Biranche and Lucy: two reasons why you should join the purple wave

Two runners have extra special reasons why they are joining the 2000 people who have already registered to take part the Simply Health Great Manchester Run on 20 May.

Student Recruitment Assistant Lucy Finnigan and PhD student Biranche Tandon will join staff, students and alumni who have registered to be part of The University of Manchester’s Purple wave.

Lucy, 35, will be running in memory of her daughter Grace who was born sleeping two years ago.

And Biranche, 25 will be back on the road again after breaking his ankle in a serious footballing injury

The organisers are bidding to beat last year’s record-breaking total of 2,500 runners, who took part in the 10k run through Central Manchester.

The University will have its own start time, with runners - and run/walkers - wearing the purple technical running t-shirts they receive on registration.

After Lucy lost her daughter two years ago, she was later fortunate enough to have a healthy baby girl called Niamh just over a year afterwards - with the help of NHS obstetrician Dr Alex Heazell, who is also a senior clinical Lecturer at the University.

She’s been training seriously for three months – the first time she’s been able to do any serious exercise after two pregnancies in two years.

She said: “Running grounds me; it’s immensely important and is a powerful coping mechanism. It gives me an opportunity to think solely about Grace so it’s almost as if it’s my special time with her.

“My husband Dermot has been a huge support: he’s a runner himself and will be also taking part in the race.

“I’ve raised money in the past for SANDS - Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity. I’m not running for them this time - but it’s good to raise awareness of the great work they do.”

Running grounds me; it’s immensely important and is a powerful coping mechanism
Lucy Finnigan

Biranche Tandon from Northern India, studying biomedical materials, needed surgery after he broke his ankle playing football.

The sports mad PhD researcher needed a 10-day stay in hospital after surgeons fixed a plate to his fibula bone with screws.

It took him 3 months to get back on to his feet- but 11 months later, he’ll be taking part in the Purple wave.

He said: “I just love running it keeps me going and I can hardly wait until 20 May. It’s going to be a fantastic day.

“If you have a bad day – and things don’t go so well, just getting out and going for a run can make you feel better.

“Not being able to walk was difficult- but it’s not deterred me. I got there in the end and I encourage everyone to get out and get active.

“10k is not such a huge distance; most people will be able to achieve it I think: I hope eventually to run over a half marathon distance.”

If you want to join the purple wave, register here

Runners can still get into shape in time for May 20. Read the Great Run Company's 5 top tips

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