Entries have surged past 8000 for the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon, with less than 800 places remaining

With 21 weeks to go until the first Birmingham International Marathon, organisers have announced that fewer than 800 general entry places are now available.

Runners considering taking part are being urged to sign up now to avoid missing out on the inaugural edition of the 26.2-mile event, which will take place on Sunday October 15.

Excitement is building for the Birmingham International Marathon and entries have now surged past 8000.

The event takes place on the same day as the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half-marathon, which means more than 25,000 people could be running in Birmingham on October 15.

Aston mum Shah Begum is planning to tackle her first marathon in Birmingham. Since taking up running just two years ago, she has shed six stone and now inspires other running first-timers through inspirational social media messages and community running groups.

“If anybody’s thinking about entering but hasn’t committed, my advice to them would be ‘just do it’,” she said.

“Once you’ve signed up, you have a target to aim for and it becomes more and more exciting, especially when you follow people on social media who are on the same journey as you.

“I want to run my first marathon in my home city. I want to get across that finish line and say, ‘I ran my first 26.2-mile distance in Birmingham, where I grew up’.

“Also, the recent 10km reminded me just how much support you get in Birmingham. Along the entire route, you’ve got people clapping and cheering you on. The crowds are brilliant in this city.”

Starting at Alexander Stadium, the marathon will take in iconic city sights like Villa Park, Selfridges, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and picturesque Cannon Hill Park before finishing at Millennium Point in front of thousands of cheering spectators.

To make the Birmingham International Marathon weekend a family festival of running, entries are also now open for the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Birmingham Runs, taking place at Alexander Stadium, the home of UK Athletics, on Saturday October 14.

The Mini Run is open to children of all abilities aged 3-8 and the Junior Run is open to 9 to 15-year-olds.

Sign up for the Birmingham International Marathon here.