Entries have opened for what is thought to be the first full marathon to be held in the Borders.
The Lindsays Borders Marathon and Relay will take place on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at Kelso Racecourse, where runners will have to tackle 23.5 laps of the course.
The fund-raising event is the brainchild of Borders runner Chris Renton, and will have a number of unusual features in an attempt to broaden its appeal.
Organisers have announced that the race will include up to 90 individual runners, and 10 relay teams, meaning up to 100 runners will be on the course at any one time.
Renton said: “I wanted to establish the event because there are not that many distance runs in the Borders, and we have lost one or two of those that have existed in recent years.
“I think the nearest marathon is over the border in Kielder in Northumberland. Our event will be unusual in that it will be run in laps around the racecourse and whilst it is fairly flat there is a climb in there.
“I think runners will enjoy the lap running, and it will certainly mean that friends, family and spectators can become more involved and can help even more in encouraging the runners.
“It also means runners return to their station every lap, and so can plan their race well.
“Having a relay element also means that runners who don’t want to run the full marathon distance can be a part of the day.”
Chris hopes the event will raise funds for the Brathay Trust, a national charity which helps vulnerable children get a better start in life.
He added: “Lindsays’ decision to sponsor the marathon will make a fantastic difference, the sponsorship will meet the costs of staging the event which means that all of the money raised will go to the charity.
“I was already grateful to Kelso Races and to Kelso Golf Club for all of their help and support as they are both providing their venues for free.”
Renton also intends to run in the Brathay 10 x 10 next year, where he will run 10 officially measured marathons in 10 consecutive days around Lake Windermere, one of the toughest and unforgiving road races in the UK.
He explained: “I’m the first one from the Borders to be selected for the race, so it’s a great honour and came as a great surprise.
“The races end on May 18 which also happens to be my birthday. It will be a very different kind of birthday party!”
Entries to the Borders marathon are now open at www.entrycentral.com.