Peter Owen - Manchester

Supporters from around the world took to the streets in April as part of City in the Community’s (CITC) annual Blue Run event.

This year, the Blue Run went virtual, with CITC challenging fans to complete a 2km, 5km or 10km run in their local area. Over £48,000 was raised in aid of City Thrive, CITC’s new football and mental health programme, which helps to provide support for thousands of young people aged 14 to 25 through specially adapted football sessions, one-to-one mentoring and group workshops.

One such participant was 70-year-old Peter Owen who completed a 10km run around his local area.

Keeping fit with regular activities such as walking football before the pandemic, Peter initially adapted to the ‘new normal’ by starting on the NHS Couch to 5k scheme to maintain his fitness.

However, he saw Blue Run as an opportunity to continue that lifestyle whilst also giving something back to both his community and a Club close to his heart.

Peter admits he hadn’t initially planned to run 10km but, after being given guarantees by some of his friends that they would increase their donation based on the distance he ran, he saw it as an opportunity to further push himself and benefit others in equal measure.

“Come the day, I was determined to achieve that goal (of 10km),” Peter recalled.

“I kept thinking of the communities CITC were supporting. Mentally comparing the minor struggle I was experiencing trying to run to what many of those people suffer every day kept pushing me on.

“At halfway the weather changed dramatically and I was battered by wind and hailstones.

“Too committed then to give up, I pressed on thinking if I do make 10K my fundraising should increase.

“And as I completed the 10km and posted the news, my donations kept going up and up which made it all worthwhile.”

Peter was delighted by the motivational and financial support that he received during his successful completion of Blue Run but, according to his favourite anecdote from the experience, it didn’t save him from some gentle ridicule.

He recalled: “One of my sponsors, a lifelong friend, couldn’t bring himself to say well done when he realised I had doubled his promised contribution per kilometre ran.

“Instead, he chose to highlight my receding hairline in a photo where I was running in the hailstones. Ironically, he hasn’t got a hair on his head!”

To learn more about City Thrive, visit: