THE ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon in Trafford has been hailed a major success.

There were a record breaking number of finishers and new course records set by both winners on Sunday.

Organisers expect the 38th Manchester Marathon to raise more than £1.5m for charity.

The event attracted a large British elite field and runners of all levels from over the world.

Recognised as the UK’s flattest and one of the world’s fastest marathon courses with only 54m elevation gain, over 6,500 athletes crossed the finish line on Sir Matt Busby Way at Old Trafford Football Stadium.

More than 250 relay teams, which were a new addition to the 2014 race.

Athletics legend Ron Hill started the race at 9am and then joined the running crowds for the first seven miles.

Andi Jones of Stockport Harriers AC, runner up in 2012 and 2013, claimed the winning title in a course record time of 02:16:59, knocking five and a half minutes off his finish time from 2013.

The women’s race was very much a battle was won by Emily Wicks of Aldershot and Farnham AC with a time of in 2:38:26.

The race incorporated an entertainment programme - labelled a ‘free festival for runners and spectators’.

A large variety of community groups and clubs lined the marathon course, including choirs, brass bands, youth orchestras and DJs. There was also a lot of activity and spectator support at the half way point in Altrincham.

ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon Race Director Simon Hill commented: “The ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon in Trafford has been a huge success.

“The race sees huge crowd and community support, and I would like to express a big thank you to all the local people who came out, cheered on the runners and worked with us around the road closures.

“A big thank you also to all the volunteers and marshals, the local communities, the official charities, our title sponsor, partner sponsors, the runners, spectators and supporters, and everyone who contributed to making this the friendliest marathon.”

Cathy McGinnis, ASICS marketing manager UK and Ireland, said: "ASICS are committed to supporting runners to achieve their personal goals, and to celebrate the passion, determination and dedication of marathon runners.

“Congratulations to everyone who took part; it was fantastic to see everyone complete their journey to marathon day."

Cancer Research UK, the Christie and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital were the official charities for the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon.