Overwhelming public response sees early closure to Birmingham Marathon entries

Chris and Kym Bailey, who will make a 10,000-mile round trip to participate in Birmingham's inaugural international marathon

Birmingham’s inaugural international marathon has closed its general entry places after an overwhelming response from runners across the UK and beyond.

The 26.2-mile event takes place on Sunday, October 15, and will be the second event of the newly-formed Great Run British Marathon Series.

More than 9,000 people have signed up for individual entry places. A limited number of charity places are still available.

Runners who missed out have been encouraged to sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half marathon, which takes place on the same day as the marathon.

As an incentive, all the participants in the half-marathon will have access to a guaranteed entry window to the 2018 marathon.

Starting at the Alexander stadium, the marathon course will take runners through many of the city’s landmarks before crossing the finishing line in the city centre.

In both the men’s and women’s races, the overall individual winner of each event will receive £2,000, with £1,000 awarded for second place and £750 for third, with awards stretching right down to £50 for 10th.

Amongst the participants will be Aston’s Shah Begum, who since taking up running just two years ago has shed six stone and now inspires many other first-timers through social media messages and community running groups.

And two honorary Brummies are making a 10,000-mile round trip from their home in the Cayman Islands to pound the city’s streets.

It will take Chris and Kym Bailey 16 hours to travel from the Caribbean to join the thousands of other runners.

Chris, a former Hagley RC High School pupil, and Kym, who went to Light Hall School in Shirley and Solihull Sixth Form College, have been living on Grand Cayman for almost six years.

In addition, one of the world’s leading multi-marathon athletes is on track to break a running record when he takes on the event.

Steve Edwards, from Coventry, is aiming to break the world record for running 800 official marathon races in the fastest average finish time.

The 54-year-old went into 2017 requiring another 39 marathons – averaging times below 3hrs 20mins – to achieve the world record and he remains on target for his incredible feat.

Further details on the event are available by visiting http://www.greatrun.org/great-birmingham-run/juniorandminibirmingham