Olympic hopeful Jess Coulson has confirmed her participation at the first ever Manchester Half Marathon with elite entries for the race now open. The Stockport Harrier will join up to 15,000 other runners for the inaugural staging on Sunday 16 October, which starts and finishes at Emirates Old Trafford Lancashire County Cricket Club.
Jess, a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University, has recently returned to competitive action after sustaining a foot injury during Frankfurt Marathon. The athlete had identified the marathon as the event in which she would have secured the qualifying standard for Rio.
Prior to Frankfurt, Jess had tasted success at Cardiff Half Marathon and the English 10K Championships. Yet the 25-year-old is hopeful that she will secure Olympic qualification, and later Manchester Half will play a central part of her plans for 2016: “It’s a really big year for me…I always thought there should be a half marathon to go with the Manchester Marathon. It is the perfect distance for a female like me to run to our capability if we are not training for a marathon. Besides Manchester is such a great city and I have been here most of my life so I would love to come home with a win.”
Manchester Half Marathon was launched earlier this year and organisers Xtra Mile Events, who are also behind the Greater Manchester Marathon and Oulton Park Half Marathon, are anticipating a high turnout. Like its sister events, the half has been designed to be one of the fastest in the country with just 41m of elevation and a 2 mile+ finish straight.
Entry for the race is priced at £29, or £27 for affiliated runners. More information is available here.