A local lad has embarked on a mammoth fitness challenge this month to raise money for a worthy cause following a number of personal tragedies.
Although it sounds hard to believe, Martin Kavanagh admittedly “didn’t really run” that much before setting himself the task of clocking up an accumulative 168.78km – the equivalent of four marathons – around his local area over the course of the month of January.
But it’s his near-novice abilities that make his achievements all the more impressive.
The 34-year-old – who is originally from Tullamore, County Offaly in Ireland, but now lives with his family in Manchester – was keen to undertake a challenge that he could really be proud of after sadly losing several relatives and friends to mental health battles in recent months.
And it was these devastating loses that provided the catalyst for his efforts to raise awareness and achieve his fundraising goals.
With every kilometre he runs, Martin is raising money “in aid of healthier minds” for Manchester Mind – an independent, self-financed charity that has been supporting young people and adults with mental health issues in Greater Manchester for over 30 years.
Manchester Mind aims to promote positive attitudes to mental health to challenge the stigma, increase awareness, and work for better mental health for all.
“This charity is close to my heart,” Martin said.
“We all know someone who has suffered or is suffering from mental health and some who [has] unfortunately lost their battle.
“There needs to be more money put into the mental health services and I would like to do a little to help.
“[Manchester Mind] values the commitment of their staff and volunteers, who work hard to ensure services are delivered in a way that enables people to feel heard and involved.”
He concluded: “Everyone deserves to be supported in their mental health needs and we have a part to play in that.”
Whilst this has mostly been a solo challenge, Martin did tell us that he manages to recruit members of his family to join him in his efforts from time to time.
He also likes to keep those who are keenly supporting him updated by posting route maps of his daily runs around the community on social media, as well as his dedicated fundraising page, which often earn him worthy comments of praise that inspire him to keep going.
Martin’s friend Maya spoke for everyone when she told us that his achievements are really “pretty amazing”, as he gears up to complete his last run of the challenge in the coming days.
With over 148km complete, and not long to go before the challenge is complete, Martin has set himself the target of raising £1,000 for Manchester Mind, having already achieved over £321 and counting, and assuring that “every donation will help”.
Manchester band M60 are tagging Gary Neville every day until he listens to their music — let’s help make it happen
Nearly half a year ago, Manchester band M60 began a social media campaign to start tagging Manchester United legend turned pundit Gary Neville every single day until he listens to their music.
And, you know, since we’re all about supporting local artists, we thought we’d do our bit by pecking his head in too.
We’ve seen the Manc indie outfit live a couple of times now — including their headline set at Gorilla back in 2023 (at the time their biggest gig to date) — and they’ve never disappointed, be it the performance or their ever-growing cult following of loyal fans.
That being said, we feel we’re only doing Gary Neville and all of you lot a public service by joining them in their efforts to get their name out there. Plus, we’re enjoying all the different ways they’re managing to keep things interesting:
If you’ve never come across them before either, the four-piece is made up of a bunch of mates from various towns around the region and is fronted by vocalist and lead guitarist Matthew Morton. Alliterative names always make us think of superheroes and their tunes often make us feel like that too.
Playing together since their high school days and named after the massive Greater Manchester motorway from 2015 onwards, they’re best known for tunes like ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Honey’, ‘Darling’; ‘Fade Away’, ‘Kool-Aid’ and plenty more.
They also recently released their latest debut EP, How Did You Get There? and trust us, it’s a belter. Morton once described their sound as ‘Sweet Mancunian indie rock‘ and we couldn’t sum it up any better ourselves. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Which is exactly why we want ‘r Gary to get on them too.
Also, we’ve found the whole journey very funny up until this point, so long may it continue — not too long though; we actually really want him to become M60’s newest and biggest fan through sheer persistence and pestering by the local band and yours truly. And by all means, feel free to join us in the good fight.
The local lads themselves have joked about becoming more well-known simply by embracing themselves as the “Gary Neville meme band” as the days pass, but the strategy is still kind of working nonetheless and with more new music on the way, why stop now?
We want to see Gary’s phone blowing up non-stop, right up to the point that he gets more annoyed than he did in that infamous clip of somebody passing his phone number and simply has to see what all the fuss is about it.
Featured Images — Press Image/Sky Sports (via screenshot)
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.