The 40th edition of the event offers an increased number of places, with a British-only prize fund and time bonuses for UK-registered runners again up for grabs

The ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon is set to welcome a record number of runners when the event returns for its 40th edition on April 10, 2016.

The race grew by 33% from 2014 to 2015 and next year’s event is even bigger, with 15,000 places available. As with previous editions, a British-only prize fund and time bonuses for UK-registered runners will again be up for grabs.

Described as the ‘flattest, fastest and friendliest’ marathon in the UK, the event has origins which date back more than a century and after vanishing in 2002 the race was resurrected in 2012. It starts and finishes near Old Trafford, home of Manchester United Football Club, and is ideal for runners who want to set a PB with a course that features just 54m elevation gain.

The British-only prize fund includes a top prize of £750 each for the male and female winner, with the full prize list available to view here.

The three time bonuses on offer to UK-registered runners only are £10,000 for the top male and female who clock under 2:10 or 2:25 respectively, £3000 for the top male and female who dip under 2:15 and 2:30 respectively and £500 for all who go sub-2:20 for men and sub-2:35 for women. While time bonuses are not cumulative, they are in addition to the cash prize fund.

“We are excited to confirm the date of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon 2016,” said race director Simon Hill. “The race’s reputation as not only the flattest and fastest but also the friendliest marathon with outstanding crowd support has been growing rapidly, and I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting the race since we brought it back in the Olympic year.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the race’s 40th anniversary and to welcoming a record number of runners to Manchester next spring.”

As well as the marathon, the 2016 event will again also include the Half/Half and 4 Leg Team Relays, allowing teams of two or four runners to share the marathon distance between them.

Early bird places for the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon are available until October 31, 2015, and cost £48 for affiliated runners or £50 for unaffiliated runners and wheelchair entries. The early bird entry fee for the Half/Half Relay is £85 per team, while it is £130 per team for the 4 Leg Relay. All finishers receive a medal, goody bag and ASICS technical t-shirt.

Cancer Research UK, The Christie charity and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity have been confirmed as the official charities for the 2016 event.

» See www.greatermanchestermarathon.com