Updated: Monday, 10th December 2018 @ 4:16pm

Record number of runners set to pound the pavements for 10th Great Manchester Run

Record number of runners set to pound the pavements for 10th Great Manchester Run

By Sean-Paul Doran

A record 40,000 runners, athletes and celebrities are set to take to the streets for the 10th staging of the Great Manchester Run today.

An estimated £22million has been raised for various charities since the first staging of the Great Manchester Run in 2003.

This year will see the biggest turnout yet as Mancunians look to play their part once more.

Created as a legacy event of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the 10k run is part of a weekend of sport in the city as the Great CityGames returns for its fourth year.

Two-time Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie will hope to defend his Great Manchester Run title in the Elite Men category and secure an unprecedented fifth victory in the race.

World-record holder Patrick Makau and Ayele Abshero will be among those hoping to beat the legendary Ethiopian.

Former world 10,000m champion Linet Masai will be hoping to defeat English National Cross Country champion Gemma Steel in the Elite Women’s race.

Over a quarter of a million enthusiastic runners have pounded the streets of Manchester since its first staging in 2003 and this year will see its biggest turnout yet.

Celebrities including double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell, Coronation Street’s Antony Cotton and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook will take part to raise money for various charities including The Christie and Diabetes UK.

The event is not all about famous names however and six grandsons of a man who did a sky dive for The Christie when he was 90 will run in his memory.

Hubert Irwin, from Swinton, died last June aged 96 and grandsons Ian, Matthew, Adam, Andrew, Nick, and Chris will follow in his fundraising footsteps to thank the specialist cancer centre at The Christie who treated him .

The Bupa-sponsored run became the first 10k event in Europe and only the second in the world to be awarded International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Label status.

The Great Manchester Run and the Great CityGames will be televised on BBC2 from 10am today.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.