Race date: 9 October 2022
Race distance: Half marathon
Report by Brian Jenkins
This was my third go at the Manc Half, so I knew what to expect, but it was my first go at the new route.
City centre races pose the usual problems, road closures, parking and the like, but with a brother living on the outskirts of Manchester, it would be rude not to, besides it was his idea, and Team Jenkins has been an occasional fixture in races around the land.
I arrived the night before and parked up at the brother’s, and after a particularly good feed at a local restaurant (the cognoscenti of euphemisms will be nodding at this point). We retired to recharge for the next day’s push.
Unfortunately the need to book these races so far ahead, means that so much can happen in the interim, and indeed Brother No. 1 had picked up an injury and was wary of exacerbating it (rightly so). He was not in a position to run, but offered to join me to the start line.
We set off using the city’s Metrolink network and arrived at Old Trafford (the Emirates cricket stadium, the similarly named football ground is just down the road). From there it was a short walk to the event village, bag drop and yes, the start.
Everything went smoothly, and with the chill in the air I had delayed the shedding of outer layers, but when the time came my hoody and bag was entrusted to the bag drop, I said goodbye to the brother, and I made my way to the start line.
As I said previously, things had changed since the last time I did this run. With 11,000 runners we had to be sent out in waves (not much change there). There was a single entrance to the start area and it was necessary to make your way through the assembled masses to join your start group (all colour-coded).
I made my way to the green form-up area and found the reassurance of another Strider. I exchanged greetings with Harry, and then our time had come, we were moved up to the start line.
The start for our wave was marked by not only the customary loud pop, but also a couple of clouds of smoke, and we were off.
As I said before, this was a new route (for me anyway), in my two previous goes at the race, there was a short loop of Trafford, before the hordes were sent south, under the M60 motorway and into Cheshire. The new route involves an out-and-back section heading towards the city centre with a turn-around at Deansgate.
We then returned past the start line and then south, under the M60 motorway and into Sale (Cheshire). The route took in the sights of Sale town centre and then north again, over the River Mersey, and under the M60 and by a slightly more circuitous route back to Old Trafford than my previous experiences.
The finish line was crossed and we were processed efficiently and moved on (with multiple stalls offering freebies). It was a relief when I got to the bag drop and could transfer my swag to a rucksack.
I approve of the route change, the start heading towards the city centre gives more of the feel of a big city race, and the support throughout the race (even in suburbia) is hard to fault, oh and if you want a relatively flat race, this one’s for you.
The race was won by Kris Jones (Swansea Harriers) in 1:03:46 and Mollie Williams (Stockport Harriers) in 1:13:29
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Full result: https://www.manchesterhalfmarathon.com/results/