Students Set Record With Biggest Team Of Runners

Great Comeback 1

Entries are open for the Great Manchester Run at greatrun.org/manchester

Some 1,100 students and staff will represent the University in the 10k Run through the streets of Manchester on Sunday, May 22. 

It is the first time the University's SPORT Manchester department have taken part in the popular event and is easily a record entry for a non-charity team. 

The students received a pep talk and warm-up from fellow student Seren Bundy-Davies, who is aiming to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games in Rio in August. 

Seren, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, is under a sport scholarship at The University of Manchester where she is studying for a biomedical science degree.

The Trafford Athletic Club runner won a bronze medal in the 400m relay at the World Championships in Beijing last year. 

Seren said: "It's great to see so many students taking part, although unfortunately I can't join them on the day because of an international competition in Loughborough that day. 

"I've been revising hard for my exams so I can then focus on my athletics. Training is going really well and it'd mean everything to get selected for the GB squad which is decided at the end of June.

"Everything is geared towards Rio which is the biggest stage of all and it'd be amazing to get there. I'd also like to wish everyone good luck in the Great Manchester Run."  

There to lend support for the training session on the University Campus on Wednesday (April 13) were Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of the University, and Naa Acquah, General Secretary of the Students' Union.  

Dame Nancy Rothwell said: "It's fantastic that so many students and staff are taking part. We're trying to promote well-being and good health at the University and the Run is a fabulous occasion for Manchester which is famous as a student city."

Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor and student and athlete Seren Bundy-Davies with runners taking part in the Great Manchester Run

Naa Acquah said: "Our involvement in the Run is a great fundraising effort as well as a fitness challenge, building on the many thousands of pounds we raise throughout the year through RAG. Maybe we should offer a University Challenge to other academic centres to join us in the Great Manchester Run and show just how good students are at raising money for good causes?" 

Charities are set to benefit from the students' kind-hearted efforts as they aim for an ambitious target of £100,000 through individual sponsorship. 

That will be achieved by each runner raising £100 with proceeds split between the British Red Cross, Marie Curie and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. The hospital has the biggest charity team in the 10k with 2,000 runners.    

The University's colour is purple and their team will start the Run in their own wave,  wearing t-shirts in their varsity colours. Runners are also fundraising individually for other charities.     

Vicky Foster-Lloyd, Head of Sport and Active Lifestyles at the University, said: "I'm absolutely delighted that so many staff and students have been inspired to sign up with their University colleagues. Nearly a third of those entered aren't regular runners and we've seen a huge take up on our daily run sessions led by staff and student ‘run leaders' at lunchtime and early evening. We hope that this event will engage them in lifelong activity which we know is so important for general well-being." 

To enter the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 22, visit greatrun.org/manchester