AW readers among ambassadors for April’s ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon

Four Athletics Weekly readers are to share their running experiences after being named as ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon ambassadors by event organisers.

Andy Pearson, Tom Martin, Gill Bland and Amile Inusa were the four lucky applicants after we ran a competition to find two male and two female ambassadors ahead of the event on April 19.

Their mission? To run a PB on the UK’s flattest and fastest marathon course in three months’ time and share their training, progress and preparation in the build-up to race day and also post-race.

In return, the four runners will each receive an ambassador package including entry into the event, ASICS kit for training and race day, expert advice and gait analysis at Runners Need, MYASICS training plans and MyProtein nutrition packs.

With only 54m of elevation the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon is flatter than Berlin, Paris, New York, Chicago and Hamburg. The race offers a British-only prize fund plus three time bonuses available to UK-registered runners only.

Meet the ambassadors

andy_gmmName: Andy Pearson
Age: 43
Club: New Marske Harriers
I’ve been running since I was 16. I can’t imagine life without running and after a running career where I have been a reasonable club runner across a number of distances I discovered the marathon later on in my running career. Having “dabbled” with a few marathons in my younger days, since turning 40 I have focussed on the marathon and have progressed from a 2:48 PB to my current best of 2:37:38 set at Chester in October 2014. My goal is to go under 2:34 for the marathon which would be really special as it would mean a club record which is currently held by our club president and someone who in my early running days was a huge influence. I see this as a great opportunity to lower my PB again with the fast course and excellent course support. The marathon as an event fascinates me as it is as much a challenge of the mind as well as the body.

tom_gmmName: Tom Martin
Age: 30
Club: West End Runners
I started running in 2010 and soon caught the running bug. I’ve run several half marathons, a few marathons and I ran my first ultra-marathon in 2013, completing 70 miles in a 24-hour multi-lap event. I’m passionate about running and keen to make 2015 a big year where I can break new ground by running more races and beating my PB. My current marathon best is 3:39:24.

gill_gmmName: Gill Bland
Age: 32
Club: BBC
I started running regularly, but only for short distances, in 2007. In 2011 my husband and I decided we wanted to do the London Marathon but didn’t want to risk the ballot, so we researched and discovered that by getting ‘good for age’ entry we could bypass that. We entered Mablethorpe and I got the required time – significantly beating my husband – much to his slight annoyance and great pride! I have decided that this is the time to really push myself and see how well I can do. Up until now I have had no training assistance or plan, I just run a lot, and my PB is 3:10:47. I want to work on my speed, technique and nutrition to see how good I can be.

amile_gmmName: Amile Inusa
Age: 24
Club: Run Wild Manchester
I have been running consistently for the past three years and for a similar amount of time I have led two running clubs. One of those is my own club at the University of Manchester called Run Wild. I am passionate about encouraging others and sharing tools for improvement. This will give me the opportunity to focus on my personal running, set goals and push myself that little bit more. This will be my first marathon.

» For further information on the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon see and look out for updates from the four ambassadors in the near future