Thousands descended at old Trafford for the third Manchester Half

Thousands descended at old Trafford for the third Manchester Half

The third annual Manchester Half took place on Sunday 14 October welcoming thousands of runners and spectators to the streets of Trafford.

 

The skies were grey and the roads wet, but this this did not dampen the spirits of over 10,000 runners who took part in the Manchester Half on the famously flat, fast and friendly course. With only a 41metre elevation across the 13.1mile course, the Manchester Half has become the race of choice for beginners, charity runners and elite athletes looking for a PB or qualifying time.

 

Spectators, alike, embraced the conditions and cheered on the athletes as they stormed passed. Come rain or shine, The Manchester Half, now in its third year, promises crowds like no other race and this year it didn’t disappoint.

 

Over 30 elite athletes participated, providing stiff competition for the finish.

 

Experienced half marathon competitor Andy Vernon went head to head with Luke Traynor, taking the Glaswegian’s 2017 Manchester Half title. Vernon took lead at the 10k mark of the race and kept the pace through to the finish line, smashing last year’s course record of 1.04.10 crossing the line at 1.03.39.

 

Lauren Howarth was first in for the women, nailing a time of 01.14.16. In second and third place for the women was Cali Thackery with a time of 1.15.35 and Rachel Felton who finished at 1.16.53.  

 

Last year’s champion, Luke Taylor also took to the podium on the steps of Trafford Town Hall with a second-place time of 1.04.02, while Kieran Clements came in a supremely close third with a time of 1.04.32 for the men.

 

This year’s wheelchair race was the most competitive in Manchester Half history, with less than a second between first and second place. The finish times suggest that this race is emerging as one of the fastest in the UK for wheelchair athletes. Scot, Kyle Michael Brotherton was first to cross the line in an impressive 55.25 followed by Josh Harley, both smashing the current course record of 1.18.32 by over 20 minutes. In third place was Graham Spencer with a time of 58.55.

 

The first female wheelchair athlete to cross the line was Eden Rainbow-Cooper. The 17-year-old crossed the line in an impressive time of 01.03.3, setting a new female record for the course. In second place was Helen Gilham with a time of 1.57.15.

 

Nick Rusling, CEO of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon and Manchester Half, said: “Massive congratulations to all who came to participate and to those who came to cheer the runners on. 

 

“This event is now firm part of the running calendar and Manchester fitness scene. We’ve shown that we have inspired loads of new people as well as putting on a quick race for the regulars. For those that fancy stepping up we hope to see all of you again at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon in Trafford in April.”

 

Aimee Baker, Race Director of Manchester Half organisers Xtra Mile Events, said: “This is the third time the Manchester Half has taken place. It is really proving itself as the flattest, fastest and friendliest course in the UK.”

 

The Manchester Half is the largest challenge of its kind in the North West, and recently announced its intentions to become the UK’s most inclusive mass participation event.

 

Since launching in 2016 the run has been a huge success. Whilst it’s already known as a friendly and diverse run, the organisers are keen to ensure that the event epitomises the range of backgrounds and cultures that make up all of Manchester and the surrounding areas, and breaks down the barriers that stop many from joining in. Manchester is recognised as an inclusive city and the Manchester Half is additionally championing this positive outlook with pride, by rewarding the winning running club the new Turing Trophy.

 

Alan Turing was a computer scientist that worked at Victoria University in Manchester, he was prosecuted for his homosexuality – which at that point was illegal under the then Labouchere Amendment. Importantly, Turing was also a successful runner. His marathon personal best of 2hrs 46 mins was only 11 minutes outside the winning time at the 1948 Olympics.

 

The next Manchester Half 2019 takes place on October 13th 2019 and entries are now open. The ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon takes place April 7th 2019. Visit http://www.greatermanchestermarathon.com.

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