaugural event will be a showcase for the ‘Best of Brum’; celebrating everything that is good about the city whilst encouraging its citizens to become physically active.

The new marathon will be organised by The Great Run Company who stage the Great North Run working in partnership with Birmingham City Council. Both parties are aiming to raise the standard of marathon running in the UK whilst making this event the top autumn race in the country. As a sign of their ambitions, they hope the marathon will be used as trials for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, further enhancing its international credentials.

The 26.2-mile event is the first event to be announced in the new Great Run British Marathon Series. Britain was the driving force in marathon running in the 1960’s, but standards have slipped since then with the current scene dominated by East African runners. The plan is for the Birmingham International Marathon to raise standards in the UK.

The 2017 event will also include a half marathon: it will start at the Alexander Stadium, the home of UK Athletics and finish in the city centre with the route taking in various iconic landmarks that are characteristic of the area. It expects to attract the cream of British elite runners whilst also providing a challenge to recreational runners, many of who will be fundraising for various charities.

Runners are invited to register their interest on the Great Run website. Entries will open in autumn 2016.

Written by Runabc Midlands