Paula Radcliffe Searches for Manchester's (UK) great runners, release from Nova International

Paula Radcliffe, at Berlin 2011, photo by

If you want your event to stand out, find the local story angle. What is the currency for the local market. The approach that Nova International is doing with Paula Radcliffe picking out six women who have notable stories makes lots of social media sense. 

Description: Great-Manchester-Run


Tuesday, 20 January 2015




Legendary athlete Paula Radcliffe has today (Tue Jan 20) begun the search for 'Radcliffe's Great Runners' - six women with something to prove by entering the Morrisons Great Manchester Run.


She is back on home soil in her native North West urging women to take part in Europe's biggest 10k run through the streets of the city centre on Sunday, May 10, 2015.


The Morrisons Great Manchester Run attracts a field of up to 40,000 runners and was established in 2003 as a legacy from the Commonwealth Games held in the city 12 months earlier.


Radcliffe, who won the 5,000 metres title at the Games, went on to set a world record for the marathon in 2003 which still stands today.


Paula, from Northwich, Cheshire, is still running at the age of 41 and overcame a series of injuries to enjoy an illustrious career on the track and road which saw her become a long-distance World and European champion.


She is now looking for six women who want to get active and inspire others by showing they are up for the challenge of taking on the Morrisons Great Manchester Run.


Paula said: "I want to find six women who might think that running isn't for them to join me as part of Radcliffe's Great Runners.


"Perhaps you're a mum who hasn't run since your school days? Maybe you're a 'super gran' who can still show the younger ones a thing or two? Perhaps you're simply carrying a few pounds and you want to get back in shape.


"I want the women of Manchester to come and join me and take on the Morrisons Great Manchester Run. Come on ladies, let's show the rest of the country what you can do."


Sally O'Shea, from Didsbury, south Manchester, is exactly the type of person Paula is looking for. 

Sally, aged 29, changed her lifestyle through last year's run. Her weight dropped by three and a half stone from 16 stone after she got fit and joined a gym. Sally, an HR manager, said: "I was in a rut, not eating healthily and lacked motivation and decided to do something about it. 

"I'd never run before and didn't think I could complete the 10k because of my weight. I felt so embarrassed but was determined to finish the course and by doing so found the whole experience motivating and inspiring.

"To be honest, without training for the run, I'd still be unhappy and unhealthy and I'll be back on the start line again this year."

Sally raised money for Francis House in memory of her late grandfather, a supporter of the children's hospice. 

Paula is now looking for other women from different backgrounds who want to follow Sally's lead and tackle the Morrisons Great Manchester Run and inspire others to do the same. 

The Great Manchester Run is part of the Great Run Series, the world's favourite run.

Paula said: "Women are traditionally outnumbered by men in this event and I want to encourage more women to take up running.  Everyone can have their personal goal and reason for taking part. It is often to lead a healthier lifestyle. 

"Running has been my life and it is a great form of exercise. Everyone can get a little fitter and reduce the well-known health risks associated with a general lack of physical activity.

"You don't have to be Paula Radcliffe to take part. A 10k road run is the perfect entry level distance. It's long enough to be a challenge but not too daunting for a first-timer. 

Paula will offer training advice to her 'Great Runners' and give them a final pep talk before the run. They will also receive specialist sportswear to help preparations. 

For further information and to enter the Morrisons Great Manchester Run  If you think you've got what it takes to be one of 'Radcliffe's Great Runners' email your details with a maximum 100-word summary to[email protected] by midday on Monday 2 February.

Great Run, the world's favourite Run series with 17 runs in the UK and abroad, has appointed Paula Radcliffe as its Ambassador for women's running. 

Paula will be encouraging women across the UK to get involved and is launching the campaign in Manchester with 'Radcliffe's Great Runners.' 

Nick Collard, Morrisons Group Marketing and Customer Director, said: "The great thing about running is that you only need a pair of trainers to get started. We will be encouraging our colleagues and customers in the North West to take part in the Morrisons Great Manchester Run because now is a great time to begin training and get fitter."

Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure, said: "The Great Manchester Run has established itself as Europe's largest 10k run and the sight of tens of thousands of people taking to the city streets has become an annual spectacle I always look forward to. 

"The run is open to everyone regardless of ability or fitness and the perfect chance to get out on traffic-free roads whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the sport. 

"I'm sure the example set by Paula Radcliffe will prove inspirational and it's fantastic to see her encouraging regular women to take part. Events like this aren't just about elite athletes competing for the best times but a way to help people become more active and benefit from long term lifestyle changes."  


For further information, please contact:
Andy Buckley - [email protected] / +44 7712 490497 

For images, available later this morning, please contact:
Nicola Hedley - [email protected] / 0191 226 3231

Note to Editors:

Nova International 
The Great Manchester Run is brought to you by event organisers Nova International and is sponsored by Morrisons. 

Nova International, headed by Olympic medallist Brendan Foster, is one of the UK's leading event management and sports marketing agencies. The company's current brand portfolio also includes some of the biggest running events in the world, all based on the Great North Run, the world's leading half marathon with 57,000 entries.

Nova International was established in 1988 and has a strong sporting pedigree. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Nova has established itself as a market leader in the world of sports marketing and event management. 

For more information please visit

Morrisons is one of the UK's biggest food retailers, with 511 stores, and we're the only British supermarket to have our own food processing sites, abattoirs and even a farm. We employ expert livestock buyers to pick animals straight from the farmer and we are unique in making almost a quarter of the food we sell in store ourselves, giving us unrivalled control over our supply chain. We're committed to supporting British farming, that's why all Morrisons-branded fresh meat and everything on our butchers' counters is 100% British. And we have more skilled specialists on hand to prepare more fresh food in store than any other retailer, with over 6,000 fully trained crafts people in our stores including butchers, bakers, fishmongers and cheesemongers. Every week, over 11 million customers pass through our doors and more than 125,000 colleagues across the business work hard each day to deliver great service to them. Our aim is to give our customers more.

Manchester City Council 
As a city that lives and breathes sport, Manchester continues to strengthen its impressive reputation for attracting major international sports championships.  Listed as one of the world's Ultimate Sports Cities by SportBusiness Magazine in 2014, Manchester will host several major events in 2015 such as the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, Rugby World Cup 2015 and the Morrisons Great Manchester Run.  These events help to raise the city's global sporting profile, whilst bringing long-term social and economic benefits to Manchester and its residents. The City's excellent range of accessible sports venues and facilities, combined with its school and community sports development programmes, provide the springboard for Manchester's sporting stars of the future. Visit for more information. 

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