GMR 20 Stories – Anthony Crolla

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The AJ Bell Great Manchester Run in 2023 will be the 20th staging of the event. In recognition of this incredible milestone, we’re looking back on 20 unforgettable stories from two decades of running in the capital of the North.   

Anthony Crolla, the WBA Lightweight World Title holder, has had a significant involvement in the Great Manchester Run over the years, both as a runner and a motivator. In 2016, he put together a 12-member team known as “Crolla’s Army” to participate in the run, carefully choosing each member based on their personal stories and motivations. 

The team included remarkable individuals such as Marion Haines, who had lost half of her 19-stone body weight to run regularly, and Adam Irvine, who defied the odds and overcame stage-four cancer to become a healthy dad. Also, part of the team was Shannon Barrett, running to thank Crolla for dedicating his World Champion title to her brother James, who lost his battle to cancer in 2015.  

Crolla found inspiration in his team members’ stories of triumph over adversity.  

Crolla trained with his team at Salford Quays to prepare for the run, even though he had been in the ring just two weeks earlier defending his title. He put the team through their paces with some light sparring and casual jogging to give them a sense of his mindset ahead of the run. 

The team completed the 10k route wearing branded “Crolla’s Army” running shirts, with Crolla joining them at the start line. They shared their experiences at the finish line, celebrating their personal achievements and the camaraderie built within the team. 

In 2017, Crolla returned to the Great Manchester Run with a team of professional fighters, including Scott Quigg, the Smith brothers, Hosea Burton, and Marcus Morrison. Crolla continued to inspire and motivate his team members and others around him, making a lasting impact on the running community in Manchester. 

Be part of a spectacular running celebration in the heart of Manchester on Sunday 21 May 2023, celebrating 20 years of the AJ Bell Great Manchester Run. 

Whether you take on the 10k or Half Marathon challenge, you’ll line up on the iconic Portland Street start line and feel the goosebumps as you and 25,000 other runners follow the famous route, pass Manchester landmarks and set your sights on Deansgate for a grandstand finish. 

With live music and entertainment zones at every turn, roaring charity cheering squads, plus the incredible local support who line the streets to cheer you on, it’ll be a party from start to finish. 

For more information or to enter today click here.