Rowan Ardill – The Running Mayor of Greater Manchester

Rowan Ardill from Ramsbottom, is the running mayor of Greater Manchester! Rowan is the founder and chairman of Ramsbottom Running Club and inspires others to use running to improve the mental wellbeing of his community.

How long have you been a runner for?

“I’ve been running for more than ten years now, initially I was into triathlon and have done the Ironman distance a few times but since having kids I’ve found it easier to focus on running – it’s much easier to just stick some shoes on and head out of the door.”

What is your personal reason for you tackling the 13.1-mile challenge?

“As the Running Mayor of Greater Manchester, I love taking part in events in my own backyard and I would love to inspire and encourage other residents of Greater Manchester to get behind this race and enter it too.”

Why did you decide to enter the Manchester Half?

“It’s ten years since I’ve got a personal best time at any distance, so I am determined to set a new half marathon PB in October!”

“Running has given me so much – it helped me settle into a new area, provided me with a strong social circle and lots of really close friends, a career (I work for parkrun UK) as well as being my go-to activity if I’m ever in need of some headspace.”

Why did you want to be the Running Mayor of Manchester? What does it mean to you and the community?

“The fact that I have gained so much from the simple act of running made me want to try and pass it on to as many people as I possibly can. It really can be a life changing or life enhancing thing to do for so many reasons and if I can inspire even a small number of people to try it for the first time (and hopefully fall in love with it and reap all the benefits) I’ll feel like I have achieved my aim. My life’s goal is to simply leave the world in a better place than I found it and I think this role gives me a real platform to try and achieve that.”

Who is your personal hero?

“My Mum and Dad are my heroes – they have always been very community-minded and I just want to make them proud of me!”

What do your friends and family think of you doing this challenge? Have you got anyone coming down to support you on the day?

“I’m hoping we will have a big turnout from Ramsbottom Running Club (both running and supporting) – our club has a bit of a reputation for being loud – helped along by some cowbells! I’m sure they will be pretty obvious on the day!”

What are you most looking forward to on the day?

“The incredible Greater Manchester crowds, I absolutely love running through all the different areas and seeing so many people out supporting. I also love the branding on this race, and I have no doubt the medal will be another beauty to add to my collection!”