Minute's Silence To Be Held At Great Manchester Run To Honour Terror Attack Victims
A minute's silence is to be held at 1pm today at the Manchester Great Run, honouring the victims of last year's terror attack at Manchester Arena.
Twenty-two people were killed in the attack on 22 May last year, as a suicide bomber detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade device at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
The youngest victim, Saffie-Rose Roussos, was just eight years old.
Some of the attack's survivors are participating in today's races, including Martin Hibbert, who had been left paralysed from the bombing. Fifteen-year-old Freya Lewis was also the honorary starter for the junior event this morning.
Sir Mo Farah and Ethiopian runner Tirunesh Dibaba are also among those taking part in the races, which are expected to see 30,000 compete - making it the third largest running event in the UK.
Luthfur Rahman, from Manchester City Council, said: "It will have real resonance, after last year's event epitomised Manchester's spirit of togetherness following the heinous attack on our city."
Martin Hibbert, who is paralysed from the waist down, will be participating in the 10k race in a wheelchair, raising money for the three hospitals that treated both him and his daughter in the wake of the attack.
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"All I'm thinking about is finishing the 10k with all my family and my friends and the whole of Manchester cheering me on and that's what's going to get me round," he said.
Hibbert added that it 'felt right' to take part, saying: "I didn't think about how tough it would be, if I could even do it."
He has plans to raise a total of £1m ($1.35m) by going on to take part in several other races over the next 12 months, including the forthcoming Boston Marathon.
Teenager Freya Lewis is also raising money for the hospital that looked after her, with her father Nick also running the adult 10k race.
The half marathon was held this morning, followed by the junior event, while the 10k race kicked off at 1.02pm after the minute's silence.
On Tuesday Manchester will mark the anniversary of the attack by unveiling a tree trail to pay tribute to the victims, inviting people to attach messages to 28 trees planted between Victoria Station (the station adjacent to Manchester Arena) and St Ann's Square.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "It promises to be a moving and memorable sight, which will help people to reflect on last year's events."
Lots of luck to everyone running today.
Featured Image Credit: A minute's silence was also held at last year's event. PA