ORGANISERS of the Brighton Marathon have unveiled route changes for the 2012 race in a bid to draw in “elite” runners.

Runners will now be taking in Boundary Road in Portslade while the route along St James’ Street is shortened.

The course will also no longer go behind the back of Ovingdean Hall College or through the college grounds.

Race director Tim Hutchings |said the changes were caused by a combination of health and safety concerns and wanting to make the route flatter and faster.

He said: “Part of the issue with the Ovingdean part of the course was there were parts of it where there was a communications blackout with radios and mobile phones.

“This could potentially have serious implications so we decided we needed to address it.

“This part also included a hill and now we are able to take it out.”

Other changes include runners making their way along New Church Road, turning left into Boundary Road and then taking in Seaford Road and St Leonard’s Road before coming back on to New Church Road.

Runners will now also use the first 200 metres of St James’ Street before turning right on to Madeira Place and then left on to Marine Parade.

Mr Hutchings said: “Our long term aim is to make this a world class marathon and by making the course faster, we can encourage more elite runners to come forward.

“We have had a tremendous amount of support from the city and we hope that these changes will be welcome, particularly as we are now able to include Portslade as well.”

There are already 18,000 runners signed up for the third Brighton Marathon on April 15.

This year’s event attracted 10,000 runners and in its first two years, the marathon has raised more than £6 million for charity.

The inaugural race in 2010 generated £3.5 million for the city’s economy.