To sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, visit greatrun.org/Manchester

A CHARITY fundraiser has hailed the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run as a ‘special’ event as it celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

Hundreds of runners will once again represent the charity launched by one of the most inspirational stories to come out of the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.

Kirsty Howard, who was born with her heart back to front, took part in every Junior Great Manchester Run up until she passed away in October 2015. Kirsty is the figurehead of the Kirsty Club, raising more than £7.5million to provide long-term support for Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Kirsty’s sister Zoe ran the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run last year and headed-up The Kirsty Club team in memory of her much-loved sister, and will be returning in 2017.

Phil Taylor, director of the Kirsty Club, was invited along with Zoe to the celebration of 15 years of the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, and has paid tribute to the event which has grown to be the biggest in Europe.

He said: “Every one of them has been really special. It was very emotional last year not having Kirsty with us for the first time.

“The whole atmosphere around the city of Manchester is just fantastic. We’ve always been lucky with the weather; everybody thoroughly enjoys it particularly with the Kirsty club.

“We get cheered all the way round, all round the city.”

To sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, visit greatrun.org/Manchester