Record 32,000 runners participate in Manchester Marathon with £3.5million raised for charity

Thousands hit the streets for the Manchester Marathon in a day of hard work and huge celebrations.

A record 32,000 people took part in the event, raising more than £3.5 million for various charities.

Meanwhile, more than 125,000 people lined the barricades along the 26.2-mile course – the UK’s second longest – that stretched from Old Trafford to the city centre and down as far as Altrincham. 

Perfect conditions allowed Adam Cross to get the fastest time with a rapid 2 hours 16 minutes, while Charlie Arnell was the fastest woman with 2 hours 37 minutes. Bret Crossley took the wheelchair title with 1 hour 50 minutes.

And such an extraordinary day would not be complete without a proposal, with Craig Freestone surprising long-term girlfriend Tracey at the finish line.

Here are just some of the inspiring participants whose determination and dedication got them to the finish line.

Ann Shaw, daughter Emma, and son-in-law Tom

Ann Shaw, 64, daughter Emma Ryder, 25, and son-in-law Tom Ryder, 29, all from Blackburn and Leyland, were part of the 100-strong crowd running for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The group raised £10,000 completing it as a relay, with 25 runners split across each quarter of the course.

Ann said: “It was fantastic – the atmosphere was brilliant.”

It was Ann and Emma’s second marathon event, but Tom’s first – and his only training was a Guinness in the morning.

Tom added: “It’s definitely motivated us to do something extra. It’s been brilliant.” 

Celebrations for the trio will involve a Chinese and drinks at their local cricket club.

Chris Collins went for the world record – for doing a marathon dressed as a plant

Chris Collins, 36, ran for the Alzheimer’s Society because of his grandmother – and completed the entire course dressed as a flower. 

He’s raised £685 so far, and plans to also run the Leeds Marathon in May. 

The costume was not the easiest to run in, as he explained: “The big flower acts as a sort-of parachute against the wind – it’s not very aerodynamic.”

Nonetheless, he is now a world record holder – for running the fastest marathon dressed as a plant, with a time of 2 hours and 56 minutes. He is awaiting confirmation from Guinness World Records.

First-timer Lindsey is keen to do another

For many runners, such as Lindsey, 35, it was the first time they had ever ran a marathon.

She said: “It doesn’t feel real yet. Just amazing. I was unsure of how it would go, if I’d do another one – but I definitely would.

“It was brutal at times, but you just have to stay dedicated.”

David Oakes, 54, who was also a marathon first-timer, said: “It feels amazing – but I’m absolutely knackered.” 

Post-marathon plans for him include a Peroni, sleeping, and cake.

For others, however, this was but one of many. 

Jasvir Modaher is looking forward to the London Marathon next week

Jasvir Singh Modaher, 67, has been running marathons since 1995, and today he was running in support of a friend suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Manchester isn’t even his first marathon this month. 

He said: “Last week I was in Southampton, next week is the London Marathon – I’m really looking forward to it.” 

Tim ‘Scissorman’ Wheeler

Tim Wheeler, 62, a magistrate and the former headteacher of Stockport Grammar School, is running as his alter-ego ‘Scissorman’ to raise awareness for the Little Princess Trust. 

This is his eighth Manchester marathon and fifteenth marathon overall – and he runs with a giant pair of scissors on his back, symbolising the charity’s mission to provide wigs to children who are being treated for cancer.

He said: “I think of the adidas Manchester Marathon as my local run, and it’s such a great event. The support is always incredible and, being a looped course, I get to see everyone on the way there and again on the way back.”

Tim has been Chair of the Little Princess Trust since 2011, which was set up by the parents of Hannah Tarplee, a student at Stockport Grammar who tragically passed away in 2005.

“Our aim is to ensure that we reach every child and young person undergoing cancer treatment who needs a wig and so anything I can do to help with that makes it all worthwhile,” he said.

“Although running in the costume is quite an effort, I do manage to have a lot of fun, particularly engaging with the crowd. I am a firm believer in the power of a smile: we can all benefit from some positivity.”

For full results, more photos, and the livestream, see the marathon’s official website.

Featured image: PHA Group

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