THE organisers of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon in Trafford are promising a day filled with sporting extravaganza on Sunday.
Athletics legend Ron Hill will get the race underway, and the 75-year-old will join the running crowds for the first seven miles of the race to actively show his support for the marathon in his home town.
The runners include Dave Norman of Altrincham Athletics Club, the winner of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon ifor the past two years.
The race hub is based at Old Trafford Football Stadium, with the start of the race under the Trafford Arch on the A56 and the finish on Sir Matt Busby Way.
With a British-only prize fund announced back in November, the organisers have attracted a top quality British field. A deep prize fund and three time bonuses are available to UK registered runners, where - amongst others - the first male British athlete who finishes under 2:10 (hh:mm) and the first female British athlete who finishes under 2:20 (hh:mm) are awarded £10,000.
One again, Norman will be challenged by Andi Jones of Stockport Harriers AC, who was the runner up in 2012 and 2013.
The event is not just for elite runners though. The flat, fast course has attracted running club members, charity runners and first time marathon runners from all over the world, all with their own personal reasons for taking on the marathon challenge in Greater Manchester.
The route takes in the Trafford Quays area, Media City, Sale, Brooklands, Timperley, Altrincham, Urmston and Stretford. The two leg half/half and the four leg team relays start at 9.15 am, with the handover point of the half/half relay runners at the race’s half way point in Altrincham. The handover points for participants of the four leg relay is at Sale FC, Timperley Sports Club and Manor House Public House in Sale West.
Race day key timings: * 7:00: Race village opens including baggage storage, changing marquee, toilets and catering area.
•08:00: Capital FM Marathon Roadshow starts • 8:15: Warm up in Capital FM and ASICS stage zone in the race village • 8:30: Runners leave the race village to assemble in the start area.
•9:00: Start of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon 2014 by Dr Ron Hill MB.
• 9:15: Start of the Team Relays (Half/Half & 4 Leg Relay).
11:15: First runners finish the marathon on Sir Matt Busby Way.
•1:00: Prize giving / Podium for 1st, 2nd & 3rd male and female •3:00: Last runners finish the marathon •5:00: Race village closes The race brochure with all the race details and maps can be downloaded from the website, www.greatermanchestermarathon.com .
A few world records attempts will also be happening at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon.
Peter Knight from Sheffield plans to become the “Fastest man dressed up man as a bottle” to run a marathon while 24-year old Jack Sexty from Penkridge aims to the become the world’s first, and therefore fastest, person to complete the 26.2-mile road race purely on a pogo stick, while simultaneously challenging for the Guinness World Record for the furthest distance pogoed within 24 hours. Hope for Children (HOPE) and students from the University of Leeds are teaming up to train for a future world record attempt for the “Most runners linked to complete a marathon”, putting in a practice run at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon with 25 runners tying up.
Some familiar faces in the running crowd will include Tony Audenshaw, Liam Fox, Alicya Eyo and Laura Norton who play Bob Hope, Dan Spencer, Ruby Haswell and Kerry Wyatt in the popular TV soap Emmerdale, all running for Barry’s Project 150. Former Manchester United footballer Chris Casper will also be taking part, raising money for the Bobby Moore Fund.
Cancer Research UK, The Christie and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital are the official charities for the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon 2014.
ASICS is the title sponsor for the Greater Manchester Marathon. Other sponsors and partners include Up & Running, Clif Bar, AfterShokz, Metrolink, Myers Lister Price Solicitors, TWJ Partnership Accountants, Trafford Council and Virgin Money Giving.