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'Don't be afraid – just get your shoes on'

Great Manchester Run

Great Manchester Run Coverage Details
Date: Sunday 22nd May; BBC coverage: Live text commentary – 10:00-14:00, on the BBC Sport website, Live race – 11:00-13:00, BBC Two, Highlights – 18:00-19:00, BBC Two

From running to lose weight to taking part to help fight disease, the Great Manchester Run is full of runners with inspirational stories to tell.

Olympic gold medallists Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba will be taking part on Sunday – but so too will thousands of fundraisers who make the Great Manchester Run Europe’s biggest 10K.

Get Inspired have spoken to four runners with inspirational stories to tell.

‘Running helped me mentally through tough times’

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Running motivation: Diane started running four years ago, aiming to lose weight. She started as a size 16 and was “fat, wobbly, and getting bigger” – now she’s running the Great Manchester Run on Sunday.

Diane says: “Running helped me mentally through tough times when the world was on my shoulders. If I go out for 10 minutes then the day is better again.

“Over the past few years I have gone through depression, stress and anxiety. If I didn’t have running I don’t think I’d be here today.

“I am proud of how far I have come.”

‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed, just get your shoes on’

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Running motivation: Dennis started running at school but, “after family got in the way”, became “horribly overweight”. After deciding it was time for change Dennis is running the Great Manchester Run for Sense, a deafblind charity.

Dennis says: “We take it for granted, to hear and see, those that can’t need all the support we can give and my running is one way to support them.

“If you are out there running, however slow or fast it is, you are running faster than the person sat on the couch.

“Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed, just get your shoes on.”

‘I feel anything is possible when I go for a run’

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Running motivation: Amanda suffers from Crohn’s disease and following surgery decided to run the London Marathon. Running helps with her disease, easing pain, aids digestive flow and mentally helps Amanda maintain a positive outlook. Amanda lost her mum to illness and is doing the Great Manchester Run for her.

Amanda says: “I feel anything is possible when I go out for a run and when I do my races it is the little achievements that count for me.

“I tend to think of my mum as my best friend. She is the biggest inspiration in my life and worked full-time while on chemotherapy.

“Not having mum here is the hardest point in my life, you can never hear her say ‘I love you’ again. I run to make my mum proud.”

‘My weight loss makes me really proud’

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Running motivation: Uzair decided to take up running when he weighed 23st 7lb, admitting he “was eating absolutely anything and everything”. After going to the gym, Uzair began to see progress. He dropped clothes sizes, has now lost 8st 7lb and is running on Sunday for Cancer Research.

Uzair says: “For what I achieved I am really proud. “It has been a long journey and I don’t think it ever ends.

“I am talking to new people, introducing myself, I am the first one to make conversation, I am engaging with people and I am a lot more happy – my confidence is sky high.”

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BBC Sport – Athletics

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