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Great Manchester Run

It's this weekend, and there's an equally great party taking place at Spinningfields, including a race featuring the world's fastest man

Published on May 14th 2009.

Great Manchester Run

The Great Manchester Run takes place on Sunday. With 33,000 runners and 70,000 spectators, the city centre will be awash with super-fit sporty types and their supporters. And at Spinningfields, there'll be loads of stuff happening to mark the occasion – including a race featuring Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt – the world's fastest man, ever.

Jamaican athlete Bolt will run a 150m race, which in itself is a bit of a novelty, as he's better known for holding the world records for the traditional 100m and 200m sprints. Usain's participation in the event was in doubt after he injured himself in a car accident only a few weeks ago, but his trainer says he's ready to go.

Usain's visit to Manchester will also include a trip to watch his favourite football team, Manchester United, when they play Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday. Earlier in the year, Bolt asked Cristiano Ronaldo for a signed shirt, and the player responded by saying he could have one in exchange for some sprinting tips.

Bolt will race on Sunday against top British sprinters Marlon Devonish and Simeon Williamson. There will also be a women's 150m sprint featuring British World and Olympic 400m champion, Christine Ohuruogu.

The sprints will take place between approximately 4.30pm and 6.15pm on Sunday, with Usain Bolt's race taking place at around 6.15pm. They'll race on a specially constructed tartan track just outside Spinningfields, which will finish at 1 The Avenue on Deansgate. Spectators can watch trackside or on a big screen in Hardman Square.

Musical entertainment will be another highlight of the party, with a set from The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, and Bluetones singer Mark Morris.

Competitors in the Great Manchester Run will be pleased to hear that masseuses from neighbouring gym Bannatynes will be on hand at the party to revive tired legs and sore feet. And, if you've been on a strictly controlled diet in the run-up to the race, this is a good place to celebrate its conclusion. Nando's will be running an outdoor barbecue, and restaurants Carluccio’s, Strada, Zizzi, Bagel Nash, GBK and Nando's will be offering 20 per cent off their menus for participants.

Most of the action takes place after the race has finished, but some restaurants in Spinningfields will be opening up early so that runners and spectators have a place to relax before they set off.

Spinningfields estates director Mark Burgess said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the run’s official post-run chill out party. The finish line is just next to Spinningfields making it the perfect location for runners to relax and meet up with friends and family before and after the run.”

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AvoMay 14th 2009.

So, anyone else doing this then? Weather is supposed to be crap on Sunday unfortunately.

DebsMcCMay 14th 2009.

Fantastic day, wonderfully organised. My first ever race but it won't be my last.

SteMay 14th 2009.

I saw you batman! What a great day and with a million great causes too, the best of manc-chester!

BatmanMay 14th 2009.

Anyone see me on the telly?? I was batman with the premiership trophy! :-)

CastlefieldMay 14th 2009.

Well done to all the brilliant runners! What a good day for Manchester, it rained a bit but was really quite good. These are the events the city should replicate. And to state the bleeding obvious, that Bolt guy is the fastest person I've ever seen. Brilliant!

Scouse SueMay 14th 2009.

Yep, my first run, not looking forward to the rain at all!I managed to run 10k for the first time last Sat and my knees are hurting today. Doesnt bode well for Sunday :-(

RedMay 14th 2009.

Good luck to all those doing the run. I hope the weather holds out for you.

AvoMay 14th 2009.

Damn straight Castlefield! Was a really well organised event.

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