GMR 20 Stories – Saranda and Jehona Bogujevci
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.
Saranda and Jehona Bogujevci, sisters from Kosovo, first took part in the Great Manchester Run after surviving a horrific massacre during the conflict there in 1999.
They ran alongside British Army surgeon David Vassallo, who helped save their lives. He discovered the sisters in a Prishtina hospital suffering multiple gunshot injuries after surviving the attack, sadly their mother and grandmother lost their lives.
After being evacuated to Manchester, the sisters had to undergo years of surgery and physiotherapy.
Working with the Charity Manchester Aid to Kosovo, they ran the event many times to raise money to create a municipal park in their hometown of Podujeve.
The sisters say the parks of Manchester helped them during their recovery, they set up the Manchester Peace Park in Podujeve as a symbol of the welcome they received. The nine-hectare park, which the girls’ helped design alongside experts from Cornwall’s Eden Project, includes play areas, sports facilities, woodland walks and remembrance areas.
The site now welcomes thousands of residents to the quiet stretch of forested land to walk its steep, shady hill for exercise, enjoy its tranquil atmosphere, and pay their respect to those who were lost during the war.
You can be a part of the AJ Bell Great Manchester Run as it celebrates 20 years in 2023.
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.