A former police officer who saw first hand the heartache and devastation caused to families following the Manchester Arena bomb attack is hitting the road in honour of each person killed that night.
Aaron Parmar has already completed two 10k races in tribute to Gateshead’s Philip Tron, 32, and his 19-year-old step-daughter Courtney Boyle. They were among the 22 people killed in the terror attack, last May, which also included South Shields couple Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19.
Tomorrow, Mr Parmar from Manchester will take part in his third event where he will be running in honour of Chloe and Liam at the Williams BMW Rochdale 10k run.
It is the first time Mr Parmar, who is now a firefighter, has embarked on a running challenge of this magnitude.
He hopes to complete his final run on May 19 at the Great Manchester Run event.
The 32-year-old from Rochdale said: “At the time of the attack I was a police officer and in the weeks following I worked closely with Philip Tron’s family from Gateshead.
I still see the pain they are going through and I just wanted to do something to let them, and the other families, know the emergency services are still thinking about them.Aaron Parmar
“I still see the pain they are going through and I just wanted to do something to let them, and the other families, know the emergency services are still thinking about them.”
He added: “I always use running as a way to clear my head if I’ve had a particularly heavy shift, and I was looking for a way of challenging myself, as well as doing something for those who were killed. “There was a 10k race coming up, but I didn’t think it was enough to do one as it wasn’t going to challenge me, so I thought I’d do 22, 10k runs and dedicated one to each of them.”
But after finding out more about those who lost their lives, Mr Parmar realised it would be more of a fitting tribute, when it came to running in honour of Chloe and Liam, to run two races and dedicate each one to them both as a couple.
He added: “Everything I saw and read about Chloe and Liam, it was about how they would be together forever, so while I will still be doing 22 races, I am going to do two for the couple, rather than one for each. I contacted the families and explained what I was doing and they were in full agreement.
“This will be my third race, and it will be dedicated to Chloe and Liam. I will do my second run for them at a later date.”
Once all 22 runs have been completed, Mr Parmar aims to have each of the race medals engraved with the name in which he dedicated the run to. These will then be presented to the families.
Mr Parmar is being supported in his quest by Run North West while James Briggs Ltd in Royton has made a donation of £500 to his just giving page and is providing any replacement running gear throughout.
He said: “The support I’ve received has been overwhelming. I’ve had loads of people contact me to wish me well.
“The training is going okay, I have been going out and doing smaller runs during the week, then when I’m not working on weekends I’ve been taking part in the events.”
All monies raised will be donated to the We Love Manchester Fund, created to support the families affected by the atrocity which unfolded that night.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Aaron visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AaronleeGMFRS