Organisers of the MBNA Chester Marathon have expressed their delight after the annual event was selected to be the first race where the 2017 Age Group Championships will be contested.

The race, which will take place on Sunday, October 8, 2017 has been selected to be the first host of the England Athletics Age Group team.

The decision to hand the popular city marathon the honour was made following an online vote via social media where Chester emerged the clear winner.

Dean Hardman of England Athletics, said: “We are delighted that the MBNA Chester Marathon is to be the first host of the England Athletics Age Group team.

“We put the choice of host event to a vote on social media and Chester was the overwhelming winner.

“The feedback that runners give after running at Chester is always extremely positive and we are certain that Chester will provide the team with an experience to remember.”

Earlier this autumn, England Athletics announced the first athletes to have qualified for the team from the Yorkshire, Bournemouth and Chester marathons, with further opportunities to qualify coming up in spring 2017 at marathons in Greater Manchester and Brighton.

The selected athletes will then compete head to head against opposition that will be announced early in the New Year.

Andy White, race director of the MBNA Chester Marathon, said: “It is fantastic news. As keen athletes ourselves it means a lot to be chosen – by the runners – as the first England Athletics Age Group marathon.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming the England Age Group team to our home city of Chester.

“We are over the moon that the runners themselves continue to recognise that the MBNA Chester Marathon offers something special as an event.

“We have a fast, predominantly flat course through the historic city of Chester and the striking Cheshire countryside which even crosses into North Wales, making it the UK’s only international marathon.

“This, blended with the superb Chester Racecourse venue and support that is second to none makes for a memorable race day experience.”

For more information on the MBNA Chester Marathon and its sister event, the Essar Chester 2017 Half Marathon being held on Sunday, May 21, 2017, visit