Runners can go metric this autumn by running a shorter alternative race that will run alongside the usual Chester Marathon.

Instead of 26.2 miles, the event is 26.2km (16.3 miles) for those runners wishing to take part in the MBNA Chester Marathon on Sunday October 5 but who fancy a slightly less arduous experience.

Andy White, joint race organiser, explained: “We came up with the idea to introduce the metric marathon to this year’s event to give even more people the opportunity to get involved. The distance is ideal for those looking to step up from a half marathon but who don’t quite fancy the full marathon distance at this stage. It’s also perfect for anyone in the midst of training for a spring marathon in 2015.

“We’ve done a lot of research and there are currently no other organised metric marathons set to take place in the UK this year. As runners ourselves, we are really keen to help people progress with their running, and the metric marathon bridges the gap between a 10k or half marathon and a full marathon distance, which we hope will appeal to those looking to make the transition between the two.”

Participants in the metric marathon will be treated to the same race day experience as those taking part in the marathon, starting and finishing at Chester Racecourse and getting the opportunity to enjoy the best parts of the marathon route, which will see its fifth year in 2014.

Earlier this year, the annual race secured the Gold Award in the Best Mass Participation Race category in the Sweatshop Awards for the Running Industry, which was reiterated by Runner’s World magazine, where the event was labelled the UK’s Number One Road Marathon of 2013.

Both awards were dictated by the UK running community, following 97% positive feedback from the public on the Runner’s World forum, and the Sweatshop Awards for the Running Community gong stemming from 7,000 public votes.

Entries for the metric marathon are now open and are limited to just 1,000 places. Entry costs £33 for UKA affiliated runners and £35 for non affiliated runners. Entries for the fifth MBNA Chester Marathon are still open, but filling fast. Runners can secure their entries for either event at www.chestermarathon.co.uk .

Cancer Research UK is the MBNA Chester Marathon’s main race charity in 2014

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