Sir Richard Leese, former leader of Manchester City Council, and much respected, adopted Mancunian, is running The Great Manchester Run in aid of Prevent Breast Cancer.
In his current role as chair of the Integrated Care Board in Manchester, the health of those in Manchester is obviously always at the forefront of his mind, and as a long-term supporter of our North-West based charity, we were delighted to hear he was running for us.
We recently caught up with Sir Richard to quiz him about his training and the news that he’d be running wearing the coveted number one running number!
How has your training been for the run?
I’ve had problems with my knees over the past few years, so I’ve been building up the miles very steadily. I’ve topped 10k three times in the last few weeks, including a 10k course in the more testing hillier environment of Heaton Park, so I’m confident I’ll get round ok.
How does it feel to be runner number 1 at Manchester’s most iconic running event?
The number 1 running number was a retirement present from Brendan Foster (founder of the Great North Run and legendary runner) when I stood down from The Council, so I’ve got no choice really. Would need a few zeroes to be closer to my finishing position!
Can you tell us why you’re running for Prevent Breast Cancer?
I’ve had numerous friends suffer from breast cancer over the years, and my mother died of it, although she was at least able to enjoy many years in remission. Effective prevention and early treatment would allow thousands to go on living full, healthy lives.
What does a breast cancer free future mean for you?
A breast cancer free future for me means that others wouldn’t have to suffer, pain and anxiety and even death, that my generation has.
The run has always been a celebration of all that is great about Manchester. Will you be out celebrating after reaching the finishing line?
I’m running with my son with family support, and afterwards we will be going for something to eat with both children, their partners, and both grandchildren. As the two women are 7 and 8 months pregnant respectively, it won’t be a wild celebration, and any case, City versus Chelsea kicks off at 4.30!
Sir Richard was recently made an Honorary President of Manchester City Football Club, and we were thrilled to get a mention in the Club’s official announcement, with the Club encouraging all their supporters to get behind his fundraising.
He may argue that the City is blue (!), but for one day only, we’re sure he’ll agree that Prevent Breast Cancer pink is the colour of choice, as he is in fact one of 29 runners taking to the streets of Manchester proudly wearing our vibrant magenta.
From first timers, to seasoned runners, we couldn’t be more thankful to all those taking part on our behalf, and we can’t wait to cheer them all on!
Show your support for Sir Richard by visiting his Just Giving page and donating to his fundraising total today.