RUNNER Helen Bacon has praised the ‘amazing' atmosphere in the city for this year's Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.
Helen, 44, of, Manchester, had taken part in the 10k around the city centre on five previous occasions, but this year's run took on greater significance as she is suffering from terminal cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.
The surgery and treatment Helen is receiving to treat a secondary breast cancer hampered her training for the 6.2 mile event, but nevertheless she completed the run only seven minutes slower than her previous time.
She said: “I very much enjoyed the run. My training had taken a bit of a hit due to chemotherapy and I'd only managed to do 5k a few times before the event. Against the odds I managed to run the whole thing and whilst I was about seven minutes slower than usual I was delighted.
“I think it was the support of the crowd that kept me going to be honest.”
This year's Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run took place just six days after the devastating terror attack on the city, and Helen was proud to see the city reacting so strongly in its darkest hour, with thousands running in tribute to the city and many more lining the streets to show their support.
She added: “One thing that really struck me this year was the love for the emergency services out on the course. There were lots of ambulance and police staff out working and supporting and everyone who ran past them was thanking them.
“It really summed up the spirit of Manchester after such a devastating week.
“Before the run I took a bit of time to go and visit St Ann's Square and all the flower tributes to the victims, which was very moving.
“The whole event was a celebration of the resilience of the city and its people and demonstrated that terror will not win.
“As ever, the event was hugely well organised and the atmosphere in town was amazing.”
She added: “I very much hope that I am still here and well enough to take part again next year. Three of my non-running friends have promised to do it with me and it will be fantastic to see them achieve their goal.”
How To Enter
Europe's biggest 10K, which was accompanied by a half marathon for the first time in May, returns to the city centre of Manchester on Sunday, 20 May, 2018, with entries for both distances open now.
The 10K and half marathon both start on Portland Street, the half marathon plots a course to Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, before heading west to Manchester United's Old Trafford, where it picks up the 10K route back into the city centre, finishing on Deansgate alongside the iconic Beetham Tower.
To enter, visit greatrun.org/Manchester