Runners and spectators are getting ready for the Williams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run on Sunday, 7 October 2018 when over 1100 runners are expected to hit the road for the annual event.
Entrants will start at Rochdale Town Hall and set out on traffic-free courses taking in town and some of the borough's best countryside scenes.
Spectators are encouraged to gather across the route and on The Esplanade outside the town hall where there will be sports, fitness and health stalls from specialists and local sports organisations; giving you a great chance to find out about other sports and how you can get involved locally. The 'Sports Village' will be open to spectators as well as those taking part in any of the events, from 9am to 1pm.
There will be live music on the bandstand in Broadfield Park with the Rock School Band from Rochdale Music Service performing.
Title sponsor Williams BMW will be displaying some of their latest cars next to the town hall, including the striking BMW i8 and a collection of their latest models.
'Come and support'
Councillor Janet Emsley, our Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture who will be taking part in the fun run to raise funds for the Moorend Development Trust said:
"Last year the support our runners enjoyed from crowds at the start and finish line as well as along the route was great and we are hoping to see more support this time. It's always a lively atmosphere and a great morning out - even if you're not running do come and support those who are.
We will have over a thousand runners taking part and I hope residents will come out and cheer them on. There's lots going on at the start and finish by the town hall, and many other great vantage points along the routes for spectators, including around Hollingworth Lake in Littleborough."
Elite athletes to look out for this year include Ben Coop from Bury, who won the 2017 Williams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon with a personal best of 1:12:12. Carly Needham from Rochdale Harriers will also be running the half, and she's already won this year's Simply Health Manchester Half Marathon and is the current Greater Manchester cross country champion. Michael Mannings, the winner of last year's Williams BMW Rochdale 10K will be on the start line again - his personal best is 33:37.
The event has also attracted many runners from outside Greater Manchester, including Laura Hesketh from Clayton-le-Moors Harriers, who has a 10K personal best of 34:28 and won this year's Salford 10K. Emma Ballantyne from York has also won numerous 10k races already this year with a personal best of 37:33.
Williams BMW, Rochdale Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run is organised by Middleton Harriers, Rochdale Harriers and Rochdale Triathlon Club, and supported by us.
The half marathon starts at 10am, the 10K at 10.20am and the fun run at 10.25am.
The half marathon leaves the town hall along the Esplanade and runs the edge of Broadfield Park, before heading through to the Rochdale Canal at Oldham Road Basin. The route then heads past Kingsway Business Park and Smithy Bridge along the canal. Close to the Waterside Restaurant the route leaves the tow path and heads up Hollingworth Road towards Hollingworth Lake, making a clockwise loop of the lake.
It then returns down Hollingworth Road and back on to the canal. The race retraces its outward route from the town hall until it reaches Broadfield Park, where runners will go through the park before re-joining The Esplanade for the final sprint to the finish line.
The 10K follows the same route as the half marathon on to the canal, but leaves the canal at the swing bridge at Kingsway Business Park, making a loop of pleasant cycleways, before returning to the canal and the same finishing route as the half marathon.
Once the half marathon and 10k runners have set off, the fun runners will be under starter's orders. After a great response in 2017 the event retains the same route, setting out from Rochdale Town Hall and up into the beautiful Broadfield Park, taking a very scenic route around the award winning historic grounds.
There's a steep climb up past the John Bright statue before entering the park. While the rest of the course climbs gradually, once you reach the bandstand it's all downhill to The Esplanade for the return to the finish line at the town hall.