A local man who was so touched by the tragic events in Manchester that he showed his support for the city where his older brothers lives by running a 10k race just days after the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on May 22.
Chad Conroy, who is originally from the Quay, has more experience than he would like of living in cities on lock down following an act of terrorism, yet he was undeterred from getting on that plane to Manchester to take part in the race alongside brother Ryan.
“I wasn’t really put off travelling, but it wasn’t until I got to Manchester, seeing armed Police with semi-automatic
weapons and the reaction from others that I started to become somewhat nervous about being in the city” stated Chad.
Ryan Conroy, Chad’s older brother is a vice principal at Ringway Primary school, Manchester, and he had the difficult task of explain to young children many of whom had friends who attended the concert what had happened. Such a task is a test of character something Chad could relate to, as he explains.
“I remember what it was like following Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, I was teaching English there at the time, and it was difficult going into class the next day and trying to reassure young teenagers that everything would be ok, so I wanted to be there for my brother”, stated Chad.
The trip had already been planned before the attack, and being fitness enthusiasts the two brothers aimed to do the 10k race and spend time planning Ryan’s upcoming wedding.
The great Manchester 10K race went ahead with tougher security. Tens of thousands came out to support the race, an estimated 80,000 watched on the streets while 35,000 runners participated in the greater Manchester 10k.
The Dundalk brothers were in the first category to start the race which started in the city centre went all the way to old Trafford and back around again.
“The atmosphere was amazing. High emotions in the air after the poet Tony Walsh read a six-minute piece – you could really feel the electricity in the air.
“The attitude of the people of Manchester was incredible, with artists doing tattoos of the bee which I discovered later is in honour of the ‘worker bees,” stated Chad.
The hard-working mentality of people who lived, worked and built Manchester years ago. The event was a testament to the city- people really showed strength despite being afraid of.
“The crowd had posters with messages of support. People were coming out of their homes with food and glasses of water just to help cheer on the runners.
“Many of the crowd helped runners across the finish line. It was an incredible show of strength and support from the city. A big public display to symbolise that they would not be terrorised,” stated Chad Conroy.”
Chad and his brother finished the 10K race with a solid time of just over 45 minutes.