Organisers of the MBNA Chester Marathon have announced that the 2017 race will be the first in which the Age Group Championships is contested. The event was chosen after coming out as the clear winner in a vote conducted by England Athletics on social media.
The championship will see selected athletes compete in age group teams at the event on Sunday 8 October. A number of runners have already qualified for the team after performances at the Yorkshire, Bournemouth and Chester marathons.
The remaining places will be filled by those who qualify from Manchester and Brighton marathons. These five marathons comprise the qualifying races, with the top five England Athletics-registered runners in each masters age category guaranteeing themselves a place in the England team.
Andy White, race director of the MBNA Chester Marathon, was understandably delighted with the announcement: "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."
News of the selection will be a further boost to a race that has enjoyed considerable success since being re-introduced in 2009. Over 4,000 runners took part in October’s event, plus almost 1,000 more in the accompanying metric marathon.
More information on the MBNA Chester Marathon is available at the event website.