With just over a month to go, the north west is preparing to host what is fast becoming one of the top sporting events in the region, the UKFast We Love Manchester 10K. The event, organised by Sports Tours International, is scheduled for Sunday 10 July and looks set to build on the 3,000 plus entrants it attracted last year.
One of those competing – and taking part for a highly unique and worthwhile cause – is Rick Mills. Rick, who has taken part in various Sports Tours events over the years and will also be present at the UKFast City of Salford event in September, races to support the National Blood Service: rather than seek donations, the Mancunian runner looks to generate as much awareness about the importance of maintaining levels of blood donors.
Rick commented on the Sports Tours races: “There’s always a great atmosphere at the Manchester and Salford runs. The advantage of these two is that they are local and therefore the family can come along and support me. Might be tempting fate here but the sun has always shone through too.”
On running for blood donors, Rick adds: “I have supported the National Blood Service for about six years now but actually started running three years ago. I guess the key objective is to generate an awareness of the importance of giving blood.”
Rick has a highly personal attachment to the cause having received a life-saving blood transfusion at the age of five, while wife Kerry required 13 units of blood to keep her alive when son Christian was still born in 2007: “From experience I know it does make a difference and save lives. Blood is one of those things that cannot be bought so it is really important to maintain levels of blood donors and especially ones who regularly donate.”
Affectionately known as the ‘People’s Race', the 10k sees competitors start and finish at the Regional Athletics Track, Sportcity, next to the Etihad Stadium, home to Manchester City FC. The race, is organised by Sports Tours International, the team behind the upcoming Tour of Tameside and the City of Salford 10K,