The countdown to the Great Manchester Run is officially on after a TV star and runners who will be taking part on the big day descended on the city.
Presenters Ferne McCann was joined in the Northern Quarter by runners from across the north of England who will be challenging themselves in the popular mass participation event.
They marked the occasion by discussing the importance of good mental health and how running can help with that.
Thousands of people are expected to take part in the 10k and half marathon events in May.
What is the Great Manchester Run and when is it?
The Great Manchester Run takes place on Sunday 22 May and consists of both a 10k and a half marathon over a distance of 13.1 miles.
The action at the front of the field will be televised on the BBC as elite athletes battle it out for overall glory.
Behind them will be a sea of mass participation runners enjoying the unique party atmosphere created by the entertainment zones that celebrate the spirit of the city at every kilometre, the music playing and large crowds cheering the participants on.
As well as the main events there are mini and junior races on the Saturday for younger athletes.
ManchesterWorld has already produced a handy guide to the event here for anyone thinking of taking part or just turning up at the roadside to show their support.
And you can see a 2021 race photo gallery here too.
What was the latest countdown event?
The latest event as the countdown to the run continues might perhaps give some inspiration to those thinking of signing up or battling through a sometimes-painful training regime.
That’s because the promotional day focused on the link between getting physically active and enjoying good mental health and wellbeing.
Among those who came down to drum up support was TV star Ferne McCann, whose show First Time Mum is currently filming its eighth series.
She is tackling her first 10k and said that as a busy single parent juggling a hectic schedule running helps her stay grounded.
Ferne said: “I absolutely cannot wait to come back here for the Great Manchester Run in May.
“Although I exercise regularly and love a challenge, running is not something I do every day. I’m so competitive, so I’m training hard, but I hear the crowd is amazing and I’m sure that Manc support will get me over the line!”
Ferne was joined in the Northern Quarter by a couple of runners who have been sharing their journey to the Manchester start line with thousands of followers online.
Rachel Diver went from non-runner to marathon runner in just six months. The self-described “least sporty person you’ll ever meet” wanted to set herself a challenge and signed up to run a marathon in 2013.
Her incredible journey to the finish line ignited a love for running and she has since completed 10 marathons and too many 10ks to mention. She now enjoys running for the physical and mental benefits it provides
Around 12 years ago Christian Quick was on a destructive path, taking recreational drugs, partying too much and not taking care of his health.
After meeting his girlfriend, he vowed to change his lifestyle and in doing so found running in 2018 which has driven him to become fitter and healthier, he now takes on incredible ultra-challenges across the country.
In 2020 when Covid hit and gyms closed Lauren said she lost all motivation to exercise and got into a really bad mental health space, but in April 2021 she got her mojo back with exercising and it now helps her manage her ADHD much more effectively.
What have the organisers said?
Paul Foster, chief executive of the Great Manchester Run, said: “I was really pleased to meet Ferne and all these inspiring runners.
“I’m excited they’ll be taking part in Manchester’s greatest event alongside tens of thousands on the city’s streets in May.
“Running has benefits for everyone and the inspiring stories of the people here show that. The Great Manchester Run is going to be another brilliant weekend in Manchester.”