This is the One, Celebrating 20 Years Running
We’re in the final build-up to the AJ Bell Great Manchester Run taking place this Sunday 21 May and it’s going to be quite the party.
Here’s the lowdown of how we’re marking the 20th landmark, so keep your eyes peeled, ears pricked, and join in the celebrations.
Stone Roses Power Up!
To echo our renowned start line anthem, quite simply, This Is The One! Our Power Thru zone at 4km / 9 miles will have the awesome The Ultimate Stone Roses tribute band playing iconic hits throughout the day.
This zone will also feature cut-outs of some of the most inspirational stories who have taken part in the Great Manchester Run across the years including Martin Hibbert, Ella Chadwick, Azeem Amir, Elaine Wilkins & Peter Hook.
Finish Line DJ
An exciting new addition to this year’s finish line is an epic double-decker big screen with a DJ on the roof! Oh and did we mention that it’s Dario G?!
He’ll be blasting out the tunes to keep your legs pumping all the way to the finish and make those finish-line celebrations even more special. We can’t wait!
GMR All timers
We’ve identified 20 runners who have taken part in every single Great Manchester Run 10k, from 2003 to 2023. This select group have plenty of memories from the early days and a very impressive medal collection!
We’ll be celebrating their past achievements and continued support for the event with a special moment on the start line.
Unique Finisher T-shirt
In recognition of this incredible 20th milestone, we commissioned local artist Alex Francis, to create an illustration that embodies the experience of the run and celebrates some of our incredible participants.
Those featured are part of our 20 Years, 20 Stories campaign looking back on unforgettable stories from two decades of running in the capital of the North.
Bumping into sports stars on the start line or trying to outsprint celebs to the finish has become a common theme for runners over the years. Here are some of the famous faces you might spot this year:
- Peter Hook – Manchester legend & founding member of two of the city’s greatest bands, Joy Division and New Order, Peter has taken on the Great Manchester Run many times, raising money for one of the North West’s most incredible institutions the Christie.
- Peter Ash – The Coronation Street Actor is taking on the 10K challenge to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association after it was confirmed his character, Paul Foreman, will be diagnosed with MND in an upcoming storyline.
- Channique Sterling-Brown – Who plays Dee Dee Bailey in Coronation Street, is running with her friend Emily for a local community centre set up by the charity Manchester Vineyard.
- Ryan Russel – Who plays Michael Bailey in Coronation Street is also lining up on the start line with his co-stars to take on his own personal challenge.
- Samia and Sylvain Longchambon – The Coronation Street Star and Dancing on Ice professional are running for East Cheshire Hospice.
- Danny Miller and Daniel Jillings – Emmerdale Actor Danny and friend Dan, who also regularly appears on our screens are running for the Charity they co-founded in 2011. Once Upon a Smile provides emotional and practical support to bereaved families.
- Adele Roberts – The BBC Radio 1 DJ will be starting our Junior and Mini events, inspiring our younger runners to achieve greatness, before slipping on her trainers and taking on the 10k.
- Richard Whitehead – The 2x Paralympic gold medallist, and 2x silver medallist will be taking on the half marathon as one of our elite athletes.
Starters with stories
Helping to set runners off on their challenges are some of our most inspirational runners from across the years. Four amazing individuals who have been featured in our 20 Stories campaign are primed to take to the starter platform and set runners off on their way this Sunday.
- Jess Dyer – Jess has raised over £1,000 for mental health charity Mind since signing up for her first Great Manchester Run in 2015, having personal lived experience of anxiety and depression. Read more.
- Pete Wallroth – Pete is the founder of Mummy’s Star, a charity he set up following the death of his wife Mair, who passed away due to breast cancer when their son Merlin was just 10 weeks old. His charity supports mums and families living with cancer during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth. Read more.
- Elaine Wilkins – Elaine has taken part in every single Great Manchester Run, raising money for local charities, often in fancy dress. She even took on her own 10K challenge, doing laps of her back garden, during the pandemic. Read more.
- Peter Hook – Peter is best known as the bassist and co-founder of two bands that embody the city’s music scene and style, Joy Division and New Order. He took on his first Great Manchester Run in 2006, after recovering from alcoholism. He has continued to take part in and support the event, raising money for The Christie. Read more.
European and British 10K record-holder, Eilish McColgan, has mentored a team of influencers to take on the 10k challenge. Eilish has offered her training tips & advice throughout the build-up and will be on the start line to cheer the team on.
#TeamEilish consists of: Humz, Sam McGowan, Eryn Barber, Amy Hughes and Dan Kristoff.
If you are arriving at the event by public transport then keep your ears peeled for announcements by Sir Mo Farah, who is running his final Great Manchester Run this year, and Eilish herself, who finished 2nd in last year’s event.
Head into the Après Run zone where you’ll find Pandora from Heart rocking the decks on her DJ truck, providing the tunes you keep your energy levels high. You’ll also find our special backdrops to help commemorate the big day, be sure to grab a picture on our podiums, to say to everyone on your socials, “I was there”.
From world-beaters at the front to fundraisers and famous faces – the event has always been a celebration of all that is great about Manchester, but this year’s 20th event promises to be the most special yet. Be part of the action – entries close on Friday 19 May; Find out more or enter now.