I Love Manchester: DJS Research runs the Great Manchester 10K for Manchester Hospitals

5th June 2017 10:20

I ♥ Manchester

DJS Research runs the Great Manchester 10K for Manchester Hospitals. Written by James Hinde, Research Director.

 

The startManchester10k2017_2

At the start line, thousands of runners with their names and causes on their coloured race numbers, stood in silent testimony to those who had died and been injured by the bomb that had ripped through the heart of Manchester.  We stood, lined by the giant Manchester buildings of Portland Street and the coloured decorations, heads bowed in thought. 

 

Because this is the place that has been through some hard times

Oppressions, recessions, depressions and dark times

But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit

Northern grit, Northern wit in Greater Manchester lyrics

 

And there’s hard times again in these streets of our city

But we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity

  

Manchester10k2017_1We had entered a team of six, an assortment of the fit and the “once fit”.  Danny Sims (age 44), our MD, had hopes of beating his PB and rival Julie, or at least the youthful Ryan.  Faye, our resident athlete, with a place in the fast runner’s pen, would be expecting glory.  I had suffered injuries and weight, but was ever hopeful. Richard, our surprise athlete from last year, was quietly confident.

 

We decided at the last minute to raise money for Manchester Hospitals, who had done so much to help the injured.  We all wanted to run despite any safety risks.  We wanted to be part of something positive.

 

 

We’re off

The siren went off for the start and the great crowd lurched forward with purpose.  Then we were off down the streets of Manchester, past the Bridgewater Hall, and the old Hacienda building, now apartments, to be eventually tipped out down the dual carriageway, with Old Trafford beckoning in the distance.

 

And they built us a city.  They built us these towns

And they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sounds

Of the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves

They were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves

And they left us a spirit, they left us a vibe

 

A ragtag army of runners appeared round each corner, before the cheering spectators.  Full of colour from the vests of their chosen charity and their hi-tech running gear.  There were young and old, of all shapes and sizes.  Some looked like runners and some not, but all were making progress. 

 

Some were born here, some drawn here, but we all call it home.

 

Coming the other way, I saw the graceful power of the great Ethiopian runner Tirunesh Dibaba, one of the greatest ever female long distance runners.  The men’s race included the Kenyan-American, Bernard Lagat and the Kenyan marathon superstar, Wilson Kipsang.  The Greater Manchester 10K draws the biggest names from across the world.  

 

The race

Back to the race between Julie and Danny, both were well aware of what was at stake.  The loser would never hear the end of it.  Julie was doing well, ahead by some margin, but then struck by an urgent need for a wee.  As she sat there in the portaloo, trying to hurry, all she could think about was Danny bobbing past with a smirk, leaving her with too much time to catch up!  When she’d finished, she darted out, urgently looking for a Danny like shape in the distance.

 

Manchester10k2017_3The streets were lined with cheering spectators, there was music everywhere from Caribbean steel bands to Rock bands to the DJ legend himself, Clint Boon.  People shouted out the names written on our vest, as if they knew us and urged us on.  Passing half way, past Old Trafford, some great Manchester tunes boomed out and I felt a spring in my step.

 

It’s ace, it’s the best and the songs that we sing

From the stands, from our bands set the whole world shaking

 

Towards the end I passed some blind runners, accompanied by their guides.  They were running the half marathon that had started earlier.  For each one I clapped in respect.  Testimonies that anything is possible, anything can be done.

Oh, but I was struggling, by now.  Richard bounded preternaturally past me, despite his 50 odd years.  I just had to keep pushing. We could see the imposing Hilton tower and then it didn’t feel like too far to go, but it seemed to go on for ages as we put what little we had left into one foot in front of the other. 

As a sign said 400m to go, we entered Deansgate to swathes of spectators going crazy wild with noise and the coloured finish arc.  One of the runners who’d been next to me said “Let’s do this, together”, and I was touched, imagining a gesture of defiance and togetherness, but in fact he sprinted off, leaving me to limp in behind.  But I’d done it!  My 3rd Greater Manchester 10K.Manchester10k2017_4

 

We’d done it!

As I finished, there was Faye, being interviewed by Denise Lewis on TV, no less!  I managed to get back to the finish section to take a picture of Danny finishing strongly.  Julie called me, waiting on the steps, she’d finish before Danny, much to his dismay and her clear delight.

I saw Richard who had run an incredible time, faster even than last year.  Ryan had squeezed in in between Danny and Julie, another strong finish.  Danny beat his PB for this course, but none of the team.  He tells us he’ll be back stronger next year.

 

Finish

Manchester10k2017_5We’d raised  £1,275 and had a great time.  We’d had so many donations from others at DJS, but also from agencies we work with across the world and we are thankful to them all for their support.

Later on we found out that we had won the mixed team category, for the third time!  The final team was Richard (39 mins), Faye (40 mins), me (42 mins) and Julie (46 mins, plus 1 min for the loo).  Danny (49 mins) and Ryan (48 mins), also did well.  But more importantly than all of this, we’d taken part in a great day in Greater Manchester.

 

 

Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes,

because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.

 

Because Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact  

that this is the place, we should give something back.


If you would like to support Manchester Hospitals, you can do so through our JustGiviign page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/DJSResearch2017


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© DJS Research 2017