Almost 5000 people have already signed up to take part in the inaugural event, with entries from runners around the world

The inaugural Birmingham International Marathon looks set to live up to its name as runners from across the globe 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 5000 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 help 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.

The event is also likely to be a boon to Birmingham’s bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The inaugural Birmingham International Marathon will start at Alexander Stadium, the home of British Athletics, with the route taking in iconic city sights such as Villa Park, Matthew Boulton College, Selfridges, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and picturesque Cannon Hill Park before finishing at Millennium Point.

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.”

See www.greatrun.org/birmingham-international-marathon for further information and to enter.