Brave bomb victim Martin Hibbert battled through the pain barrier to send a defiant message to terrorists when he completed a 10k race.
The Chorley dad, who was paralysed from the waist down in the Manchester Arena attack, capped a year-long fightback to finish the Great Manchester Run in a special racing wheelchair yesterday.
The event remembered the 22 who died in the suicide bombing and the many more who, like Martin, suffered horrific injuries.
It began with a minute’s silence and there were emotional scenes as 30,000 competitors listened to the Manchester anthem Don’t Look Back in Anger before setting out.
Martin, 41, was just 10 yards from suicide bomber Salman Abedi when he detonated his device with devastating effect a year ago tomorrow. He was the closest person to survive, although his injuries were compared with having been shot 22 times at point blank range.
He said taking part in the race “felt right” and added: “I didn’t think about how tough it would be, or if I could even do it.”
Martin spent five months in hospital after the blast, which also injured his daughter. He said before the race started: “It’s going to be an emotional time. I’ve shed a lot of tears in the last 12 months.
“This is sticking two fingers up to the terrorists and saying ‘you can take my legs, but you haven’t taken my brain and that’s the thing where I get my determination from.”
Crowds gave him a moving send-off at the start and there were more emotional scenes when he crossed the finish line. Sir Mo Farah won the men’s 10k race, beating Moses Kipsiro by just one second. Tirunesh Dibaba took the women’s title - her fith Manchester 10k win.