11 May – Great Manchester run

11 May – Great Manchester run

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Yesterday our City was fit to burst with pride. Over 35,000 generous hearts hit the streets of Manchester to run. Each with their own personal journey of triumph, adversity, courage, challenge and determination. Many holding great “miss” in their hearts like we do.
I wish I could bottle the atmosphere that Manchester held yesterday, it was awesome.
35,000 energies, bounding across Manchester, each radiating positivity. I wish we could see the colour out there, if you could, I expect it would have been like a golden aura hovering above the skyscrapers, sprinkled with angel dust.
Yesterday was a difficult day for us, as it marked 10 yrs to the day that we lost Mike’s Dad to Pancreatic cancer at the tender age of just 52.
On the way in to Manchester, and in silence, I asked Bob to send us a sign that he was near. As tears welled my eyes, Uncle Kevin’s (mike’s Brother) favourite song came on.
It was the start of a very emotional day……….
Arriving at the Virgin Money lounge on King St we were greeted by Kerry and her fabulous team. Supporting us for our third year. Then the smiles on our volunteer’s faces, our HQ team and Reuben’s God Mummies. Some of our runners had started to arrive too.
Our whole day was captured by 3 incredible photographers. Ben our filmmaker from Chicken coop productions, Steven from Magnum photography and Nigel Maitland the genius behind the “Mancunian” trade brand photography.
Off to meet Nicola from Great Run to gain our special access passes, we really didn’t think we would get them again and to be at the finish line was awesome.
Our patrons joined us too. Julie suffered a knee injury and couldn’t run, and despite a massive work schedule she committed to joining myself and Elvis at the finish line. I hadn’t told anyone as I wanted it to be a surprise. And Ian ran, incredible time, wonderful heart. We are so honoured to have such love and support from Julie, Ian and their gorgeous family.
As we greeted as many runners as we could spot, photographs were taken, high 5’s were exchanged in memory of our boy and sweaty hugs and kisses were exchanged in their hundreds.
As we waited for Jordan, Elvis’s lad to come through, and as we waited for some more of the team from Midcounties Coop Travel, I could hear a song in the distance……
I turned to Elvis as my eyes brimmed with tears and said, it is, isn’t it… its Reuben’s song. In 2011 at Reuben’s 1st Birthday/christening/fundraiser, Elvis sang Neil’s “Sweet Caroline”. We videoed the grand occasion and we all sang and danced with Reuben. It was with this in mind that I wrote thanks to Darren/Elvis and asked could we book him for Reuben’s 18th? Since Reuben’s move to heaven and as a part of Darren’s incredible £35k+ of fundraising, this has become quite an anthem for us. We were in bits…. me Elvis and Hayley from coronation street…. Managing to compose ourselves, the cheer photo you see is of us all joining in for the chorus. The next song to play was our first wedding dance “ love is in the air”. I could not believe my ears and I turned to Julie and Darren and said…. is that a sign or what ???
At times when my belief falters, or I think he’s gone, I must remember moments like that. And believe that they do stay close and that we just cannot see them.
Whilst we were singing and crying, the kids of Mottram village were being told off by the BBC for chalking the road at the 1/9km mark their version of Reuben’s logo. It looked pretty smart if you ask me, and you can’t knock the kids for showing initiative. Today’s anarchists, tomorrows team at our retreat. It made me chuckle and there are some TV photos around showing the exact spot. PR opportunities in everything.
Sally is busy uploading the nearly 500 photos sent over. How hard the guys worked through the night to chop and edit and save and download. Please SHARE the album and add your own words and ask that family, friends and colleagues stay close and follow our cause.
Also, certificates are on their way to you online too. Please check your spam/social boxes
There are many thanks you’s to give, thank you’s to all those mentioned here in the blog, Tesco Hattersley for their calorific snacks, to the bobbies on the beat, to the BBC for their continued support, to Broadbottom cricket club for the after party kindly supported by 20 dominoes pizzas.
And finally and by no means least to YOU, our runners. For having the nerve and courage to take on the challenge, for recruiting others, for travelling great distances, for raising, for being supported and supportive and for choosing Reuben and his incredible legacy.
Life isn’t always how we planned it, your journeys unfold and sometimes you are drawn to support other causes, we understand this ….. but this year you chose us and we are truly grateful.
Life isn’t always how we planned it and we live every day with great great “miss” and yesterday my hubby came in at under an hour, Isaac ran with great pride in his little face and his Auntie Rach earned a vodka and coke after triumphing last years illness. Last year she was crippled and could not leave her chair, this year she was determined and boy did it show.
Life isn’t how we planned it, but golly are we supported and blessed through it.
THANK YOU to all of YOU that help us achieve great things.
Yesterday your fundraising helped another family through their “miss” and beyond. You will never ever meet them, and you will never know what it means to them. You will also never know what yesterday meant to me, Reuben’s Mummy. As words cannot express how yesterday made me feel.
‪#‎forever‬ grateful
In memory of Reuben Michael Graham, forever loved and missed and never forgotten and In memory of all those that we hold great “miss” for, especially our Angel children.

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