Your Guide to the Great Manchester Run 2021

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Nonstop entertainment from start to finish and a very long thank you. Here’s the lowdown on everything you’ll experience at this year’s Great Manchester Run.

The Great Manchester Run is on the horizon, and we couldn’t be more excited to be back! Running the streets of Manchester as part of the UK’s biggest 10k is an event day experience like no other. If you’ve already secured your place on the start line, or you’re looking for your next challenge, then here’s a summary of what you can expect from event day on Sunday 26 September.


15,000 runners will line up on the 10k & Half Marathon start lines on Portland Street, before setting off on a running tour of the city.

The 10k route takes in the views of Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, the award-winning Imperial War Museum at Salford Quays, and The Lowry. The Half Marathon route takes runners past both iconic football stadiums, joining the 10k route in exploring the famous cobbles of Coronation Street’s new set and Beetham Tower, the 47-storey skyscraper which almost marks the finish line for you!


The event is famous for its buzzing atmosphere, iconic music, and Mancunian spirit in abundance. Prepare to be entertained from start to finish by a host of live music and local legends (including Clint Boon!), our very own Beats Boost and Hacienda zones, the high-energy Hits Radio Motivation zone, and much more.

With 24 entertainment zones for the Half Marathon, and 21 on the 10k course, we’ll have you rocking from start to finish. Here’s what you can expect to see (and of course hear) on your run:

  • Bands on the Run – We’ve lined up some of the very best bands and local musical artists to provide the soundtrack to your run. From Clint Boon to DJ Helen Stelling Holt and of course The Halle, they’ll have you bopping, clapping, singing and running to the beat
  • Beats Boost – Our very own music zone will raise your running to the next level with the Tune Tunes DJ truck providing the beats and bubbles blowing everywhere! It’ll be an experience to remember & quite possibly a selfie hotspot
  • Hacienda – We’re bringing the party back to give you that much needed boost just as the finish comes into view. With a Hacienda inspired playlist, a massive sound system and disco lights, we want to see those hands up until you’re right across the finish line
  • Hits Radio Motivation Zone – The Hits Radio crew will add an extra skip to your step with their upbeat support zone at Castle Quay
  • Charity Cheering Buses – Loud cheering, clapping and hollering your name, the charity cheering buses provide instant motivation and inspiration for runners. This year there are 5 charity cheering buses on the course with wonderful supporters representing Cancer Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Christie and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
  • The LGBTQ+ Cheer Point brought to you by Nissan will bring the colour and a wall of noise to your run. The high energy cheer zone will have you smiling, whooping and most importantly pumping your legs a little faster.


Renowned for being fast and flat, the Great Manchester Run offers a great opportunity to achieve a PB. With crowds cheering, fellow runners spurring each other on, and training in the bank, race day always lends itself to personal records.

If you’re looking to make it to the finish line in a particular time, our team of pacers will be on hand to help you achieve your goal. There’ll be 14 pacers in the 10k, pacing runners from 40 minutes to 1hour 20 minutes, depending on your wave allocation. The Half Marathon has a team of 11, pacing runners from 1 hour 30 mins to 2 hours 30 mins, depending on your wave allocation.


This year we’ll be welcoming runners back to the start-line after one of the most challenging experiences in living memory. As we celebrate the return of running together again, it is also very important for us to say THANK YOU to those who went above and beyond to help others during the pandemic.

We will be recognising the incredible efforts with our THANK YOU MILE; signs of thanks and appreciation will single out our NHS heroes, fundraisers, teachers, supermarket workers, care home carers, sports coaches, mental health guardians, and many more.


Crossing the finish line on Deansgate to cheering crowds, you’ll be feeling elation, exhaustion and joy as you complete your challenge. The greatest reward in taking part is the sense of achievement as you cross the finish line, but a shiny new medal, a snazzy finishers t-shirt and a finisher’s bag filled with goodies will await you at the end of the run.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of putting on your exclusive medal and finisher’s t-shirt that you collect once you’ve crossed the line. Combine it with an ice-cold pint and the perfect post-run meal. You’ve earned it!

With entertainment zones that celebrate local character and culture, some of the best (and loudest!) crowd support anywhere in the world, and all the action televised live on the BBC, this is an event day experience like no other.

It’s shaping up to be an action-packed celebration of running, so whether you do it for the challenge, to fundraise for charity, or simply for fun, take your place on the start line and be part of something really special. Find out more & enter here.