Double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell surprised runners in Salford when he joined them for a 5k lunchtime race on Wednesday.
The announcement on Bupa’s Twitter account that Cracknell would be kicking off the race drew around 100 eager runners to Salford Quays.
The FlashRun, organized by Bupa, was a warm up for the 10k Great Manchester Run on Sunday.
Runners were treated to advice and sports massages by Bupa’s team of sports medicine experts.
Cracknell said: “I was amazed to see so many people come along and join the run.
“This was definitely the most enjoyable way I could have prepared for the Great Manchester Run.”
The main event will take place on May 20, leading participants from Portland Street through the city finishing on Deansgate.
Simon Fairthorne, a Bupa physiotherapist attending the event, said: “We were delighted to host this unique event with James.”
Mr Fairthorne believes the run was the perfect way for Mancunian athletes to warm up for the weekend’s big event.
“Judging by the large numbers and big smiles on everyone’s faces, it was a huge success,” he said.