15,000 runners are primed and ready for Sunday’s (10 April) Greater Manchester Marathon. The elite field looks to be an open and thrilling contest in what will be the event’s 40th anniversary, and running enthusiasts who can’t be there to see the excitement unfold will be able to watch a highlights programme.
Sunday’s field will enjoy a revamped start point at the Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club as they tackle the fast marathon course. The anniversary is an exciting milestone for ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, which was brought back in 2012 after a decade’s absence by current organisers Xtra Mile Events.
A series of local runners have emerged as potential marathon winners: Salford Harrier Joe Bailey secured victory at last month’s Wrexham Half Marathon in an impressive 68:24; Dan Nash, making his debut over 26.2 miles, ran the Libson Half in 67:57; while 41-year-old Kojo Kyereme completed the 2015 NYC Marathon in 2:26:17 and is the reigning World Masters Champion over 10,000m.
Looking to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Georgie Bruinvels will be fellow Belgrave Harrier Samantha Amend who took second place in 2015. Gemma Connolly, who was third, has been on impressive form in 2016, winning at the Essar Four Villages Half Marathon. Other contenders look likely to be Jennifer Wetton, second at Inverness Half and Stockport Harrier Kelly Crickmore, who boasts a marathon PB of 2:45:14.
While the elites will be vying for the prize money at the top of the field, Greater Manchester Marathon has proven that there is a real appetite for distance running within the area. The news that the event will be featured on national television will allow the marathon and Manchester to increase its exposure worldwide.
The programme, which will be broadcast shortly after the event, is expected to have a reach of over one million people. Race director Simon Hill commented: “It is incredibly exciting to see the 2016 ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon secure terrestrial television coverage. It will put the race in another league and raise awareness among new, international audiences that Manchester is a hub for world-class running events."
For all those taking part in the race, best of luck from everyone at runABC North.