Scottish runner Izzy Menzies gave a memorable performance at the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday as she took top spot in the female field. Menzies, who runs with Edinburgh AC, came home in 2:42:24, shaving more than 10 minutes off her PB.
After strong winds and torrential rain clouded last year's event, the 6,000 runners taking part in Sunday's race were greeted with cool, spring conditions ideal for racing. Before the starter's orders, runners paid tribute to the victims of Boston marathon with a 26 second silence followed by a 26 second applause. Athletics legend Ron Hill and Steve Kenyon, the quickest-ever finisher at the race, set runners on their way from the White City Roundabout at Old Trafford.
Menzies, who has been in impressive form this season with a fifth place finish at Wokingham half marathon in February, took an early lead, passing the 10 mile point in 61:12. The Edinburgh AC member, 33, maintained a strong pace throughout, coming home more than a minute faster than Liz Cocks in second 2:43:30, with Jocelyn Payne in third place (2:45:58).
In the men's field, the top two from last year, Dave Norman and Andi Jones, reignited their battle with both runners setting a fast early pace. As with last year's race, Norman proved slightly stronger, finishing in 2:20:19, with Jones two minutes behind in 2:22:29, and Michael Glowacki in third place (2:26:45). Such was the difference in conditions, Norman and Jones both finished four minutes quicker than they did last year.
Sunday's race marked the 37th staging of the Manchester race, with the event returning last year after a decade long absence. Renowned for its pancake flat route through the city, the marathon has one of the lowest course differentials in Europe, with just 54m throughout the 26.2 miles.