Sur­vivors show sol­i­dar­ity at run

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IT was a day of sun­shine, cel­e­bra­tion and re­mem­brance as thou­sands of run­ners took part in the Great Manch­ester Run.

Ath­letes and spec­ta­tors fell silent for one minute to remember the 22 peo­ple who lost their lives in the Manch­ester Arena at­tack al­most ex­actly 12 months ago to the day.

Last year, the Great Manch­ester Run be­came a sym­bol of sol­i­dar­ity af­ter the atroc­ity at the Arena just days be­fore.

Brave sur­vivors of the at­tack came back to the city yes­ter­day to take part in the mass run.

Freya Lewis, 15, who was me­tres away from the blast and has had to learn to walk again, was the hon­orary starter in the ju­nior event.

She took on the race with her father Nick in sup­port of the Royal Manch­ester Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Char­ity, where she was treated af­ter the at­tack.

So far, Freya and her father have raised more than £24,000 in the last 12 months.

Martin Hib­bert, who was paral­ysed from the waist down af­ter the at­tack, com­pleted the race in a wheel­chair.

Run­ners sang along to ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ by Oa­sis, the un­of­fi­cial an­them of Manch­ester in the wake of the at­tack, af­ter the minute’s silence.

Sir Mo Farah won the men’s 10K while Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba came first in the women’s event.

Sir Mo had not com­peted in the city cen­tre race since 2007, long be­fore he went on to win 10 Olympic and world ti­tles.

But the 35-year-old showed he was a win­ner on the road as well as the track, be­com­ing the first Bri­tish man to win the 10K.

Re­porter Re­becca Day af­ter the race, the Olympic cham­pion said: “The at­mos­phere is amaz­ing. We went around Old Traf­ford, all the peo­ple were wav­ing and cheer­ing.

“Ev­ery­one’s come out in their shorts and T-shirts be­cause it’s sunny.

“The at­mos­phere is good.”

David Weir tri­umphed in the men’s wheel­chair race and Liz McTer­nan won the women’s con­test.

Around 30,000 run­ners took part in the 10K and half marathon on the day, mak­ing it the third largest run­ning event in the UK.

Greater Manch­ester Mayor Andy Burn­ham took on the race in aid of the Booth Cen­tre, a Manch­ester-based home­less char­ity help­ing home­less peo­ple re­build their lives.

Freya Lewis, who was in­jured in the Arena at­tack, takes part in the run

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