Manchester half announces 36 different medal options, & chance to hyper personalise bib, for the 2023 ‘Express Yourself’ edition

8th August 2023
  • World-first will see random medal allocated at finish line.
  • Largest half marathon in Manchester’s history.
  • Flags of Greater Manchester & Pirates popular choice for bibs.

The 2023 Manchester Half on Sunday 15 October will be a special ‘Express Yourself’ edition featuring some world-first elements allowing participants to individualise their journey. Over 16,000 people have already registered to take part, making this the largest half marathon in Manchester’s history.

The aim is to empower participants to embrace their uniqueness and showcase their passions, hobbies, and personal flair through various means. With the belief there is no right or wrong way to be yourself, the Manchester Half encourages all participants to tell the world who they are and what they love.

Everyone taking part has the option to request a specially created souvenir bib to be worn on their front. Alongside the traditional number and start wave allocation, there is the option to choose from five background designs; an emoji that represents how you feel about the challenge; add a reason for running; plus a flag of choice. The hyper personalised numbers will be posted out in advance, meaning each person taking part can express themselves in a distinctive way.

Currently the rainbow design is the most chosen background with 24.6% popularity, whilst the most chosen emoji so far is the bee, likely thanks to its intrinsic connection with Manchester. The flag of Greater Manchester is the third most chosen to be featured, just one ahead of a pirate flag. The Union Flag and St George’s cross are the most popular currently, although there is still time for people to create their own.

Another world-first will see 36 different types of medals at the finish line. Each of the six high-quality metal designs celebrate one of six Manchester icons such as Noel Gallagher and Emmeline Pankhurst, with an inspiring quotation from the figure. There are also six different ribbon designs randomly allocated, giving 36 different combinations.

Other activities are planned around event day to celebrate the Express Yourself theme, with participants encouraged to wear items big or small that represent things they love. A white ‘Write on Me’ Express Yourself t-shirt can also be purchased that allows friends and family to cover it with messages of support, or participants to design their own style for the big day.

Andrew Smith, CEO of the event organiser Human Race, expressed his enthusiasm for the “Express Yourself” theme, stating, “We are incredibly excited to introduce this new edition of the Manchester Half and provide a platform for participants to celebrate their individuality. The Manchester Half has always been about fostering a sense of community, and we believe that by encouraging self-expression, we can create an even more inclusive and vibrant event. We can’t wait to see the incredible displays of creativity and the stories that will unfold on event day.”

The Manchester Half Marathon “Express Yourself” edition will take place on 15th October 2023. Over 16,000 participants are registered to take part, making it the largest Half Marathon event in the region. A final allocation of 900 places will be made available to those on a priority waiting list, which currently numbers over 5,000.