Last weekend, three runners from Newport & District RC travelled up the M6 to Manchester to take part in the Manchester Marathon, some having originally entered as long ago as April 2020, due to the pandemic. Starting and finishing in Salford, near the Old Trafford cricket and football grounds, the mildly undulating route winds its way around a number of suburbs and towns, including Stretford, Altrincham, Sale, Timperley and Manchester city centre. This year, 14,170 runners took to the streets of Manchester to compete in one of the country’s most popular marathons.

Jon Pierce during the race

Jon Pierce was the first Novaportan runner to complete the course, coming in 4,397th place overall with a new PB of 3 hours, 38 minutes 40 seconds. After the race, he said: “All the training in rain, sleet, cold and dark from Christmas has paid off. Even picking up an injury half way through training. My 27th Marathon and 3rd on road. Was on track for 3.28, but cramp at 35k slowed me down, so finished with a personal best of 3.38. I was so impressed with the event setup from start waves, support and finish.” 

Jon Pierce after completing the Manchester Marathon

Annabel Bolton was the next Newport runner to finish, her time of 4:44:45 securing 10,947th position. She said afterwards: “The Athletes Village was well organised and everyone was friendly and helpful, the weather was perfect for running, if a little on the warm side at times, and the support around the course was excellent. A particular highlight was running through the city centre with crowds cheering and encouraging everyone along. 

My race time was a respectable 4 hours 44 minutes and 45 seconds, considering the training I put in has been intermittent. I am seriously considering entering next year as the course and atmosphere are definitely suitable for a faster time with proper training.” Not far behind Annabel was John Metzger, who took 11,165th place overall with his time of 4:47:57.