Starting and finishing in the heart of the city, the Great Manchester Run is an inclusive celebration of Mancunian running for everyone, from locals to celebrated athletes such as Mo Farah.
Last year, over 16,000 runners of all ages and abilities took on the 10K and Half Marathon challenges in and around the city centre – and this year is set to be even bigger.
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to take part, whether it’s for good causes, for PBs, or just for fun.
And everyone has their own motivation to keep going, throughout the training and on the day itself.
Members of the I Love MCR team are currently preparing to take on the 10K challenge on 22nd May, raising money for the I Love MCR Foundation – which helps improve the lives and prospects of people across Greater Manchester – in the process.
Funds raised by the foundation help support beneficiary charities across the city-region including Forever Manchester, Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, and We Love MCR Charity.
Here, some of the I Love MCR team reveal why they’re taking part in the 10K – and why raising funds for the foundation is so important to them.
“I moved house during the first proper lockdown and started walking down the Bridgewater Canal to get some fresh green air away from the work and dust,” says managing director, Chris.
“Gyms were closed and I quickly realised just how much was on my mind and how much noise I had in my head.
“Walking progressively turned into running and I shed unwanted weight really quickly. I felt better about myself and was able to cope better with day to day stress.
“Exercise gives me a high that I want to share with everyone and anyone. Manchester has always had a togetherness and ‘tribalness’ that’s hard to find anywhere else, and the Great Manchester Run is a great opportunity to share that good feeling with thousands of people at once.”
Training for the @Great_Run to fundraise for @ILoveMCR Charity Foundation. Check out my run on Strava.https://t.co/mlAWqrXNKw pic.twitter.com/wqCux0RWHk— Chris Greenhalgh (@ilovemcrchris) April 20, 2022
Like many others, Chris gave up an office during the pandemic and felt quite isolated working from home.
“I missed human interaction, and the business suffered with not only loss of revenue but dissengagement within the team,” he says.
“The Great Manchester Run is a great opportunity for businesses to encourage a healthy outlook for team members or staff, engage in all-important team building and focus on charity fundraising.”
There are also more personal reasons why Chris is taking part – and why raising money for the I Love MCR Foundation and helping local children and neighbourhoods is important to him.
“I had a very lonely and broken childhood, and if it wasn’t for one or two key figures in my life and taking up martial arts I might be in a very different place in my adult life,” he says.
Thanks for supporting our @FletcherMoss_FC boys, my mate @ant_crolla 👊 pic.twitter.com/WcWBFGu0nE— Chris Greenhalgh (@ilovemcrchris) July 17, 2021
One in three of young people live across Greater Manchester in poverty – below the breadline.
“That’s why we created the I Love MCR Foundation in the first place and why I’m fundraising for the great causes the foundation supports.”
Senior administrator, Simon, also has personal reasons for taking part in the race and raising vital funds.
“I ran the Manchester 10k four times in five years, over 10 years ago, in support of a charity close to my family, but I thought my running days were over and I wouldn’t be doing another,” he says.
“But after my wife ran her first ever 10k (she hadn’t run even for exercise before) two years ago, and coupled with the fact I’d recovered from testicular cancer, I was inspired and determined to run again and try to beat any of my previous times, even though I’m now in my 40s.
“I managed to achieve this, and when we had a plan to run as a team for our foundation, I felt I had to jump in and take part.
“I Love MCR has supported me so much during the cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment, to be able to give something in return is a huge driving factor for me.
“Manchester has been my home for over 20 years and to run the streets of this city is an experience I cannot quite explain; the boost you get around the course and at the finish line is unlike anything I have felt anywhere else.”
For commercial director and new dad, Danny, the race is also a chance to get back into running – as well as supporting the local community.
“I’ve always enjoyed going out for a run a few times a week to help with my mental health and wellbeing, but after becoming a dad in September 2021, my running trainers had started to gather cobwebs and my new ‘dad bod’ slowly started to take shape,” he says.
“I decided to take part in this year’s MCR 10K to get fit and at the same time help generate awareness of the I Love MCR foundation and how it supports the Manchester community.”
So how’s he finding juggling fatherhood, work and training for the race?
“In all honesty, the training so far hasn’t gone as planned,” laughs Danny.
“If anyone attending the event on the day sees me struggling and wants to help carry me over the finish line, there’s a drink in it for you.”
We have every faith in you, team I Love MCR.
Run for I Love MCR
If want to run and fundraise for the I Love Manchester Charity Foundation, you can do so by clicking ‘fundraise’ below. What’s more, I Love MCR will reimburse your entry fee and send you a free t-shirt or vest in time to wear for the main event, too.
To find out more about the Great Manchester Run and to sign up, click here. To make a donation or fundraise for the I Love MCR Foundation and help communities across Greater Manchester, click below…