Women are out in front when it comes to entering the country’s only metric marathon.

The 2017 MBNA Chester Metric Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 8, taking place over 26.2 kilometres rather than the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

So far, 60 per cent of those who have signed up are women – leaving organisers wondering where all the men are hiding.

Alison Morton, who is one of the pace runners for the marathon and its monthly training runs, said: “We think the boys are letting themselves down and are therefore challenging them to show us what they are made of by joining us in the run.”

Joint event organiser Chris Hulse added: “This race is especially attractive to people who want to try a distance beyond the half marathon but don’t want to go the full distance.

“Our event attracts runners from all over the UK and beyond, as well as a significant local contingent. It is the only metric marathon in the country and we are proud to be putting it on.”

The metric event takes place on the same day as the MBNA Chester Marathon, with runners starting at a later time to the main 26.2-mile event. Finishers get a goody bag, along with a bespoke metric marathon souvenir shirt and medal.

The new figures are quite a contrast to the 1980s, when typically women took up only five per cent of the places in the Chester Half Marathon.

To enter the marathon and metric marathon visit www.activeleisureevents.co.uk.