Organisers of the award winning MBNA Chester Marathon are preparing for the return of the UK’s only metric marathon for 2015.

Covering 26.2km (16.3 miles), the inaugural MBNA Metric Marathon attracted a sell-out crowd of more than 500 runners in 2014, helping many athletes bridge the gap between half marathon and full marathon distance.

This year’s event will take place on Sunday, October 4 – the same day as the MBNA Chester Marathon – starting and finishing at Chester Racecourse and taking in many of the same roads as the full marathon – famous for its historic route through the Roman city of Chester.

Chester Marathon 2015

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Race organiser Chris Hulse from Active Leisure Events said: “We identified the need for a race like this after speaking to our runners and we were delighted with the amount of interest it generated last year.

“The Chester Half Marathon in May gives many people the platform to go on and train for the full marathon in October, but we know that for some runners that step up is just too much.

“This race helps them make the transition from a half to a full marathon much more smoothly – it’s the perfect stepping stone.”

Organisers have increased the field capacity this year to 1,000 runners and expect places to sell out quickly as they did in 2014.

The race will start just after the Chester Marathon, which is expected to attract another 5,000 runners this year and passes Chester Town Hall, Cathedral, the Rows, Eastgate Clock and the Amphitheatre before a grandstand finish back at Chester Racecourse.

Chris added: “Sunday, October 4 will be a real festival of marathons with the metric race, full marathon and a one mile fun run for children and families.

“Our aim is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get involved on race day and that’s why we try to provide something for everyone, no matter what level of fitness they’re at.

“Places for both these races always sell quickly and thousands of people have already registered so we’re advising people to book early to avoid missing out.”

The MBNA Chester Marathon was named one of the UK’s Top 10 Marathons earlier this year by readers of the popular running magazine Runners World who recognised the race for the quality of its route, the variety of scenery and the excellent Chester support.

Entries for the MBNA Chester Marathon and MBNA Metric Marathon are now open. All finishers in both races will receive a technical t-shirt, bespoke medal and goody bag.

Visit www.chestermarathon.co.uk for more information about either race or to book a place.

Chester Marathon pumped more than £1m into local economy, figures show