You can ‘run and rave’ as part of this new charity-driven social in Manchester city centre

Running around the city with a big speaker before going and cutting some shapes on the dance floor? Sign us up.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 25th April 2024

If you’re looking for a fun new way to spend a night out or thinking about getting into running but maybe haven’t quite found the right way in for you just yet, this new Manchester run social that starts and ends with a good old-fashioned party might be right up your street.

Run The Streets MCR is a community-led and charity-driven fitness and social event that recently launched in Manchester and has already developed a bit of a cult following in the space of only a couple of months.

The concept is simple: it’s a running social where you can meet new people whilst getting your yards in, just not quite as you know it. Instead of people turning up for a 5k and then heading home, the fun carries on at a host venue where people can keep chatting and mingling whilst having a boogie.

And the best part is that not only is it more of a causally paced, low-pressure jog and crucially social-first, but it’s all for a good cause too.

How it began and the purpose behind the event

Started out by East Manchester locals and lifelong mates, Liam Parker-Worsley and Sarah Edwards, (‘Sezzle’ to those who know her among the Manc running circles), Run The Streets started out as a running social concept at its very core but has now become truly bigger than the sum of its parts.


While the ‘run and rave’ idea has been done before, this particular event is the first of its kind in Greater Manchester and after facing some serious obstacles to get it off the ground and plenty of adversity at the very first hurdle – for lack of a less punny phrase – they’ve managed to turn it into a force for good.

After pivoting the model at the start of 2024 to be completely non-profit, the monthly event is now helping bring people together for a good time, from the tarmac to the tiles, all whilst raising money for the likes of The Running Charity (TRC).


Not only do all the proceeds from the super affordable tickets – we’re talking the same price you’d pay for a decent pint in town these days – go straight back into running the next social, but they also help fund the chosen charity for that month.

Be it national causes like TRC, which recently received huge support from the incredible ‘Hardest Geezer‘s run across Africa, or charities strictly local to Manchester, everyone involved is striding towards a goal – quite literally.

Offering a different kind of night out

Speaking to The Manc, co-creator Sezzle says the mission statement is simple: “Everyone’s welcome and you can meet new people whilst running but at the same time we’re giving back to the community.


“We’re supporting local charities, artists and DJs, as well as local running clubs who want to get involved. Essentially, it’s just about bringing people together, which is what run clubs do, but we’re also in a big city and not everyone wants to go out and just drink at a bar all night.

“You want to keep fit, it’s good for your mental health, but you also still want to be social and enjoy yourself. Run The Streets is that Mancunian through and through but everyone’s invited.”

Sober for five months now, she acknowledged that outlets like this are crucial, insisting: “I don’t want to stop going out and having a good time or meeting new people, so this is a way that you can still go out on a Friday night and enjoy a party atmosphere with no pressure to drink”.

run the streets manchester running social
This is what the start of a night in trainers, hi-vis and glow sticks looks like. (Credit: Supplied)

The ‘by Manchester for Manchester’ ethos

Her partner in crime Liam echoed that party-run description, reiterating that whilst people can still get a bit boozy if they like, it’s all about “providing an alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to drink and want to be included but might have felt a little alienated otherwise”.

A fellow Tameside native, he explained how Run The Streets has already partnered with zero-alcohol brands like Clean Break for their inaugural event back in March and now alcohol-free favourite Lucky Saint for their sophomore social this month.


They’ve also already managed to get sports brands involved in the event, offering giveaways, running shoe try-ons and more, most notably hosting the Fight Day 5k across the city centre in partnership with Matchroom Boxing.

“It’s not about the financial aspect for us”, says Liam, “we only charge for tickets to sustain the event and pay for the talent, hiring spaces and so on… It might be different venues, different charities etc., but as long as we focus on core issues to Manchester with a cultural element that’s important to us, we’re happy with that”.

Sez couldn’t agree more, adding: “At the end of the day, we’re Mancs, we’ve watched the city grow into what it is today. When it comes down to it everyone knows about the Manchester spirit, it’s a hard-working area and there’s such a community to this place – we want to make sure everyone feels welcome.

“We look out for each other. That’s how it’s always been.”

Roots in the running and wider Greater Manchester community

Chatting with Tom Lewis, founder of Manchester’s annual 24 Hour Run Against Homelessness and Chairman for the Run The Street’s official host club, Manchester Road Runners, he said that they became interested because they “really liked the idea of sponsoring different charities every month”.


Confessing that it felt like “a natural crossover” given MRR’s size and ethos, as well as their own non-profit work with the British Heart Foundation and Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, he said the “overall response from the first event was incredible – everyone just loved it”.

“There were people dancing on the streets as they saw us come past and there were so many videos on social media. That sort of stuff can really help get people into running who wouldn’t necessarily consider it in the first place.”

“I think it’s going to grow really quickly; the first event sold out and I think the next ones will too, definitely. It’s great to see what just a random group of friends can accomplish when we come together.”

Manchester Road Runners is helping bring huge numbers to the event already.

Liam himself couldn’t speak highly enough of the Castlefield-based group, insisting that “me and Sez find a lot of happiness and solace” at MRR.

While they are affiliated with others like KOKO (Keep On Keeping On’s Manchester arm) and Stretford Run Club that they want to help promote, the hope is that events like this might help people who run but don’t attend a club might give them a try in the future.


Regular ambassador and volunteer at both organisations, Natasha Barclay – who herself is over a year into her own sobriety journey – described the flagship event as “such good fun, really welcoming” and filled with plenty of people who had never even run before.

Nat also urged people not to be scared if they’re first-timers to run socials or running full stop, reassuring that “no one gets left behind; even if you can’t really run, you’ll always make it back, have a good time and meet others in the same boat”.

She went on to add: “Run The Streets MCR is all about giving back to the running community which I think can often get overshadowed by social media and certain brands. The spirit can sometimes get taken out of it but this run social puts its straight back in whilst helping Manchester business and DJs.”

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When we asked the guys to sum this whole experience up in three words or less that weren’t ‘rave and run’, they came up with some pretty telling answers too. “Community, soul and fun”, “alternative Friday fun” and our personal favourite: “Simply for Manchester”.

It’s also worth reiterating that these guys have done it completely off their own backs and are doing so on an entirely voluntary basis on top of their full-time jobs, sometimes juggling two or three different roles. It’s been built over countless late nights and dinner hours, all for the love of running and the city.


The second ever Run The Streets MCR running social and party kicks off this Friday, 26 April from 7pm at Joshua Brooks, with a light 5k around our lovely city centre starting at 7:30pm before heading back to the venue for more tunes, dancing, glowsticks and general good vibes from 8pm onwards.

You can grab the last few remaining tickets HERE and we hope to see a few of you there on the night.

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Featured Images — The Manc Group/Run The Streets MCR