Over 1,000 people from across the UK are expected to take part in Europe’s first Urbanathlon, an urban foot race, which will be held for the first time in east Manchester on 13th July 2008.
Today, 13th March, Diane Modahl, GB Olympic athlete will launch the event at Sportcity in east Manchester, which is created and run by Sporting Enterprises, Sport 4 Life and supported by Manchester City Council and New East Manchester.
The 8K race will start at Sportcity and entrants will tackle 13 urban obstacles such as fording the River Medlock, climbing over cars and negotiating fallen trees. The route will take runners through Clayton Vale and finish in Philips Park where local community event Party in the Park will be taking place.
Diane Modhal said "I'm really pleased to be here today to help launch this exciting new venture which I hope will encourage many more people of all ages to get fit and take part in fun, non-competitive sport. It's a great concept which will capture people's imagination, we hope it will grow every year so that there are events across the UK and Europe. When that happens it will be great to think that it all started here in east Manchester."
Event Organiser, John Dwan said "This kind of race is new to Europe but has proved very successful in the States with events staged in New York and Chicago. Active races have become more and more popular over the past few years so we expect a lot of interest in the Urbanathlon. We have already had an incredible amount of interest and would urge anyone who wants to take part to register early.
Sean McGonigle, Director of Regeneration at New East Manchester said: "We are really pleased to host this national event in east Manchester. We are fortunate to be able to offer a unique environment, which provides the perfect location for this kind of race. We are an urban area, yet rich in green spaces and have Sportcity, which has an international reputation, at its heart. We hope this event will add to our reputation as a sporting destination and attract visitors from all over the country."
The race is open to anyone 16 years and above and can be run as individuals or teams of three. The event will take place on Sunday 13th July. To register for the event, entrants can visit http://www.urbanathlon.co.uk/.
For more information on New East Manchester visit http://www.neweastmanchester.com/
Roz Hughes, tel: 0161 223 1155