ALL the places for York’s first marathon have been snapped up within three days as tourism bosses predict the event will bring £1.5 million to the city.

The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon was launched on Tuesday and 5,500 places have now gone for the race which will take place in York and the surrounding villages.

The event hit its initial capacity of 5,000 by Thursday and, following discussions over health and safety, a further 500 places were released which all sold by yesterday afternoon. Discussions are under way to increase the final number of runners to 6,000.

The city’s tourism chiefs have predicted the marathon – organised under the Jane Tomlinson’s For All Events umbrella – will be a huge boost to York’s hotels, restaurants and shops, bringing an “additional spend” of £1.5 million.

Mike Tomlinson, who heads the organisation bearing his late wife’s name, said the support was “humbling”.

“We’re well on the way to making it the biggest marathon in the North,” he said.

The marathon, which will be held on October 20, was launched on Tuesday by a host of famous Yorkshire faces including Dickie Bird, Chris Kamara and Hannah Cockroft.

It is being organised as part of a fundraising legacy to Jane, who raised almost £2m for charity by tackling endurance challenges despite having incurable cancer. Mr Tomlinson said York was an apt choice as his wife had loved the city.

Gillian Cruddas, Visit York’s chief executive, said the quick sale of spaces demonstrated York’s global appeal.

“With 5,000 places and early estimates of around 15,000 spectators, possibly more, the economic benefits will be in excess of a £1m boost for tourism.

“Putting an accurate figure on the economic impact isn’t easy at this stage but we would estimate additional spend in the city will exceed £1.5 million.”

Prof Colin Mellors, pro-vice-chancellor for business and community at the University of York, which will be the start and finish point for the race and a partner businesses of the event, agreed it would have a major boost for local communities and regional businesses as participants and spectators would need accommodation, food and transport.

“The benefits will be more widely shared by many deserving causes reaping direct financial benefit from the event. Less measurable is the broader impact and legacy of such events. Spirits can be lifted alongside a real sense of pride, commitment and motivation.”

People who want to be put on a waiting list for the marathon should register their details on the website.