The return of the Great Manchester Run

The sun shone for the return of the Great Manchester Run with more than 130 runners raising an impressive £20,000 for Francis House.

Large group of runners

After the cancellation last year of one of Manchester’s biggest mass participation events, thousands of enthusiastic runners took part in both the half marathon and 10k.

Excited spectators lined the iconic landmark route, soaking up the party atmosphere in the City centre streets.

Francis House was amongst the charities stationed at the Manchester Conference Centre ready to welcome participants and their supporters before and after the race.

Among them Paul Stierl from Dukinfield, who ran the half marathon in an impressive time of 1:40:23 in memory of Niamh Scanlon who attended Francis House with her family.  Close family-friend Paul, wanted to run and raise funds as a special  thank you to Francis House.

Couple with man in Francis House running gear at the Great Manchester Run

Paul Stierl ran the half marathon in memory of Niamh Scanlon. Pictured with Claire and Pete Scanlon.

Paul, 48 said: “Francis House is an amazing charity that helped our friend’s daughter Niamh.  They supported all of them and the work they do supporting numerous other extremely poorly children and their families is nothing short of miraculous.

“I only started distance running around two years ago at the start of the first Covid lockdown and now run at least 10km every day.

“The atmosphere was brilliant, I never stopped talking to other runners and the spectators were amazing, I loved it. It was an incredible feeling crossing the finishing line.”

Paul finished 299th and raised almost £650.

Team effort

A huge team of 41 staff from Hazel Grove High School raised more than £2,700.

A clinical team of healthcare workers from the respiratory unit at the Royal Oldham Hospital raised over £2,000 and Carl Widdop and teammates brought home £2,600. Individual runners included Zeinab, Tas, Barney and Paul to name but a few.

Julie Williams, fundraising officer at Francis House said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part this year and helped to raise a fantastic amount for the hospice.  It was great to meet so many of our runners and welcome back those who run in support of Francis House every year.  We are so lucky to have such loyal supporters and we can’t thank them enough.”

If you would like to run in aid of Francis House in the 2022 race on Sunday 15th May, please contact the fundraising office on 0161 443 2200 or email

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