ENTRIES are pouring in for what is expected to be one of the region’s biggest sporting events of the year.

Within 48 hours of its launch thousands of athletes from Britain and abroad have already signed up for the first-ever Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, to be held in York on October 20.

And with the figure now exceeding the 4,000 mark – well on the way to the event’s current capacity – organisers are looking to expand the numbers to allow even more to take part.

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Entries have come from across the UK and as far afield as France, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the USA and even the Bahamas and the deluge – which has left the organisers thrilled – shows no signs of abating.

Among those who have given it their backing are the York-born former Middlesbrough and England boss Steve McClaren and Middlesbrough-born footballer-turned TV pundit Chris Kamara.

Mr McClaren, now manager of Dutch side FC Twente said: “Coming from York, I am delighted that my home city will play host to the first-ever Yorkshire Marathon.

The Northern Echo:
Former Middlesbrough FC manager Steve McClaren

“Not only will people conquer massive personal challenges at this event, it will also raise a huge amount of vital funds for charities up and down the country. This is an exciting time for the people of Yorkshire.”

The marathon has been organised by a new company under Jane Tomlinson’s For All Events umbrella – set up as a fundraising legacy to the late Yorkshire fundraiser and campaigner who raised almost £2m for charity before dying of an incurable cancer.

Her widower Mike said: “It’s phenomenal – we’re really humbled by the level of interest in the new Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. We knew it would be popular, but this is just sensational.

“It was always our hope this would become the biggest marathon in the North and judging by people’s appetite for it, we’re well on our way to achieving that.”

The Northern Echo:
Middlesbrough-born footballer-turned TV pundit Chris Kamara

The event will start and finish on the Heslington campus of the University of York and will take in many of the sights of York before heading out through local villages.

The route is flatter than those of London, Berlin, Paris, Chicago and New York and athletes are hoping for some fast times, spurred on by the thousands of spectators expected to line the route.

Runners can choose to raise funds for a cause of their choice or one of the event’s partner charities .To register go to theyorkshiremarathon.com