Runners bring £6m boost to the economy as thousands compete in Manchester Marathon

  • Thousands take part in the Manchester marathon and Manchester half marathon
  • A 30-year-old from Wigan wins first place in the elite men's category
  • The event is estimated to bring a £6m boost to local economy

Tens of thousands of runners travelled from across the UK to take part in the Manchester Marathon at the weekend generating an estimated £6m boost to the local economy. 

Runners took part in Sunday’s 26.2 mile marathon through Greater Manchester in what the event organisers called a “huge success”. 

The event, the second largest running event in the UK, and fourth largest in Europe, began around 10:45am, after a slight delay, and went on until 16:00.

Manchester Marathon Exercise Fitness Running Health
Image: Anna Mente/Shutterstock

In the men’s elite class, local 30 year old Matt Crehan from Wigan took first place with a time of two hours 18 minutes while runner Anna Bracegirdle from North-Wales was the first female to finish with a time of two hours 40 minutes.

NQ spoke to Matt about his win. “It was a great experience.  The crowds were fantastic” and he was greeted to “a wall of noise” as he ran though the city centre from supportive fans and spectators.  

It was Matt’s birthday, and only his second marathon, having moved over from middle-distance running in 2018.  He tells us that athletics runs in the family.  His mother competed in the 10,000 meter race at the 1988 Olympics in Seol, for Great Britain, and is a member of the Sale Harriers.  She and he now own a running shop in Saint Helens called “Made to Run.”

For the first time, the Therme Manchester Marathon and the Manchester Half Marathon were held on the same day.

The honour of firing the starting gun for the elite runners in the Manchester Half was given to ex-MMU student and sport scholar, Jess Piasecki.

Jess won the Florence Marathon in 2019 despite a ten year battle with osteoporosis making her prone to injury and unable to take part in the Manchester event this year.


More than 2,000 participants entered as charity runners and it is estimated they will raise in excess of £3m for good causes. 

Not everybody was happy. Road closures left some people unable to leave or return to their homes.  Chester Road,  Trafford Wharf road, Deansgate, Chorlton Road, Talbot Road and Kingsway including Edge Lane were just some of the closures affecting locals, who took to twitter to complain about the situation. 



NQ spoke to Jo Lawrence who runs for a charity called CRY: Cardiac Risk in the Young.   They raise money to screen young people for heart abnormalities.  A veteran marathon runner, she told us she preferred running in Manchester to London.

“Manchester was great, and a fast one.  It was flat, the weather was perfect and the final stretch was electric.”

 Below is Andy Ball from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue who ran the marathon in full gear for Alzheimer’s Research and Dementia UK.