Two of the country’s biggest running and swimming events are to be staged on the same day for the first time – and they’ll be live on TV.
The British Gas Great Salford Swim and The Bupa Great Manchester Run, which will together attract over 40,000 participants, are to be screened live on BBC television on Sunday 15 May 2011.
What’s more, an incredible four and a half hours of live coverage will also feature some of the world’s finest athletes, who will be taking part in the street athletics phenomenon that is the Great CityGames – Manchester.
The British Gas Great Salford Swim was first staged in September last year and proved a huge success with 2,000 people swimming the one mile distance at Salford Quays – in a unique course in a spectacular location at MediaCityUk within sight of Manchester United’s world-famous Old Trafford football stadium.
Now, the swim has been brought forward to the same day as the run with live coverage of both events to be screened on BBC Two.
As well as the thousands of swimmers of all shapes and sizes – and abilities – who will take part, the event also boasts elite men’s and women’s races, which in the past have featured a host of world-class stars such as British Olympic silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne and world 5k champion Thomas Lurz of Germany, who won the inaugural British Gas Great Salford Swim.
The Great Salford swim is part of the British Gas Great Swim Series, which currently also features swims in Windermere in the Lake District, Alton Water near Ipswich and the Royal Victoria Dock in London.
Colin Hill, head of Great Swim, said: “The inaugural swim in Salford proved an enormous hit with swimmers last year, partly because of the unique nature of the course, which took in two different docks as well as the canal that links them.
“The swim is being staged on the same day as the run and the atmosphere around Manchester and Salford will be amazing. It’s also going to be incredible to see our Olympic hopefuls swimming on live television alongside world class running events.”
Swimmers set off in a series of “waves”, each comprising of up to 300 swimmers, staged approximately every half an hour.
The 2011 British Gas Great Salford Swim comprises a one-mile swim only.
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