After successive second place finishes, Andi Jones made it third time lucky to win Sunday's (6 April) Greater Manchester Marathon. The Stockport Harrier and Manchester City fan took victory in 2:16:55 and said: "It's the first time I have been happy to see Old Trafford.”
The event was celebrating its third staging since being revived in 2012 after a decade long absence. Ron Hill was on hand to give competitors their marching orders on a fast and flat course that starts on the A56 White City Roundabout in Old Trafford, just a short walk from Manchester United Football Club, and finishs outside the stadium.
Jones’ 2:16:55 is the quickest recorded since the event was reintroduced in 2012 and his best marathon performance in four years. The Stockport Harrier was followed by Andrew Davies (2:17:47), with Kevin Seaward third (2:18:46) and defending champion Dave Norman in fourth place (2:19:07).
His victory will be made all the sweeter considering it is likely to be his last appearance at the event: “I'm really pleased because this is almost certainly my last Manchester marathon as I am emigrating to Qatar later this year”
Emily Wicks secured a PB and new course record of 2:38:21 to win the female competition, with Kilbarchan’s Gemma Rank second (2:40:34) and Samantha Amend in third (2:44:21). The Manchester event is only Wicks’ third official marathon, with the previous two in London and Frankfurt.
Looking south, Brighton Marathon again witnessed a course record as William Chebor won the race in 2:09:25. Chebor’s performance is all the more impressive considering he was forced to tie his lace at the 7 mile mark. The event, now in its fifth year, was started by Paula Radcliffe and attracted almost 9,000 runners.