200 and Still Running
It's the press launch of next year's 10th Great Manchester Run this morning. Between the first run in 2003 and next years event it will have quadrupled in size with forty thousand people taking part in the main 10k run. It's also grown in scope with a number of junior runs and the world's best sprinters hurtling down Deansgate on the track that will appear for the fourth time next year.
The Manchester 10k is a very visible legacy of the Commonwealth Games, and part of the success of the event is down to the volunteers who help make it happen, many of them from Manchester's Events Volunteers, another legacy from 2002. There will be a fantastic atmosphere in town for the 10k weekend. Not only thousands of runners but thousands of people to cheer them on. Many hundreds of thousands of pounds raised for charities. Healthier living with lots of people motivated to get some exercise, and with TV coverage positive promotion of Manchester to a much wider audience. After next May's event let's look forward to another successful ten years.
Another event this evening of a very different character. Bill Cash, Conservative MP and noted eurosceptic, will be giving the keynote speech at an event (5.45 for 6.15pm at the Radisson Hotel, formally the Free Trade Hall ) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Rochdale born notable nineteenth century politician and free trade campaigner, John Bright, who along with his friend, Manchester Alderman and Stockport MP Richard Cobden, had a major impact in the major reform campaigns of the middle of that century. Although taking part, I will be there as much to learn as anything else.