The inaugural Aldi Manchester Half Marathon took place yesterday Sunday 16th October 2016 and welcomed thousands of runners from all over the UK and abroad. The majority of the race took place under cloudy and part rainy skies, but the weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the city’s highly anticipated 13.1-mile race which was greeted with fantastic crowd support.
The Aldi Manchester Half Marathon was clearly a welcome addition to the city’s running scene and after the inaugural happening runners called it “a friendly and well organised race with the best on course support”. The flat course with only 41m elevation gain makes it one of the flattest and fastest half marathons, ideal for beginners, charity runners and elite athletes looking for a PB or qualifying time.
Over 8,500 runners were lining up at White City roundabout at 9am just as it started to rain, with a strong elite field hoping to win a share of the substantial British and Irish only prize fund.
A group of ten runners took the lead straight from the start and were still running together at even pace through the half way point, and it wasn’t until after the 15km mark that Adam Hickey and Matt Bond managed to extend the gap. Hickey and Bond were running neck to neck battling it out for the winning title, with Hickey digging deep and pulling away on the final stretch. Hickey crossed the finish line as the winner of the Aldi Manchester Half Marathon in 01:04:41, five seconds ahead of Bond. Carl Hardman claimed third place in 01:05:37, beating Alastair Watson into fourth place by four seconds.
The women’s field was dominated by Rebecca Murray who secured the title with a fantastic sub-73 time of 01:12:59. Runner up Louise Small crossed the finish line in 01:13:47 and Helen Clitheroe of Preston Harriers took third place in 01:15:37. The wheelchair race was won by John Smith in 51:05.
The men’s and women’s winners each collected £2,000 in prize money, with £1,000 going to the runners up, £750 to the third placed runners and further prize money awarded down to 10th position.
With the Aldi Manchester Half Marathon laying its roots as one of the fastest half marathons in the country, organisers were offering generous time bonuses for the inaugural race. Both Adam Hickey and Matt Bond collected £500 each for running a sub 65:00 time, and Rebecca Murray claimed a £500 time bonus for finishing under 73:30.
Aldi Manchester Half Marathon, 16th October 2016:
1. Adam Hickey (Southend AC), 01:04:41
2. Matt Bond (Sale Harriers), 01:04:46
3. Carl Hardman (Salford Harriers), 01:05:37
1. Rebecca Murray (Bedford & County AC), 01:12:59
2. Louise Small (Aldershot Farnham & District), 01:13:47
3. Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers), 01:15:37
For all results please go to www.manchesterhalfmarathon.com.
Trafford Council leader Sean Anstee said: “As someone who ran in the race I can testify to how well organised and attended an event this was. A big thank you to all involved in sponsoring and organising an event that was attended by thousands of people. The Aldi Manchester Half-Marathon highlights all that Trafford has to offer and I look forward to next year’s event.”
Race Director Simon Hill commented: “The Aldi Manchester Half Marathon has been a phenomenal success and we are delighted with the incredible support and uptake the race has received. It was fantastic to see the streets of Manchester filled today with thousands of runners and spectators, all contributing to a day of magnificent sporting achievement and superb atmosphere. The course was well received and we are proud to have the best on course support and entertainment, making this one of the friendliest races around.
“It was great to welcome such a fantastic and strong elite field who delivered fast times, firmly establishing the event as one the fastest half marathons.
“Congratulations to all those who crossed the finish line and a big thank you to our volunteers, marshals, entertainment, partners and sponsors who helped us to deliver a successful event.”
Ruth Doyle, Aldi Regional Managing Director, said: “It was great to be a part of such a fantastic event and there was a real buzz across Manchester throughout the day. The Aldi team really enjoyed taking part in their banana outfits and we have raised much needed funds to support Barnardos. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
The race’s three National Charity Partners were Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation and Save the Children. The Local Charity Partners were The Christie and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH).
Sponsors of the Aldi Manchester Half Marathon included Aldi, ASICS, INTERSPORT, HIGH5, MLP Law, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Emirates Old Trafford and Trafford Council. Best Western Cresta Court Hotel was the Official Hotel Partner for the race and supporters included ERDINGER Alkoholfrei, Athlete Matters and TWJ.
Entries for the 2017 race will open shortly and runners can register their interest on the website in order to qualify for a special early bird offer.
Go to www.manchesterhalfmarathon.com for further race details, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/manchesterhalfmarathon and follow @manchesterhalf #ManchesterHalf #NOWWERUN on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news.
Featured image courtesy of Mick Hall.