Join the Purple Wave and run to Singapore with Lemn!

Registrations are now open for the hundreds of University of Manchester staff, students and alumni who will be joining Europe’s largest race over 10km.

For the fourth year in a row, runners from the University - this year including its Chancellor Lemn Sissay - are expected to take part in The Simply Health Great Manchester Run.

The internationally renowned 10k race will be staged for the 17th time, with the day also including a half marathon in the heart of the city on 19 May.

Last year, 2,283 people donned the famous purple shirt to form their own Purple Wave in the race around Central Manchester.

And this year, there’s a boost for people who want to get into running but need that little extra bit of confidence.

For the first time ever, The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, in partnership with the Great Run Company are organising a 2K and 5K run on 27 February at Platt Fields Park.

By entering one of the events, the Purple Wave will run, walk or jog 30,000km across the world and reach Manchester’s international centre in Singapore.

Runners taking part in one or more of the events will be add kilometres to a live tracker that will journey through various global locations showing off some of the social responsibility work the University delivers.

Lemn Sissay said: “Being active is not only great for your physical health but it’s brilliant for your mental wellbeing, and – believe me – it’ll make you feel good and it’ll make the people around u feel good too.

“This is the biggest Higher Education running wave across the entire country. It helps motivate you from the inside out – it helps you with your mental health and your physical wellbeing – it helps you help yourself. So run!”

Vicky Ackerley, Head of Sport at The University of Manchester said: “Over these four years, the Great Manchester Run has profoundly shown that most people can take part in active sport and the majority will derive great benefit to their physical and mental wellbeing.

“Along with other the good causes, some of the runners will be raising cash for The University’s acclaimed Undergraduate Access Scholarship scheme support’s bright young people who come from the most deprived parts of Greater Manchester.

“So many of our brilliant staff, students and alumni inspire and encourage others to join them.

“It’s a fantastic achievement to consistently bring at hundreds of people to this great event and because of that we are currently the only organisation to have our very own starting wave.

“You don’t have to be a great athlete to join the purple wave. Just a belief in yourself and the people around you.”

‘Be Active’ is one of the University’s ‘Six ways to wellbeing’ campaigns this year, encouraging staff to make positive changes to keep feeling good and living well.

Being active is not only great for your health, it’s brilliant for your mental health wellbeing. Believe me it will make you feel good about yourself and the people around you
Lemn Sissay

Sarah Littlejohn, Head of Counselling and Mental Health Service at The University of Manchester said: “Exercise isn’t just about keeping fit and more and more evidence shows that physical activity can help us think and feel positively.

“We urge everyone to find a form of physical activity that fits with their lifestyle and which is enjoyable. Running is just one of them!”

University staff will be entitled to a free Purple Wave registration if they fundraise a minimum of £100 for scholarships for local disadvantaged students or students from developing countries, or for breakthroughs in medical research at the University.

Runners of the Purple Wave 2018 supported Manchester’s flagship widening participation scheme, Manchester Access Programme (MAP), by fully funding the first ever Purple Wave Undergraduate Access Scholar.

This year, University Sport team is proactively supporting a walking group through all the events. That’s good news for member of staff Cardy Camara, who will be walking the course, despite suffering from debilitating arthritis in her feet.

Cardy will also be running in memory of her brother Gerry Law, who died of pancreatic cancer died 2 years ago.

The 59-year-old who suffers from osteoarthritis, is in constant pain when she trains. “Osteoarthritis is very painful and I have it in my hands too but that doesn’t deter me from taking part in the Purple Wave.

“The doctors first thought I’d fractured a bone in my foot it was so bad. Even though I didn’t run the course, walking it felt like a huge achievement for me last year. Can hardly wait to be there again!”

To register now visit the Purple Wave website or for further information contact purplewave@manchester.ac.uk

Tweet to @UoMSport #PurpleWave @UoMNews and share your stories.

Share this release