2012 Euro paratri champs

GB Para Athlete Charlotte Ellis aiming for Paralympic Qualification at adidas Manchester Marathon

For most runners taking part in the 2023 adidas Manchester Marathon, the event will be the culmination of months of hard work and training – but Charlotte Ellis will be hoping it’s just the start of a journey that will see her competing at the Paralympic Games in Paris next year.

The former international paratriathlete will be taking part in the event with the aim of securing the required time for Paralympic qualification, meaning her participation in Manchester is of even greater significance, as she hopes to reach her ultimate goal of qualifying for the T11/T12 marathon at next year’s Games.

Charlotte is a visually impaired athlete who has been competing at elite international level for many years, having first started her running journey as a student at the University of York.

She has previously been crowned world champion at the World Paratriathlon Championships in two consecutive years, as well as topping the podium at the European Paratriathlon Championships for three consecutive years.

Since retiring from paratriathlon in 2013, Charlotte has switched focus to long-distance running and previously took part in the event in 2018. She has described her 2018 race as a ‘breakthrough moment’ in her career and maintains that the event is still her ‘favourite marathon’ to date.

Charlotte Ellis said: “I am really looking forward to the adidas Manchester Marathon, to hopefully see the results of my training. I would like to achieve qualification at Manchester and then build on that.

“I am excited to be running the race with my fantastic guide Claire. It is a great course with fantastic support and really friendly runners. There will always be tougher moments in a marathon, but the atmosphere can really help with managing that.

“I previously ran the event in 2018 and it is still my favourite marathon. It was also the race that qualified me for the IPC Para Athletics World Marathon Championships in 2019, where I finished 7th.

“I would love to have the opportunity to run for Great Britain at the Paralympics. I have been incredibly lucky to represent Great Britain in paratriathlon World and European Championships and to run at the World Para Marathon Championships. The Paralympics is the ultimate aim for athletes with disabilities.

“If I do achieve this [qualification],  it will be as a result of the encouragement, support and help of many people from my parents, wider family and friends and the numerous guides over the years.”

Charlotte is part of New Marske Harriers running club and met her running guide, Claire, through paratriathlon 13 years ago.

She said: “Claire does a fantastic job of safely guiding me around hazards during races. I am lucky to have the support of Claire and other guides. I am also extremely fortunate to be part of an incredibly supportive running club New Marske Harriers. Coaches and other runners ensure that I am fully included in training and social events.”

With less than three weeks to go ahead of the big day, Charlotte’s training is in full swing ahead of the 26.2 mile event.

“So far training seems to be going well. Many things can happen on the day that could affect time, such as weather or illness/injury, but touch wood things are going OK. I am lucky that with the support of my amazing running club, New Marske Harriers, I have completed my training despite some icy weather.

Visit www.manchestermarathon.co.uk for more information and to sign up for the 2024 event.

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