Adrenaline pumping, head buzzing with excitement… “YES, I did it!” I exclaim, as I finally crossed the finish line. What a rush: I’d just completed my first 10km run to raise money for Manchester Cares and it felt amazing. In the weeks leading up to the remote relay, I had been doing some training, starting off with shorter distances and gradually building up. I’ve never been much for sports, least of all running, which made training for the remote relay even more of a challenge! I was very fortunate to have my partner James complete the run with me. He cheered me on when I needed some encouragement (especially around the 7km mark when my legs felt like jelly!)
My story with Manchester Cares started at the beginning of lockdown, where I signed up to become a Phone-A-Friend volunteer. I was paired up with Charles, who is somewhat of a legend within the Manchester Cares community, having attended umpteen social clubs and being the in-house poet extraordinaire. We’ve been chatting every week for the last 12 months now, talking about everything from Charles’s eclectic music taste, our shared love for writing and generally supporting one another through a difficult year. We’ve had many laughs along the way and we’re looking forward to finally meeting in person when lockdown restrictions start to ease.
Like so many others, I’ve often felt lonely and isolated throughout the pandemic, which has had a real impact on my mental health. Training for the remote relay gave me something to focus on and was a great talking point with friends and family, who kindly agreed to sponsor me. I felt a real sense of achievement seeing my progress week on week during training. It was also great to be outside again after spending so much time indoors, breathing in the fresh air and having a change of scenery was just what I needed.
Not only was it a great opportunity to put my fitness to the test, the remote relay allowed me to do something positive for both myself and Manchester Cares after what’s been – let’s face it – a very turbulent year. Whether you choose to walk, run, skip or jump your way to the finish line, I’d highly recommend taking part!
Posted by Hannah Cahill on Tuesday 16th March 2021
Hannah has been a younger neighbour of the Manchester Cares Community Network since 2019.