Unforgettable day at the Great Manchester Run for APF!
By Alex Croft, Fundraising & Marketing Co-ordinator
All photographs Copyright Kiseki Studio.
“We’ve just about recovered from the exhaustion of an absolutely unforgettable weekend at the Great Manchester Run. Thank you to the team on the day Wendy, John, Laura, Lorna, Sam, Stephen, Richard the photographer and Kathleen and Rowan the physios who volunteered to give much needed massages to our runners.
We had 48 amazing runners for APF and it was an incredible weekend for everyone who was there.
This was the first time we had done anything like this and I didn’t know what to expect going in to it on Saturday as we arrived in Albert Square to sweltering heat and to all the tents being put up. We had some lunch (fuel) and then got to work making our Action tent and putting all our merchandise, goody bags and decorations up ready for out 48 runners and their family and friends the next day. This took us over 2 hours and we got back to our hotel at 6:30pm ready for a quick change and then a well-deserved rest.
An early start the next day – up at 6am and down to the charity village for 7:15am to catch the early Half Marathon runners and the early bird arrivals. A few last minute panicked called and texts from runners asking about safety pins!
I cannot tell you how proud I was to see our charity name next to wonderful charities such as Dementia UK, Cancer Research, Macmillan, British Heart Foundation and MIND. Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis didn’t exist five years ago yet there we were at this amazing event!
The runners and their families started arriving in dribs and drabs first and then we had a huge influx at around midday. Our tent was PACKED with our runners and their families and it was one of the busiest on the day. It had a family atmosphere and it was very impressive to see. Everyone was so happy to be there and it was wonderful to meet the people I had been talking to for many years and some I had only met through the GMR sign up.
There were lots of tears from runners (and us!) as some were running for loved ones they had lost – their Mums and Dads, Grandmas and Grandads, Uncles and Aunts and friends. It was very moving and special. Then they were off to do the run in the blistering heat and to do everyone proud! The finishers started arriving back at the tent to cheers from all of us, a goody bag and well deserved food and a massage.
We raised lots of awareness with passers-by (we were so lucky with the location being on the end next to the cafes as we were the first tent people came to). Lots of people came in and asked about the charity and how they could get involved. Some came in because they knew someone who had just been diagnosed and were pleased to learn here was a charity for the disease.
The last runners returned about 5:30pm and the day was done, clear up time and a well-deserved rest.
It was an absolute privilege to be representing APF and to see first-hand the impact our charity has had and how far we have come was truly remarkable.
Thank you to all the runners who took part, the families and friends and to the APF events team. You did it!”