GMR 20 Stories – Fabrice Muamba

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The AJ Bell Great Manchester Run in 2023 will be the 20th staging of the event. In recognition of this incredible milestone, we’re looking back on 20 unforgettable stories from two decades of running in the capital of the North.   

Fabrice Muamba’s participation in the 2013 Great Manchester Run was a testament to his incredible resilience and unwavering commitment to promoting heart health awareness, despite his near-death experience on the football pitch in March 2012. 

During a match between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur, Muamba suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed on the pitch. He was effectively dead for over an hour before being resuscitated and taken to the hospital. Despite the slim chances of survival, Muamba’s incredible strength and resilience enabled him to pull through and begin his road to recovery. 

In the aftermath of this traumatic event, Muamba became an ambassador for the Arrythmia Alliance Hearts and Goals campaign, which aims to provide defibrillators and CPR training to local communities across the UK. This role allowed him to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and promote heart health awareness, which became his life’s mission. 

In 2013, Muamba participated in the Great Manchester Run as the official starter for the event. 25 fans, each representing their own premier league teams, came together to run as a group and raise funds for the Hearts and Goals campaign in his name. This spirit of unity and solidarity was a fitting tribute to Muamba’s remarkable story of resilience and determination. 

Muamba’s participation as the official starter sent a powerful message to runners and fans alike. His presence at the start line served as a powerful inspiration to the thousands of runners taking on the event.

Looking back on Muamba’s involvement in the Great Manchester Run, it is clear that his contributions to the Hearts and Goals campaign and the wider community have been truly remarkable. His willingness to share his story and to use his platform to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and other heart-related conditions has undoubtedly saved lives and helped to improve the health and well-being of countless individuals. 

Speaking at the time Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of Arrhythmia Alliance, said: “We are honoured to be associated with this event and to have so many people running for Hearts & Goals.  

“Fabrice continues to inspire a huge number of people into joining Hearts & Goals to help us tackle sudden cardiac arrest and save lives. I cannot think of a better person to get this fantastic event underway.” 

Be part of a spectacular running celebration in the heart of Manchester on Sunday 21 May 2023, celebrating 20 years of the AJ Bell Great Manchester Run. 

Whether you take on the 10k or Half Marathon challenge, you’ll line up on the iconic Portland Street start line and feel the goosebumps as you and 25,000 other runners follow the famous route, pass Manchester landmarks and set your sights on Deansgate for a grandstand finish. 

With live music and entertainment zones at every turn, roaring charity cheering squads, plus the incredible local support who line the streets to cheer you on, it’ll be a party from start to finish. 

For more information or to enter today click here.