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COMPLETE GUIDE TO RUNNING IN MANCHESTER

Running in Manchester is always a pleasure, and never a chore. Manchester and its surrounding suburbs have an eclectic mix of terrain which will be sure to capture the heart of even the most seasoned and well-trodden runner. Well known for being home to the flattest Marathon in the UK- ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, it’s the city where PBs were born to be broken! The city centre is a historical hub for industry and architecture and within a perfect 10k circuit, you can explore pretty much all of the exquisite sights in one fell swoop. The climate in Manchester is moderate and variable, making it a cooler running environment, with a high chance of rain throughout the year. It’s well worth a sneaky weather check before setting off on your runs!

Nestled amongst miles of meandering canals and rivers, running in Manchester also makes it incredibly easy to pack in those miles without venturing too far from ‘home’. The River Mersey and the canal system offers runners a serene, undisturbed and picturesque pathway to (nearly) all areas of Greater Manchester, making it the city which really does have it all! 

  • Sightrunning tours in Manchester
  • Local races in and around Manchester
  • Manchester running clubs
  • Running stores in Manchester
  • Manchester running routes

Sightrunning Tours in Manchester

Sightrunning is undoubtedly the best way to see any city, especially if you’re short on time or want to slip in some extra training miles when visiting a city- whether it be for work or pleasure. You can trust that your passionate and local guide (who will inevitably be an enthusiast of all things running and Manchester) will take you well off the beaten track to explore the city’s hidden gems and share with you the lesser known secrets of the city.

running in Manchester
Enjoying the good weather on a Manchester running tour

We have many different sightrunning opportunities in Manchester. When booking with Go! Running Tours, you are booking with a worldwide and well-respected company which operates in over 60 countries and prides itself on warm, friendly and passionate city managers at each destination.

Local Races in and around Manchester

ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon 

As previously mentioned, Manchester is the proud home to ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, which boasts the flattest marathon course in the UK, therefore making it the first choice of runners attempting to smash their PBs out of the water. Held at the start of April, it also gives runners an advantage of running in modest temperatures and of course, benefiting from those gruelling winter months training programmes.

Simply Health Great Manchester Run 

The Simply Health Great Manchester Run is one of Manchester’s most popular. On offer is a 10km route, or for those who are stepping up their training, it provides runners with the opportunity to take part in a half marathon, covering the city centre and neighbouring suburbs; passing along the way some of Manchester’s famous sights like Old Trafford, home to (by far the greatest football team) Manchester United Football Club. Known for its buzzing atmosphere and bellowing anthems around the course, the Simply Health Great Manchester Run should definitely be on every runner’s tick list!

running in Manchester

Parkrun

Parkrun is an incredible social enterprise initiative which was founded in London, by Paul Sinton-Hewitt in 2004. It is now a world wide weekly running community which is volunteer-led, free, safe and easy to take part in. At 9am every Saturday, Parkrunners from around the globe, lace up and run, walk or jog the 5km course. (or 2km if you’re a junior) Parkrun is all about inclusiveness: from furry companions to runners with buggys, and from the old to the young, you’ll see it all on a Saturday morning.

Manchester has over 20 parkrun venues, each with a unique parkland surrounding, so whatever your terrain, there’s bound to be a parkrun to suit. 

For more information on races check out our post on Running Races Manchester 2019.

Manchester Running Clubs

Manchester has a wealth of highly acclaimed running clubs which are spread across the city. Running clubs usually welcome runners of all ages and abilities, giving runners the added benefit of securing reduced entry fees to races, for affiliated runners.

Running Stores in Manchester

Purchasing the next pair of ‘runners’ can be the biggest decision a runner can make. Some may liken it to choosing a life partner: ultimately, you’re looking for your footwear soulmate. You want reliability, to pull you through those long, tough runs; endurance, because you can’t afford a sole which gives up halfway through a gruelling training programme and of course, like everything in life, you want them to be pleasing to the eye! 

Manchester is awash with fitness and sports shops, with running gear aplenty, but finding one which shares that love and passion for running can be a hard slog. But look no further. Run North West is an independent running store, and race event company who pride themselves on being experts (and incredibly passionate ones at that!) in running. From the race event organisers, to the shop floor staff, they all share one common love: the love of running. Established in 2016- and proud organisers of races including: Quarry Bank Trail Race, a brutal incline on picturesque National Trust Land; Wilmslow 10km, a festive race with bobbing Santa hats galore and Trafford 10km, a rural race which passes by the National Trust site of Dunham Park. The Run North West store is still in it’s infancy, re-opening Ron Hill MBE’s original running store, on Market Street, in Hyde, in 2018. The store is a runners paradise of brands and offers everything from road shoes to performance spikes, and brands including: Asics, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka, New Balance, Ronhill, on Running, Saucony, and the list continues. 

 Whether you’re a newbie to running, or a well established veteran, Run North West also offers a free gait analysis to make sure that your runners are right for you! 

Manchester Running Routes

Undoubtedly, some of the best running routes in Manchester steer you away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and onto the serene waterways, parkland and footpaths of Manchester and its suburbs. Whatever your intended distance or pace, you’re never far from the perfect route. Starting out in Manchester city centre gives you the opportunity to get onto the Castlefield Canal Basin and take a circular 10km route to Salford Quays and Media City. Heading south-west from Castlefield, you’ll follow the canal banks for roughly 4km, through an area of urban regeneration and emerge at the foot of the newly built Hotel Football- an upscale hotel built by legendary Manchester United players, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Phil and Gary Neville. From here, you’ll be taken aback by the incredibly imposing stadium, ‘The Theatre of Dreams’, home to Manchester United Football Team. If time and distance are on your side then running the tunnels around the stadium is always a complimentary add-on to this route! You can then head towards the banks of Manchester Ship Canal, also known to locals as The Quays. Media City and Salford Quays are the proud home to The Lowry Theatre, The Imperial War Museum and several North-West television and media companies, including The BBC and Granada Television. With a heritage art trail on the banks, sculptures in abundance and a plethora of sights to please the eyes, you’ll soon forget the mileage creeping up as you make your way around The Quays.

running in Manchester

If you’re open to suggestions for running routes, why not check out Map My Run which offers suggested running routes, of varying elevation, length and location. Or, you could always leave it in the hands of a sightrunning tour guide to tailor you a personalised tour! 

Happy running,

Sian

FIND ALL RUNNING TOURS IN MANCHESTER

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