ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson will launch the 2016 Great Manchester Run on Sunday (May 22) just hours before his side face Turkey at the Etihad Stadium.
Hodgson will launch the first wave of runners at the start line in Portland Street just before midday, and will then return to the hotel to prepare for the first pre-Euro 2016 friendly.
Organisers The Great Run Company are “thrilled” that the national team boss has agreed to lend his support – along with other notable celebrities – just three weeks before England begin their Euro 2016 campaign against Russia in Marseille, France, on Saturday, June 11.
Hodgson said: “Manchester has to be one of the greatest cities for sport and it’s fantastic that the England football team and fans can be part of this great weekend of sport.
I’m proud to be the honorary starter of the Great Manchester Run and looking forward to seeing thousands of people cheering and waving as they set off through the city centre. Whether it is football, running or even walking it’s really important that all sports and teams do their bit to encourage people to get outdoors and get active.“
The Great Manchester Run, broadcast live on BBC One, is set to attract another massive field of up to 40,000 runners. The route takes runners past Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, who play Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday.
Statistics show that footballers run around 10k on average in a match so the Great Manchester Run will give participants an idea of what it is like to run that distance, albeit at a steadier pace than the short sharp bursts on the football field.
The England boss continued: “The Great Manchester Run is a great celebration for the city with an amazing atmosphere which we hope to continue into the evening for our crucial friendly with Turkey ahead of the Euros.
“Hopefully, we can see fans wearing their England shirts either in the 10k or watching from the sidelines as spectators before going along to the game.”
You can take part by signing up on the Great Manchester Run website…
By Nathan Salt