Image credit: Manchester Marathon

Sunday 10th October 2021 saw up to 40,000 runners take to the streets of Manchester to run the Therme Manchester Marathon and Manchester Half Marathon, one of the largest running events to take place post-pandemic.

Now the 4th largest marathon in Europe and the 2nd largest in the UK, the Therme Manchester Marathon is hugely popular due to its fast flat course, and the unrivalled Mancunian atmosphere. With a rich history dating back as far 1908, the annual event has become a destination for keen runners from all over the country who are looking to nail a new personal best time, and many first timers find its supportive and welcoming atmosphere the perfect place to achieve a life goal. Indeed, 2021 sees 14,000 of the runners challenging themselves to their first ever marathon.

Also for the first time, the Manchester Half Marathon took place on the same day as the Therme Manchester Marathon, with 8,000 runners registered to take part.

After an extremely challenging 18 months for all, Therme Manchester Marathon and Manchester Half was a welcome celebration on the national and global stage, showcasing Manchester as a wellbeing-focused city of the future.

Nick Rusling, CEO of event organisers Human Race said, “There was a lot of disappointment in 2020 for all involved, when so many much- loved events were not able to go ahead due to coronavirus. However we have used the time to build upon our fun and friendly marathon event that is open and accessible to runners of all abilities and really engages the local community. This year marks a celebration, as all our runners can finally put their training and hard work to the test and challenge themselves to complete the course.

“With the recent development that we will be the UK’s largest spring marathon in 2022, we have seen an unprecedented surge in runners committing themselves to the challenge of taking on 26.2miles. We would recommend securing your entry for next time now as it will be popular!”

With thousands of runners taking part in the race, organisers Human Race ensured there were a number of measures in place to ensure the safety of runners, crew and volunteers. These included a requirement to complete a health declaration before the event, proof of a negative lateral flow test, allocated arrival times, and an extended period for starting to ensure greater space for everyone.

Places in next year’s Therme Manchester Marathon, which is set to return on Sunday 3rd April 2022, are available to secure now. To find out more about how to run or volunteer at the next event, visit

New route

Runners of this year’s Therme Manchester Marathon were the first to run a new route through the city centre taking in some of the city’s iconic landmarks before heading to Trafford and areas such as Sale and Altrincham.

A new route video has just been released showing the three-mile section into the city centre passing the Manchester Opera House, Spinningfields, Albert Memorial Hall and The Midland Hotel amongst many others.

Charity and economic impact

In addition to the personal achievement of crossing the finish line, many runners are also raising vital funds for Therme Manchester Marathon’s official charity partners the Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Research UK, WWF, The Christie and ABF The Army’s National Charity. Organisers are also donating £1 from every entry to the Trafford Active Fund with the purpose of developing sport in the local area, with £46,000 awarded earlier this year to organisations deeply impacted by the pandemic.

In 2019, the Manchester Marathon bought £6.1million to Greater Manchester as runners made use of the city’s hospitality, and 2021 should be no different.

A legend remembered

This was the first Therme Manchester Marathon since the sad passing of Ron Hill. During his career Ron broke four world records and ran 115 marathons. In 1970 he ran a new record marathon time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 28 seconds. This still stands as one of the greatest British marathon times to this day.

A one minute applause was held for Ron Hill before the first start of the day.