This Sunday will see up to 12,000 runners descend upon Trafford for the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon. The event, regarded as the UK’s fastest and flattest, will have athletics legend Dr Ron Hill MBE and ASICS ambassador Mara Yamauchi send competitors on their way from the start point under the Trafford Arch.
A series of high-profile names, including Paul Martelletti, Ben Fish, Paolo Natali, Tom Cornthwaite, Andy Norman, Ian McBride, Eoin Callaghan, Tom Charles and Michael Kallenberg will all by vying for the men’s title. In the women’s elite field, the contenders for the 2015 title are looking likely to be Samantha Amend, Gemma Connolly and Georgie Bruinvels.
Last year’s event saw winners Andi Jones and Emily Wicks set new course records in 2:16:59 and 2:38:26 respectively, with all four leading men finishing under 2:20. As introduced in 2014, the race will offer a British-only prize fund again.
The top ten British athletes will be eligible for cash prizes and the organisers have put up three time bonuses available to UK registered runners only, awarding £10,000 to the first male British athlete who finishes under 2:10 and the first female British athlete who finishes under 2:20.
There will be a couple of world record attempts happening at this year’s race, including Ollie Dawson attempting to set a world record for the “Fastest marathon dressed as a minion” and Steve Edwards running the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon as part of his world record attempt to "Run 1000 official marathon races in the fastest average finish time." The ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon will be Steve’s 680th marathon.
Race director Simon Hill said: “The ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon is just days away now, and we are looking forward to delivering another fantastic event for runners and spectators alike. The race sees huge community support with thousands of supporters lining the streets of Greater Manchester, and we are proud to be referred to as the friendliest marathon.
"There is a great field of British elite runners on the start, and we would like to wish all the runners the best of luck in their marathon challenge on Sunday.”