Age group action at the Masters International Half Marathon in Manchester

The annual England v Wales International Half Marathon fixture took place on Sunday 26th May as part of the well-established AJ Bell Great Manchester Run event. For hundreds of athletes aged between 35 and their early 80s, the 13.1 miles represented the opportunity to pull on their respective home nation white or red vest, having earned the right to qualify at one of the six qualification races.

Starting at the heart of the city centre, the early miles took in Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly, with the course passing the Etihad stadium and home of the Premier League Champions. After 4 miles the runners gave a nod to the newly crowned FA Cup winners with a glance towards Old Trafford on the approach to 10 miles. With fatigue setting in, the athletes would have been lifted when passing the Imperial War Museum and Salford Quays on their approach to 11 miles before heading back for the finale in the city centre.

Masters athletes at Manchester Half start

Hats off to 80 plus category winners Elaine Statham (2hr22m58s) and Harry Newton (2hr32m55s) who were the living and breathing manifestation of the ethos of lifelong participation in our sport. Likewise the evergreen Shirley Gibson (2hr13m04s) and Richard Spendlove (1hr44m09s) made the over 75s blossom in the spring air. F70 Judy Orme (1hr44m14s) took the gold medal whilst in the men’s over 70 category, David Gibson (87m47s) scored one of three popular Welsh victories on the day, the others being delivered by M65 Bob Foreman (86m21s) and F55 Tracy Jenkins (86m11s).

F65 winner Lynda Hembury (1hr40m39s) was joined by Fiona Usher (90m39s) and Tony Marshall (78m40s) who both took the spoils in the age category below, whilst M55 Simon Mugglestone (74m41s) proved a 30 year lay-off since representing Team GB internationally as a junior was no hinderance and he continued the fine form shown when representing Team England at the Birmingham 10k a few short weeks ago.

Masters Manchester Half athletes
Lauren Cooper, Tamsin Anderson, Jan Cook

The over 50 category was dominated by the excellent Jan Cook (84m38s), whist Paul Fauset’s 76m58s was more than enough to turn heads.  Tamsin Anderson (83m08s) and Richard Coem (73m26s) flew the flag high and proud for the over 45s, whilst 40 plus Donna Morris (80m42s) and Barry Stephenson (69m20s) both turned in the proverbial ‘blinder’.

At the business end of the field M35 Dan Eckersley (68m25s) and F35 Roanna Vickers (79m28s) came away with famous wins, the latter being cheered home to rapturous applause by a large contingent from the Army. 

View the full results
Masters athletes with England flag at Manchester Half

Interested in representing England Age Group Masters?

There are a number of qualifying opportunities throughout the year.