Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham International Marathon announced

The start line of the Great Birmingham Run 2015
Image caption The Birmingham International Marathon is organised by the Great Run company behind the Great Birmingham Run

A new Birmingham marathon has been announced more than 30 years after the city held its last 26.2 mile run.

The Birmingham International Marathon and half marathon will be held in October 2017, organisers said.

It is expected to follow in the footsteps the People's Marathon, which ran between 1980 and 1985.

The race has been created by the Great Run company behind the Great Birmingham 10K and the Great Birmingham Run in partnership with the city council.

A provisional route starting at the Alexander Stadium and finishing on Broad Street has been proposed.

There will be themed miles along the course to celebrate the city's cultural diversity, organisers said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Birmingham International Marathon will start at the Alexander Stadium which regularly hosts the national championships and British trials for major global athletics events

Birmingham was hailed as the birthplace of the open-to-all marathon when elite runner John Walker launched the People's Marathon on 11 May 1980.

Athletics Weekly wrote at the time: "In years to come, when marathon fields several thousand strong will be commonplace in Britain, it will be seen that the event which triggered off the mass long-distance running movement in this country was the inaugural People's Marathon."

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Media captionThe People's Marathon ran from 1980-1985

The People's Marathon

  • Started on 11 May 1980 - a year before the first London Marathon
  • Organised by elite runner John Walker
  • The route included the M42 before it was opened
  • It ended in 1985 when other events took off

Mark Hollinshead, chief executive of the Great Run Company, said he hoped the new marathon would become the trials for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"Not only will this be a great event for British elite runners, we will also aim to attract runners of all abilities from the UK and beyond, to run for charity, for the challenge or just for fun," he said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Runners will pass through the grounds of the Grade I Listed early 17th century Aston Hall.

Steve Hollingworth, Birmingham City Council's assistant director for sport, events and parks said: "It will encourage more residents to become physically active and have access to a full complement of running events in the city."

Birmingham International Marathon provisional route

  • Starting at Alexander Stadium
  • Villa Park
  • Aston Hall
  • Barton Arms
  • Selfridges Building
  • Digbeth
  • Cannon Hill Park
  • Selly Park
  • Bournville
  • Edgbaston
  • Finishing on Broad Street

Image copyright Google
Image caption The marathon will take in the iconic Selfridges building with its 15,000 aluminium discs is one of the top-ten most photographed buildings in the UK.

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