Memorable moment for runners at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon

A record 20,000 runners of all abilities completed the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday, April 7.

But for two runners in particular, it was an extra special moment. Runner Sean Truett proposed to his girlfriend of eight years, Lucie Goddard, at the finish line. The couple from Wepre, North Wales, celebrated their engagement after receiving loud applause from spectators who were there to witness Sean popping the question.

Now one of Europe’s largest marathons, the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon has been growing year-on-year, attracting 6,700 more runners than last year, including a mixture of elite runners, wheelchair athletes and amateur runners aiming to tick it off their bucket list.

Amongst this year’s runners was Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who ran 13 miles as part of a relay team to raise money for families affected by the Manchester Arena attack two years ago. He completed the half-marathon distance just one week out from taking on the Boston Marathon to raise funds and awareness for the same cause.

Londoner Susannah Gill, who holds the women’s world record for running the fastest seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, achieved a personal best time of 2.56.53, testament to the renowned fast and flat topography of the course.

Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race, said: “This is a landmark day for long distance running in this country. Manchester has unsurprisingly proved it is easily capable of hosting one of Europe’s largest marathons, and such is the growth and popularity, we have London in our sites. The underlying joy with the event is that we are truly supporting runners from all backgrounds to achieve a marathon in the most supportive environment – the ultimate sporting badge of honour.”

Kerry Purnell, Trafford Council’s Head of Partnerships and Communities, said: “The ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon is a fantastic event for Greater Manchester, attracting thousands of runners and more than 1,000 volunteers helping to make the event happen on the day. The race raised over £1million pounds for charity last year and boosted the economy by £6.8 million pounds.”

Elite winners
Aaron Richmond won the elite men’s race with a time of 2.21.34, a new personal best, with local Gareth Raven, of Sale Harriers, taking second place with a time of 2.26.07 and Jo Corbett, of Chichester, coming in third position at 2.26.13.
Women’s elite favourite Jenny Spink, of Bristol and West, won with a time of 2.35.19, with Hungarian runner Fanni Gyurko coming in second at 2.39.51 and Johanna O’Regan of Riverside taking third place with a time of 2.42.15.

Mayor of Trafford, Tom Ross, was on hand to present medals to the elite winners in front of runners and their supporters in the athlete village.

Elite wheelchair winners
Simon Lawson of Maryport, Cumbria, won the elite men’s wheelchair race with a time of 1.31.51. Simon holds the British record for elite wheelchair racing and represented Great Britain at the 2016 Paralympic Games and the 2018 Commonwealth Games where he won a bronze medal in the marathon. Sean Frame, of Red Star Athletics Club in Glasgow, came in second place with a time of 1.44.25 and Matthew Clarke, of Lincolnshire, took third place with a time of 1.47.19.

Astonishing support
An estimated 60,000 spectators turned out to support the runners. Different communities lined the route cheering runners on with banners of all kinds and offering sweets and drinks from their kitchens. Bands, singers and entertainers turned out in support too, giving runners passing a much-needed boost. Runners experienced something truly unique from the amazing Mancunian support.

Total funds raised
This year’s marathon raised £1.3million for charity, with runners supporting official charity partners the Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research UK, in addition to a number of local Manchester charities, with £1 from every entry to the Trafford Active Fund with the purpose of developing sport in the local area. It’s not too late to donate.

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