14,000 runners will make their way to Trafford Town Hall this Sunday (14 October) for what promises to be one of the most thrilling 13.1 mile events of the year. With one of the fastest and flattest courses on the circuit, there is an expectation of fast times across the board, and with a highly incentivised prize pot for the elites, there is a feeling there could be a tense contest at the front.
The stats reveal that the Manchester Half Marathon really is the place to set a fast time: in 2017, 86% of the top 50 runners recorded a PB or SB, while 50% of the top 250 recorded a PB. For 2018, organisers Xtra Mile Events have generated a tasty prize pot with £5,000 on offer for any male who runs sub 61:30 or female who goes under 70:00.
For a male who goes under 63:45 and female under 71:30 there is a £2000 cash prize on offer. Finally, all males that complete the half marathon under 65:00 and all females under 73:30 will receive £500 as a cash bonus prize. The event organisers hope this will drive runners to beat their PBs.
This will provide another layer of excitement at the top, with Luke Traynor and Andy Vernon likely to be battling it out for bragging rights. It's hard to call, given recent form, if the pair could be in contention for the £5,000 bounty – but Traynor, particularly, with a PB of 61:55 set at Barcelona this year, could well be in for a profitable weekend given the prize structure.
Nick Rusling, CEO of the Manchester Half Marathon, said: “As the Manchester Half Marathon approaches this weekend, excitement is building and we are all set to deliver our biggest and best event yet.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming our runners and the thousands of spectators who provide outstanding support on the day. We would like to wish all runners the very best of luck with their race on Sunday.”
The day will not just be about a PB hunt, though, with thousands of competitors raising money for the event’s official charities, which includes Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Research UK and JustGiving. The Christie Charity and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity are the official local charity partners for the 2018 race.