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.
2023 marks the 20th Great Manchester Run. 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.
Ian Hindle lost his wife Dianne Oxberry in 2019 to ovarian Cancer. Diane was a much loved and respected broadcaster at BBC North West. When Dianne suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in January 2019 shortly after being diagnosed, there was an incredible outpouring of love and grief from people across the North West.
Ian channeled that support into the Dianne Oxberry Trust, founded shortly after her memorial. The Charity went on to raise over £150,000 by the end of the year and has already supported vital research and initiatives to help others diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The Great Manchester Run played a significant part in that fundraising effort.
Ian reflects on his history with the event, “My first experience of the GMR was working on it for the BBC as a cameraman, I think on the very first one. I’d worked on the Great North Run many times, but this felt special as it was my home city. There was a real buzz about with people really getting engaged with it and organising for some amazing charities.
“I’ve worked as a cameraman on the event many times over the last 20 years and in the last few years have been lucky enough to shoot the personal stories that feature in the programme. You get to meet some incredible people and I’ve found their stories truly inspiring. It’s amazing to see how it has grown over the years with tens of thousands of people taking part, many of them for fantastic causes close to their hearts. When Dianne died in January 2019 we started the Dianne Oxberry Trust, a charity to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. The outpouring of grief from the viewers of Northwest Tonight, the northwest’s local BBC news programme was astounding.
“I started a just giving page in Dianne’s name and the reaction to that was extraordinary, but it was the Great Manchester Run that really set us off as a charity. We were lucky enough to have our own wave of people setting off after the elite runners. Hundreds of people ran for our charity and to see that wave of yellow t shirts running through the streets was unbelievably moving and emotional for me, my two kids and my family. It was so surreal.
“We were given a platform on the TV programme to tell the viewers about Dianne and the aims of our Trust. Through this, we had some stunning donations and that allowed us to push forward with our message.
“Obviously my favourite memory of the run is the Sunday that people were running for our charity in 2019. It was a very emotional time for me but meant so much to us as a family to see people reacting to Dianne’s passing.
“When people get in touch to say they want to take part in the Great Manchester Run to raise money for The Dianne Oxberry Trust I’m still so grateful. We work hard to try to raise awareness by spreading the word about the symptoms of ovarian cancer to people across the North West.
“We want to encourage people to know what to look out for and hopefully increase their chances of an early diagnosis and a better outcome if they do have the disease.
“Every penny raised for our charity, and so many other great causes, make such a difference – it’s incredible on the day to see people running, and with each step they take having a real impact on people’s lives.”
“The Great Manchester Run is important for the city of Manchester, it brings everyone together with a shared aim. It brings out the very best in people. I’ll be working at the event as a cameraman again this year, filming the personal stories of some of the people taking on the challenge.
“I really love this part of my job and look forward to it each year. It’s brilliant to meet inspirational people from all walks of life and the diversity of the charities and reasons runners take part.”
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.