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Manchester Marathon 2017
By Imelda McQuaid - 6 June 2017
Nine young people from Oldham, Manchester and Rochdale, some more eager than others, rose at the crack of dawn to run in the Manchester Marathon. The team met in the usual place in the centre of Manchester and made the journey by tram to the start of the epic 26 miles.
Cain, who is also known as "No pain, no Cain", was ready and raring to go to complete his first ever marathon.
He joined the Running Club, supported by the Running Charity, when he came as a supporter to cheer on the runners in the 2016 Manchester Marathon.
Cain, never one to shy away from a challenge, had turned up the previous year to support - and ended up running the first leg in a pair of jeans and pumps. One year later, he completed the full distance "in a flash" - taking only four hours and 17minutes. An incredible time!
Martin had to be kept a close eye on, so he didn’t sneak off and run the full marathon as he was in training for the London Marathon.
Having suffered with a few niggly injuries on and off throughout the year, he was on a strict training plan so he did not to pick up further injury. Would you believe it if we told you Martin went to complete the London Marathon in three hours and 19 minutes?
The other runners, who aren’t as keen on blisters, were split off into four relay teams with a mixture of young people and volunteers.
We joined with runners from the Salford Foyer and quickly developed a supportive camaraderie through the sharing of Haribos and Jaffa Cakes.
When not running a leg, we were cheering on the crowds and also the crowds of runners, always keeping an eye out for a familiar face to encourage with our cheers.
Such a positive, supportive vibe was shared by everyone.
The logistics of managing a group of four relay teams from each checkpoint is no mean feat.
However, with the great experience of George Bate of the Running Charity, we soon developed a system that was foolproof, until we realised the start point for the final leg was a two-mile hike from the tram stop! Thank goodness for Google maps. The final leg runners were tired before they even started but their commitment and dedication never faltered.
There wasn’t a face to be seen that wasn’t smiling despite the aches and pains people might have felt.
The oversized shiny medal was truly well deserved by each and every runner when the finish line was crossed, regardless of how far they had ran.
It wouldn’t have been possible without the endless encouragement and positive attitude of George and the super support of the fabulous volunteers.