Runners and spectators are getting ready for Williams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run this Sunday (8 October 2017) morning when over 1,000 runners hit the road for the annual event.
Entrants will start at Rochdale Town Hall and set out on new traffic-free courses taking in town and some of the borough's best countryside scenes.
Online registration has closed, but you can still enter in person at Rochdale Town Hall on Saturday, 7 October 2017, 10am-4pm or on the morning of the event from 8am if there are any places remaining. It's £35 for the half marathon (£33 for club-runners) and £23 for the 10K (£21 for club-runners.) For the first time, the 1-mile fun run is also available for day before or on the day entry at £7, but places are limited.
Spectators are welcome across the route and on the Esplanade where there will be a 'Sports Village' featuring 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, on Sunday, 8 October 2017, 9.30am-1pm.
'We will have over a thousand runners taking part and I hope residents will come out and cheer them on'
Williams BMW will be displaying some of their latest cars next to the town hall, including the BMW i8 and X6, M3, 5 Series and a 4 Series Coupe.
Councillor Janet Emsley our cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture who will be taking part in the fun run to raise funds for Rochdale Victim Support and SafeNet said:
"Last year the support our runners enjoyed from crowds lining the route was encouraging, and the atmosphere was fantastic. We will have over a thousand runners taking part and I hope residents will come out and cheer them on. The half marathon gets underway from 10am, the 10K at 10.20am and the fun run at 10.25am. 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 runners to look out for this year include Ben Coop, who was third in last year's half marathon and won Bury 10K last month. Richard Waldron from Southampton Athletics Club will also be running the half marathon. He was 10th in this year's British 10K Championship in London and has already run a half marathon in 69:48 – less than 10 minutes slower than the British half marathon record held by Sir Mo Farah. Also on the start line will be Diane McVey from Wilmslow Running Club. Diane has previously run a 10K in 35.56. Kieran White from London runs for the RAF and has won a series of races this year.
Williams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run is organised by Middleton Harriers, Rochdale Harriers and Rochdale Triathlon Club 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 scenic cycle ways, 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. A new 1-mile route sets out from Rochdale Town Hall and up into the beautiful Broadfield Park, taking a very scenic route around the award winning historic grounds. There is a steep challenging 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.
Williams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run - Find out everything you need to know about the event.
For live updates during the event follow @RochdaleHalf on Twitter and like 'Rochdale Half Marathon' on Facebook.
Springhill Hospice is the official charity for the races.