University athletes launch this year’s Purple Wave
The University of Manchester has launched this year’s Purple Wave with a bid to register as many runners as possible for the Simply Health Great Manchester Run on 20 May.
Members of the University of Manchester Student Union’s Run Wild society, gathered together in the University’s Samuel Alexander building to celebrate the official launch of the registration process.
They were joined by University of Manchester student and triple jumper Naomi Ogbeta, and staff member Mike Addelman.
Naomi is a politics and quantitative methods student who beat off the best in the UK at the Spar British Athletics Indoor Championships this month.
Mike- a media officer- is running with a mechanical heart valve and has had three bouts of surgery in the past 14 months.
The internationally renowned 10k run will be staged for the 16th time, with the day also including a half marathon in the heart of the city.
The University will have its own start time, with a Purple Wave of runners wearing the purple technical running t-shirts they receive on registration.
Last year nearly 2500 University staff, students and alumni took part, forming their own purple wave.
Runners who agree to fundraise for The University’s acclaimed Undergraduate Access Scholarship will be able to run for free. The scheme support’s bright young people who come from the most deprived parts of Greater Manchester.
University staff and alumni can also register for free when they commit to raising £100 for the scheme.
Head of Head of Sport Vicky Ackerley said: “In just three years the Purple Wave has gone from a crazy idea to an established annual mass participation event for The University of Manchester community.
“We are currently the only organisation to have our very own starting wave, and hold the record for the largest entry.
“Whether a seasoned runner, or a complete beginner looking to improve your health and wellbeing, this event provides the opportunity to be part of something really special and raise the profile of our University.”
She added: “It also provides the opportunity to raise money for good causes, and we have raised over £150,000 in the last two years.
“This year we are, in particular, supporting the University’s Undergraduate Access Scholarship, which helps to support students who would not usually be encouraged to aspire to a University education.”
Though Naomi Ogbeta, will be competing in a triple event competition on 20 May, she’s a proud supporter of the project.
She said: “The Great Manchester Run is a brilliant event; anything which gets people out and exercising can only be a good thing.
“The Purple Wave is totally unique. As far as I know, no other University has its own wave.
“I urge all students, staff and alumni to register and get involved. You’ll have a brilliant time!”
One of the runners is Media relations Officer Mike Addelman, who works in the Division Communications and Marketing.
We are currently the only organisation to have our very own starting wave, and hold the record for the largest entry. Whether a seasoned runner, or a complete beginner looking to improve your health and wellbeing, this event provides the opportunity to be part of something really special and raise the profile of our University
Mike has a mechanical heart valve after major heart surgery September 2016, and cares for his disabled wife but is still a keen runner.
He said: “The purple wave is a fabulous way to join with our wonderful University community which is why I’m also involved as an organiser.
“But I love running; I have competed in three marathons, dozens of half-marathons and of course the Great Manchester Run!
“I’ve had a lot of health issues to deal with over the past year or so. I am the proud owner of a mechanical heart valve which I received after a six- and-a-half hour operation in September 2016, and had a couple of other operations as well.
“I also care for my wife Sarah who is very poorly. So it’s been a considerable challenge to keep running.”
PhD student Jason Chu from the University of Manchester Student Union Run Wild Society said: "Running is a great and affordable way to keep fit. And if you can find a friend or group to run with, it makes it so much better.
“There's such an encouraging buzz! So running with hundreds of others from the University of Manchester in the purple wave will be fantastic afternoon of motivated frenzy."
If you want to run the 10k race, register here”