For one day the whole of Manchester came together, young and old, red and blue, man & bear to raise money for a huge number of great causes
Our chosen charity was the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity who provide emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness.
On Sunday morning me, the rest of the ClearDebt runners and around 40,000 people ran 10 kilometres through the City of Manchester in the BUPA Great Manchester Run. Our chosen charity was the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity who provide emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness.
Our target for donations was £2000 and with around two weeks to go before the race we were a few hundred pounds short. Foolishly in an attempt to boost donations I agreed that if the target was reached – I would run in an all in one bear suit I recently wore to a fancy dress party. All the other runners quickly appealed to their friends and families and the extra donations came in thick and fast with messages of support, with 48 hours until the race the target was reached.
On the day of the race I climbed into my onesie and arrived in Manchester. To my relief there were some far more ridiculously dressed people including Scooby Doo, a huge Rhino and several men in tutus. Designated to run in the green wave and following an embarrassing zumba style warm up and a cheesy opera rendition of “You Raise me up”; Haile Gebrselassie fired the starting pistol and I was off.
The run took me all the way down Mancunion Way to Old Trafford football stadium, around the back of the Imperial War Museum and all the way back to the city centre.
The heat of the bear suit kicked in at around the 6km mark, the blisters formed at around 7km and my will to stay standing was put severely to the test at 8kms onwards.
Along the way I tried to keep pace with a man dressed as a tiger – which to a spectator must have looked like an alternative ending to the Jungle Book where Baloo and Sher Khan settle their differences through athletics.
When I arrived at the top of Deansgate, I could see the finish line. I gave one final push and ran the last 200 meters without collapsing from heat stroke. My final time was 59:57 which I am very pleased with.
Overall the day was a great showing of support and sacrifice for people in need. For one day the whole of Manchester came together, young and old, red and blue, man & bear to raise money for a huge number of great causes. Running for an hour in a bear suit with blisters on my feet pales in comparison to the daily suffrage endured by the families supported by The Rainbow Trust and I was honoured to run on their behalf. Next year I think I’ll choose a less furry animal.
What our other runners said of the experience:
I wanted to do the race in a quicker time this year but considering the injuries I had recently had – cracked ribs and a very bad shoulder – I wasn’t that disappointed. I actually beat my time last year by three minutes so I shouldn’t complain. I did the race mainly for fitness but also to hopefully raise a lot of money for a very worthwhile charity – it was the Rainbow Trust I was thinking of as I was struggling in the run!
Liz Robinson – PA to CEO David Mond
Completed the run in 1.08 hours
The previous night was my birthday night out, my family came over from Newcastle so there was no getting out of the evening! The run meant a lot to me personally as I wanted to accomplish this for my grandma who died of breast cancer. I wanted to get round it with just one stop and am over the moon that I managed to do so.
Carley Jones – Head of Advice
Completed the run in 1.12 hours
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event. It was very well organised and a great fun day out for everyone. I enjoyed it so much I’ve now signed up for the Great Yorkshire Run! I have got to say I was overwhelmed at the volume of people cheering you on around the whole route – it really does y motivate you. My target finish time was 1:15 and my official finish time was 1:00!
Scott Beaver – Senior Consultant
Completed the run in 1 hour
I feel as though I’ve achieved what I set out to do with the training I put in, although not as much as I would have liked. It helped as well to drive me through knowing that I was doing it for a good cause. Overall it was a top day out and something that I would love to do again. I wanted to complete the run in under 43 minutes (to beat my best friend’s time which he set last year). I managed to do it in 47 minutes but did suffer from blisters doing. I’m happy with my time under the circumstances but if I run again next year, I’ll be looking to beat that and hopefully raise a bit more money in the process.
Alan Dolan – Customer Services Officer
Completed the run in 47 minutes
I always enjoy doing the run and this was the 3rd time I have completed it. It is always great to run on behalf of a charity that does a lot for children and their families when times are bad so I was proud to support the Rainbow Trust this year. In relation to my time, my aim was to beat last years’ time of 1:18.07 but I was over a minute slower at 1:19.48. But in honesty, the time to me is irrelevant as really, the atmosphere is what make the day an enjoyable experience.
Matthew Bannon – Corporate Insolvency
Completed the run in – 1.19 hours
The run felt good, only stopped once to adjust my knee strap and walked for a moment but then kept going. Felt amazing to sprint across the finish line past a man city shirt wearing man!! I wanted to do it in under and hour and I got 56 minutes so I was really pleased.
Sailesh Vara – Customer Services Officer
Completed the run in 56 minutes
After a strange week of various ailments I was not confident in this year’s 10K. No longer was I trying to beat last year’s time but more to ensure I was to get around. This year I ran with our team in aid of Rainbow Trust as well as for The Manchester Neurological Research Trust Fund. I have recently lost my father in law after 7 years of being blighted by Alzheimer’s; hence my choice to support the latter charity also. I do Intend to run again next year. It’s a bit like a runaway steam roller, I will keep plodding on, and know I will get around it. I just hope they don’t re-open the roads before I have finished. Going back many years, probably before most of the company runners were born I actually completed my first full Marathon in 4hr 23. But that was 30 years ago!!
Mark Love – Development Team
Completed the run in 1.34 hours