Great Manchester Run: Half Marathon and 10K. 2024 Report and Results

Report by: Lucy Broom

Race Date: Sunday 26th May, 2024

 The Great Manchester Run comprises a half marathon and a 10K, with about 30,000 runners across the two races. The 10K is apparently the largest 10K in Europe, and the third largest mass participation event in the UK, behind the Great North Run and London Marathon. It was certainly stacked with national and international talent (and our own Abbie Pearse running as an Elite!). The course goes through Greater Manchester (Manchester, Trafford and Salford) and promises various crowd-pleasing sights.

 Last year, I qualified to represent England as a master, and would be proudly wearing my England vest, to run against Wales, in the half marathon. Going into the race, I knew I had no achievable time goals – the Strider’s FV50 record and my PB were out of reach, and I certainly wasn’t in V50 podium contention, with my season’s best placing me towards the bottom end of the other 15 runners (14 England and 1 Wales) in my age category.  And so, the outcome pressure was off, and my main aim was to enjoy the occasion. My last three half marathons, in pursuit of the Strider’s FV45 half marathon record, were horrible deteriorations of pace and I hated them all. I did not want that for this race!

The first wave of the half marathon was starting at 08.20am (!), making for a very unpleasant 04.50am start. I did briefly consider a hotel, but with Premier Inns nearing £200, decided that an hour or so over Snake Pass was the preferable option.  Previous city centre race parking experiences have been stressful and so a pre-booked space helped reduce anxiety. I was disappointed to learn the night before, that my running buddy, Kate Waddicor, was injured and not able to take up her England place this time (but know that she will more opportunities, going into a new age category this year!).

On arrival, I headed to collect my ‘back number’ – all masters competitors are required to wear their age on their backs, like a target to be hunted down. Then the official England photo. There is little more inspiring than being with 240 athletes, across the age span, at the top of their game; and I felt a wave of emotion at this point. Things were a little chaotic after this. The plan was for the organisers to walk us down to the start line at 8, where we would warm up and start at the front. But I couldn’t find the mass walk down, and there was nowhere to gain access near the front (nor warm up), and we had to squeeze through and over barriers further back; and push our way to the front. There was a bit of grumbling from a couple of runners, about the ‘carnage’ that would ensue at the start, so I politely stayed put for a while, then thought “F*ck it – I was promised the front, and that’s where I shall be. This could be my only opportunity!”.  Brendon Foster was starting the race (wheelchair race first, then us). I commented on his legendary status to the V55 England runner next to me, and she replied that she was on the same international team as him in the 80s – just wow! (NB I followed her for most of the way and decided that I needed to take her down, for that very reason, and eventually did!).

My race plan was to take in the scenery and enjoy myself. The crowd-pleasing route was interesting if you like football stadiums, but mostly dull, and surprisingly undulating (as promised), with long stretches of dual carriageway and multiple bridges. I did enjoy the out and back stretches and kept myself entertained playing Spot the Striders. An exciting spot was Paralympic Gold medallist Richard Whitehead, flying along on his blades, at the sharp end of the race.  I honestly loved every second of the race – beamed the whole way round, punched the air and whipped up the crowd – I’m wearing The Vest and I’m going to milk it! And amidst the fun, I actually ran really well too, and even managed a sprint finish, taking down an FV45 on the home straight. I was pleased and pleasantly surprised with my time, and consistent splits (second half only 4 seconds slower than the first).  I had a little cry on finishing…..I had run for England!!!!

Half Marathon
The men’s race was won by James Westlake, Crawley AC. 01:06:34 (G). The women’s race was won by Eleanor Baker, unaffiliated. 01:14:50 (G).

Steel City Striders:

Position Name Time
558 Lucy Broom 01:31:52 (C)
2258 Kevin Wong 01:47:13 (C)
5477 Humphrey Fu 02:05:54 (C)

The wheelchair race was won by Johnboy Smith. Wier Archer Academy. 22:31 (G). The men’s race was won by Vincent Ngetich, Kenya. 27:25 (G). The women’s race was won by Gotytom Gebreslase, Ethiopia. 30:32 (G).

Steel City Striders:

Position Name Time
101 Stephen Schubeler 34:49 (C)
18 (in elite women’s race) Abbie Pearse 35:46 (G)
342 Simone Young-alls 39.33 (C)
459 Ollie Carlisle 41:07 (C)
12,221 Clare Kidney 01:14:18 (C)

Full results here.


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