I have completed every Greater Manchester Run for the last 20 years and even had to do one in my slippers

Andrew Porter's achievement dates back 20 years - and he's even done the 10k and half marathon distance on the same day.
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A man who has completed every Great Manchester 10k since the race started two decades ago says he has no plans to stop.

Andrew Porter, 47, has been an ever-present at the annual spring-time run since it began in 2003, and will be competing for the 22nd time this May. The AJ Bell Great Manchester Run offers both a 10k and half-marathon distance, and in the past few years, Andrew has chosen to do both on the same day.

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He said: “It’s a habit and it’s incredibly addictive. I’ve always kept going with the Great Manchester 10K, and I don’t intend to stop either. I genuinely have never missed one, even the one where I forgot my trainers and had to run it in my slippers.”

His work colleagues at Rolls Royce donate five pounds and predict his combined time over the two distances. The run is hosted by The Great Run Company whose The Power of Running campaign celebrates the transformative effect of running on communities. Andrew began running 31 years ago after a wake-up call at a work football match which left him breathless.

Andrew Porter has run every Greater Manchester Run dating back 20 yearsAndrew Porter has run every Greater Manchester Run dating back 20 years
Andrew Porter has run every Greater Manchester Run dating back 20 years

He said: “I could barely walk and couldn’t breathe. I simply couldn’t believe how unfit I was. I vowed never again.”

Andrew doesn’t consider himself a natural runner but is stubborn and motivated, and over the decades has completed everything from 5Ks to ultramarathons. He said: “I’m at a point where if I don’t run/exercise, I feel unfit and worse than if I had gone out and done a little jog.”

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A healthy lifestyle has given him a resting heart rate of 40 BPM, and a VO2 max of a fit 20-year-old.  “My Apple Watch regularly beeps and vibrates because it thinks I’m dying,” he jokes.

Aside from the physical health benefits, Andrew said running also helps his mental health, and compared it to sleeping or dreaming.

He said: “I think I go into autopilot and simply run and my mind just wanders. You think about specific things or your route but also your brain is in defrag mode, CTRL/ALT/DELETE. End Task. After a run, I can properly relax as I’ve dealt with all the day-to-day garbage in my head whilst running.”

The AJ Bell Great Manchester Run will take place on May 26. Both race routes take runners across the city, past landmarks such as Old Trafford, the Etihad, Beetham Tower and more.

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