UPDATED 4.30 pm: DEMAND by runners to take part in this year's Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon in York has massively outstripped supply - despite an extra 1,000 places being created.

Organisers say their 'priority pre-sale' of places in the race sold out in just five hours today.

A limited number of places remain for general sale on Monday morning but they are expected to sell out very quickly.

"Would-be runners are now strongly encouraged to get online at 9am sharp on Monday to be in with any chance of a place," said a spokeswoman.

Entries for this year’s race were officially launched at an event staged at Clifford’s Tower this morning, when it was announced that 7,000 runners could take part, compared with just over 6,000 last year.

Charities such as St Leonard’s Hospice and Martin House Hospice said they hoped the race on Sunday October 12 would raise them even more funds than 2013's event.

Caroline Hudson, events manager at Martin House Hospice in Boston Spa, said last year’s race raised £60,000-£65,000 and, with more official places in the race for the hospice this year, she hoped it would raise even more.

“The money raised from this event goes a long way to support all of the children across Yorkshire who need us, through difficult times,” she said.

Sue Miller, fundraising manager at St Leonard’s Hospice in York, said last year’s race raised about £50,000 for the hospice, making it one of its biggest fundraising events, and she also hoped the amount would increase this year.

“It’s absolutely vital, “she said. “We rely on such funding. Each year we need to find around £4 million to run the hospice’s care for local people with life-threatening illnesses and for their families – much of which comes from the inspirational efforts of people like our runners.”

Nick Rawlings, commercial and marketing director at Plusnet, said the inaugural marathon had really captured the public’s imagination and this year’s event would be even bigger and better, with more ‘interaction’ for the runners and crowds of supporters along the course.

*General entries for The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon open at 9am prompt on Monday, with would-be runners urged to go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com to sign up.