This weekend's Greater Manchester Marathon will be marked by the Community Spirit initiative, which aims to get local businesses and organisations to the race to show their support for runners. The initiative was launched last year, and after receiving positive feedback about the atmosphere, organisers were keen to provide even more entertainment and support along the route.
There will be a varied range of entertainment to inspire and motivate the runners on Sunday, some of which include: Sale Brass Band, Sale Cenotaph (11k), Brooklands Samba Band (14k), and the Altrincham Children's Choir (20k). Staff from the Irwell Housing Association will also be cheering on the runners with the Tomahawks and a troupe of dancers at the Sale West estate, whilst 102 Capital FM will be providing the music in the race village and at the half way point in Altrincham.
The event is noted for its pancake flat course, with a total elevation of only 54m. The marathon starts on the A56 White City Roundabout at Old Trafford, just a short walk from Manchester United Football Club, and finishes outside the stadium where the race village and charity zone are also located.
Athletics legend Ron Hill MBE and Steve Kenyon, the quickest ever finisher of a Manchester marathon, will both start the race. Hill will then join the running crowds for the initial eight miles, actively showing support for the marathon in his home-town.