About us

The Manchester YMCA Harriers were established in 1882. We are one of the oldest running clubs in the UK, if not the world!

Our club has been associated with YMCA Manchester throughout its history. YMCA Manchester proudly provide training and education and health and wellbeing programmes to young people and communities across Manchester and Salford.

You can find out more information on their work and local activities at ymcamanchester.org.uk.

Where we are

The club is based at the Y Club in Manchester city centre.

Y Club
Liverpool Road
Castlefield
Manchester
M3 4JR

The Y Club is conveniently located; it is just a five minute walk from the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop.

Races and Events

We have various club championships, which cover cross-country, fell, road and track disciplines - there are plenty of trophies and medals to be won! If you're after a London Marathon place, our club has one available each year, and participation in our club Summer Championship is the way to get it!

We host our own race each year, the Blackleach Country Park 5-mile Multi-Terrain race.

Manchester YMCA Harriers at Haigh Hall

Beyond that, our members take part in all manner of races, both at home and abroad. Take a look at our upcoming events to see where our members will be running!

Training

We hold speedwork sessions every Tuesday evening and group runs every Thursday evening. We also hold marathon training sessions on Sunday mornings in the build up to the spring marathon season.

Speedwork

Our speedwork sessions take place on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm, usually on the track at the Manchester Regional Athletics Arena.

Manchester YMCA Harriers at the Manchester Regional Athletics Arena track

Speedwork sessions are meant to be hard; you will need to push yourself, but you'll also get plenty of encouragement and support from everyone! We know that some people are faster than others, so our speed sessions are designed to be accessible to all abilities.

For more information on our speedwork sessions and the track, check out our speedwork sessions page and our upcoming events.

Group Runs

Our group runs take place every Thursday, starting at the Y Club at 6:30pm. After a quick warm up, the Captains will gather the group together for Club Notices, after which we’ll split into sub-groups before we head off on the run.

Manchester YMCA Harriers on a group run

Each group will run at a different pace and will be led by a club member, so there should always be a pace group suited to you. The number of groups is flexible depending on the number of runners down on any particular night, but we’ll generally have the following four pace groups:

  • Group 1: 7.00 min / mile (4.20 min / km) +/- 30 secs
  • Group 2: 7.30 min / mile (4.40 min / km) +/- 30 secs
  • Group 3: 8.30 min / mile (5.20 min / km) +/- 30 secs
  • Group 4: 9.30 min / mile (5.50 min / km) +/- 30 secs

If you’re not sure which group to go in on your first visit, we'd advise starting off in Group 4 and try to work your way up to the next one!

Our routes are generally 6 - 8 miles (10 - 13km) but if you don't fancy running that far, we'll always offer a shorter alternative route of approximately 3 miles (5km).

The Committee

The Manchester YMCA Harriers Committee is responsible for the day-to-day running of the club and making decisions that will affect the future of the club.

Everybody on the committee is a volunteer who gives their time freely for the benefit of the club and its members.

Committee Members

Steph GoodchildClub President

Steph Goodchild: Club President

Steph's role as Club President involves chairing committee and general meetings, making a speech at the club's Annual General Meeting and generally being a good egg!

Steph has been a member of the Manchester YMCA Harriers since 1990; she has served on the Committee for fifteen years and has previously been the Club Treasurer for ten years. She is the first woman to hold the role of Club President in our history!

Steph is a keen fell and ultra-distance runner; you can read about some of her exploits on various blogs that she has either written or has featured in:

Emma ElmerhebiClub Secretary

Emma Elmerhebi: Club Secretary

Emma's role as Club Secretary involves registering club members with England Athletics and managing the membership of the club. The Club Secretary is also responsible for administrative tasks around committee meetings and the Club's Annual General Meeting, including the collation of agendas, the recording of minutes and distributing these as required.

Heather HughesClub Treasurer

Heather Hughes: Club Treasurer

Heather's role as Club Treasurer involves managing the club's bank account, maintaining a cash book and producing income and expenditure reports for general club activities and our Blackleach race. Her role also involves producing and delivering an annual statement and report for the club's Annual General Meeting.

Craig Jones and Sarah WilsonCaptains

Craig Jones and Sarah Wilson: Captains

Craig and Sarah are our leaders "on the pitch".

Their role as captains also involves planning the Thursday evening group run and acting as leaders for the session, as well as organising marathon training sessions and routes.

They deliver a monthly "Captain's Report" which is provided to the committee and an annual report at the Annual General Meeting.

The captains present awards at presentation evenings and decide upon the annual award for our "most improved runner" as well as the weightings for our Christmas handicap race.

Both Craig and Sarah are excellent marathon runners; you can read about some of their performances on various blogs:

Jon ParamorRace Entries Secretary

Jon Paramor: Race Entries Secretary

Jon's role as Race Entries Secretary involves collating the club's entry for the Manchester Area Cross Country League, the South East Lancs Cross Country League, the Greater Manchester, Northern and National Cross Country Championships and applicable races in the club's summer Road Championship. Jon collects entry money and distributes race numbers.

Jon is heavily involved in the organisation of our Blackleach Country Park race.

Jon also attends the Manchester Area Cross Country League and South East Lancs Cross Country League Annual General Meetings on the club's behalf.

Jon has been a member of the Club and the Committee for many years; he has previously served as our Club Captain.

David AshtonCommittee Member

David Ashton: Committee Member

David is a veteran runner who is particularly passionate and knowledgeable about fell running. You can read more (much more!) about David's running pedigree in the series of blog posts he has written:

Beyond general committee business, David is heavily involved in the organisation of our Blackleach Country Park race and he represents the club at the Manchester Area Cross Country League and South East Lancs Cross Country League Annual General Meetings.

Chris MarchCommittee Member

Chris March: Committee Member

Chris is a general committee member. He has previously served as the Club President for two years, from 2017 until 2019.

Chris' primary responsibility is to look after this website and any other techy stuff.

Hannah BrierleyCommittee Member

Hannah Brierley: Committee Member

Hannah is a general committee member. She has previously served as a Club Captain for five years, alongside Mark Griffiths.

Sarah DonohoeCommittee Member

Sarah Donohoe: Committee Member

Sarah is a general committee member. She is involved in organising our Blackleach race.

Graeme WilkinsonCommittee Member

Graeme Wilkinson: Committee Member

Graeme is a general committee member. He is new on the committee for 2019.

Club Rules

Our club rules are fairly lengthy, but they can be summarised as follows:

  • Anybody is welcome to be a member of our club, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious preference or ability;
  • Our club exists to further the development of running, at all levels, and to provide opportunities for recreation and competition; and
  • Our club operates fairly, transparently and on a democratic basis.