With over four months until race day, organisers of the Great Manchester Marathon have announced a marked increase in registration numbers with half of the 10,000 places already filled. Scheduled for Sunday 28 April, the event has received considerable interest after its classification as the fastest marathon route in the UK.
The race also seems to have caught the eye of international runners, with the start list including entrants from 27 different countries. As it stands, South Korea, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Uruguay will all be represented on the start line. The marathon starts on the A56 White City Roundabout in Old Trafford, just a short walk from Manchester United Football Club, and finishes outside the stadium where the race village and charity zone are also located.
On top of its billing as the flattest marathon in the UK - there is just 55m of elevation gain - this year's event will see the introduction of the Relay Team Challenge. Made up of teams of 4, the relay is viewed as a great opportunity for colleagues, club mates, family members or friends to take on the marathon together without having to cover the full 26.2 miles solely by yourself.
Athletics legend Ron Hill MBE has pledged his support for the marathon in his hometown and he will be starting the race before joining the running crowds for the initial 8 miles.
Visit Greater Manchester Marathon website for more information, or you can follow the race on twitter at @Marathon_Mcr