The 2017 ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon takes place in Trafford this Sunday 2nd April and the city is set for a day of thrilling sporting achievement, lively entertainment and superb crowd support.

Renowned for being the UK’s flattest, fastest and friendliest marathons, the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon is looking forward to welcoming athletes of all abilities, from first time marathon runners to club runners and elite athletes hoping for a PB or qualifying time.

The race attracts runners from near and far but always includes a strong British and Irish elite field thanks to its British and Irish only prize fund. It is also a big favourite among charity fundraisers, many of whom will be running to raise money for the official charities, Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Research UK and Save the Children. The Christie charity and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity are the Official Local Charity Partners for the 2017 race.

Race weekend kicks off on Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April at Manchester’s First Street, where the race pack collection point will be located. This makes the two days leading up to the race a great opportunity for runners to mingle with other runners, soak up the pre-race atmosphere, purchase exclusive race merchandise and pick up their free personalised ASICS Pace your Race band to help them hit their targets on the day.

Dr Ron Hill MBE will be doing an exclusive signing of his co-authored book, “Manchester Marathons 1908 – 2002” on Saturday, and ASICS ambassador Mara Yamauchi will be doing a live Q&A from 13.00 – 13.30 in the ASICS area.

Both Dr Ron Hill and Mara Yamauchi will return as the official starters of the AIMS-accredited ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday 2nd April.

The race starts at 9.00am near the arch on White City Way on the A56, and the route takes in the Trafford Quays area, Sale, Brooklands, Timperley, Altrincham, Urmston and Stretford. The 2 Leg Half/Half and the 4 Leg Team Relays start at 09.30 and the start of the wheelchair race is 08:58.

The Athlete’s Village is based at Emirates Old Trafford, Lancashire County Cricket Club, and will be open to athletes on race day from 07:00 – 16.00.

Race weekend key timings:

Friday 31st March

16:00 – 20:00 Race collection point open at First Street

Saturday 1st April

09:00 – 16:00 Race collection point open at First Street

Sunday 2nd April

07:00 Athlete’s Village opens including baggage storage, toilets and catering area
08:00 Runners leave the race village to assemble in the start area
08:58 Start of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon 2017 wheelchair race
09:00 Start of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon 2017
09:30 Start of the Team Relays (Half/Half & 4 Leg Relay)
11:10 First marathon runners approach the finish on Talbot Road
12:30 Prize giving for 1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female
15:00 Last runners finish the marathon
16:00 Athlete’s Village closes

The race brochure with all the race details and route map can be downloaded from the website: http://greatermanchestermarathon.com/files/6214/8907/8319/AGMM2017_Race_booklet_.pdf.

Prizes will be awarded in the winning categories at 12:30 at the podium outside Trafford Town Hall. The ceremony will be for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed male and female. In addition to a trophy, cash prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st prize £2,000, 2nd prize £1,000 and 3rd prize £750.

A team of ASICS pace runners will be available on the day to help runners achieve their target finish time. Pacers will run the following times: 3.00, 3.15, 3.29, 3.30, 3.45, 3.58, 3.59, 4.00, 4.15, 4.30, 4.45, 5.00, 5.30. Pacers will be easily identifiable with back packs and flags showing their time, and they will be standing in the relevant start pen areas.

In addition to the ASICS pace runners, the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon experience includes a host of other benefits such as: entertainment and designated charity cheering points along the route; 11 on-course water stations; 3 on-course SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gel stations; 2 on-course SiS GO Energy + Electrolyte Gel stations; live runner tracking and live screening of the race at Trafford Town Hall for family and friends.

The ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon is not only renowned for having the flattest marathon route in the UK, which is measured and certified to IAAF/AIMS standards, but also for being the friendliest marathon with huge crowd and community support. Runners will be able to vote for the ‘Best Entertainment’ and ‘Best Supporting Community’ after the race, with a £500 cheque awarded to the winning groups.

Race Director Simon Hill commented: “With the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon drawing close, excitement is building and we are all set to deliver our biggest and best event yet. The action will start on Friday evening and continue all the way through the weekend, and we’re looking forward to welcoming our runners and the thousands of spectators who provide outstanding support on the day. We would like to wish all runners the very best of luck with their race on Sunday.”

ASICS is the title sponsor for the 2017 ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon. Other sponsors and partners include MLP Law, Metrolink, Runners Need, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Emirates Old Trafford, SiS, Erdinger Alkoholfrei, Best Western Cresta Court Hotel, INNSIDE Manchester, JustGiving and Trafford Council.

Entries close at 9am on Wednesday 29th March. Entry fees are £60 per individual, £110 for the 2-leg relay and £180 for the 4-leg relay.

Go to www.greatermanchestermarathon.com for full race details. You can also like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/Gtrmanchestermarathon and follow @Marathon_Mcr #ManchesterMarathon on Twitter and manchestermarathon on Instagram.