Updated: Sunday, 24th March 2019 @ 6:39am

Rochdale mini-miracle all smiles ahead of Great Manchester Run anniversary

Rochdale mini-miracle all smiles ahead of Great Manchester Run anniversary

| By Seamus McDonnell

Manchester’s mini miracle Ella Chadwick will return for this year’s Great Manchester Run.

Ella completed the Mini Great Manchester Run last year and is tackling the junior event this year whilst her mother, Karen Hughes, competes in her first ever 10km run.

She attended the launch on Wednesday, along with London 2012 long jump gold medal winner Greg Rutherford (above left), in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the run which dates back to the first event in 2003.

Nine-year-old Ella, from Rochdale, suffers from a Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome, a rare illness which causes kidney failure and has kept her in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital all her life.

James Glover, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Simplyhealth, said: “Ella is a real inspiration and it’s to help and encourage people like her, that we are now the title partner of the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.

“We have one simple aim: to get millions moving, and that includes those recovering from ill-health, injury or those who have yet to enjoy the benefits of exercise.”

After receiving a life-saving kidney transplant from her grandmother in May 2014 Ella has had mobility problems and had to learn to support herself on her feet.

Completing the mini event last year was a huge milestone for her and she was able to cross the finish line unaided in what was a very emotional moment for all involved.

The launch of the run was celebrated by charity fundraisers supporting The Christie, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity and the Kirsty Club, the charity launched by Kirsty Howard, who took part in every junior run before her death in 2015 aged just 20.

“We are delighted to be joined by so many familiar faces to celebrate our 15th birthday”, said David Hart, communications director at The Great Run Company.

“Over the last 15 years we have met so many inspiring and extraordinary people who have done some amazing things for charity. It’s only right that they are here today to celebrate the last 15 years as we look forward to many more here in Manchester.”

The event is notable for its wealth of celebrity runners with Joe Gill, who plays Finn Barton in Emmerdale, representing the famous faces this year as he plans to take on the 10km in support of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

Some huge names have acted as honorary starters over the years, with Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Alex Ferguson, Denis Law, Andrew Flintoff, Ricky Hatton and Jessica Ennis-Hill firing the starting pistol.

The event is considered the largest of its kind in Europe and has attracted some of the world’s elite runners including Britain’s Jo Pavey.

It will take place on Sunday May 28.