The elite field has been unveiled for the Aldi Manchester Half Marathon which takes place on Sunday 16th October.
Sale Harrier star Matt Bond will be amongst the runners who will not only be looking to become the first ever winner of the Aldi Manchester Half Marathon but also to cash in on the substantial British and Irish only prize fund.
Bond, who marked his England half marathon debut back in 2011 with victory in Denmark, has competed at the World and European Half Marathon Championships in 2016 and occupies a top 10 British ranking for the 13.1 miles distance this year.
Great Britain & England International Runner Adam Hickey secured a number of 5,000m and 10,000m victories this summer and, with a half marathon PB of seventy minutes and forty-four seconds set in 2009, is expected to secure a spot on the podium.
Gateshead Harrier Matt Hynes promises to be another one of Bond’s closest challengers. The 28-year-old clocked 63 minutes 58 seconds at last year’s Paris Half Marathon and achieved a 2 hrs 16 minutes time on his marathon debut in London in 2015.
Watch out too for Michael Kallenberg who has already recorded three half marathon wins in 2016. Indeed, 13.1 miles is a mere sprint for Kallenberg, eighth at the inaugural World 50K Championships in 2015.
Lily Partridge looks to be the outstanding favourite for the first ever Aldi Manchester Half Marathon ladies title. The 25-year-old Great Britain international from the Aldershot Farnham & District Club has proven herself at cross country and on the roads.
In 2015, she won the English and Inter Counties cross country titles and then ran superbly to post a time of 70:31 at the Reading Half Marathon Championships. Partridge, whose mum Ruth was an international calibre runner, also competed for Britain at the 2016 European Half Marathon Championships.
Some 17 years Partridge’s senior is evergreen Lancastrian Helen Clitheroe. Now 42, the 2011 European Indoor 1500 metres champion clocked 70:51 at the New Orleans Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon back in 2013 and two years later finished the Reading Half in 73:03.
Gemma Bridge, 23 of Oxford City AC, should be pushing for honours after winning this year’s Derby and Caterham Half Marathons. Gemma Connolly of St Helens Striders was fourth at last year’s ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon while beginning this year with victory in the Helsby Four Villages Half Marathon.
The respective men’s and women’s champions will collect £2,000 from the prize fund restricted to UK and Ireland registered runners.
There’s £1,000 to the respective runners-up, £750 to third placers with prize money available down to 10th position.
In addition, organisers are offering extra time bonuses to ensure the Aldi Manchester Half Marathon hits the ground running in terms of becoming one of the fastest half marathons in the country.
The first male athlete to clock under 61 minutes, 30 seconds will collect £5,000 while any female runner who crosses the line in under 70 minutes will receive the same amount.
To round off the cash bonanza, the first male and female teams, made up of the top three runners’ cumulative times from a UKA affiliated club, will collect £600.
The Aldi Manchester Half Marathon offers a very flat course with only 41m of elevation gain along the whole course and is set to become one of the flattest and fastest half marathons.
Registration is currently still open priced at £38 but the organisers have confirmed that entries are closing shortly.
All runners entering the race now and all international runners need to collect their race number between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 15th October from the race pack collection point at First Street in Manchester
The AIMS accredited Aldi Manchester Half Marathon starts at White City roundabout and finishes at Emirates Old Trafford Lancashire County Cricket Club, the same venue as the popular ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon.
Race Director Simon Hill commented, “We are pleased to welcome such a strong elite field to the first ever Aldi Manchester Half Marathon. The British-only prize fund and the time bonuses attract runners from near and far and we are looking forward to an exciting battle for the titles and some fast times.
“We would like to thank everyone who has signed up to the event so far and for the incredible support we have received in planning its autumn debut.”
The course will take runners on wide, closed roads through Old Trafford, Stretford, Brooklands and Sale. All finishers receive a medal, a t-shirt with a unique Manchester design, a virtual offers bag and a recovery pack.
Sponsors of the Aldi Manchester Half Marathon include Aldi, ASICS, INTERSPORT, HIGH5, MLP Law, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Emirates Old Trafford and Trafford Council. Best Western Cresta Court Hotel is the Official Hotel Partner for the race and supporters include ERDINGER Alkoholfrei, Athlete Matters and TWJ.
The Aldi Manchester Half Marathon is supporting three National Charity Partners: Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation and Save the Children. The two Local Charity Partners are The Christie and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH).
Go to www.manchesterhalfmarathon.com for further race details and to sign up now, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/manchesterhalfmarathon and follow @manchesterhalf #ManchesterHalf #NOWWERUN on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news.