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Bogle runner misses out on record after ‘heroic’ car crash rescue

“Hero” Bogle runner sacrifices lead in 55-mile race to rescue woman from car crash

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The leading runner in this year’s Bogle Stroll dramatically sacrificed his victory to rescue a woman from an overturned, petrol-leaking car.

Tom Connell was in first-place for the majority of the 55-mile non-stop run but ended up finishing second by just four minutes.

“Around the middle point of the race I was running up the road and a lady came around a sharp corner too fast,” he said. “Her car was heading towards me and I was pretty shocked at the time but she hit a barrier and the car flipped on its side.

“I spent about ten minutes getting her out of her car and checking she was alright until the police arrived.

“It wasn’t burning, but there was petrol on the floor so I was worried that it could catch fire.”

Tom, who graduated from the University of Manchester with a medical degree in August, currently works as a Junior Doctor at a Blackburn hospital.

He did not originally intend to save a life during the run: “I imagined a nice relaxing evening away from medicine to be honest but it follows you everywhere!”

The Bogle is a long-distance endurance event around Greater Manchester. 279 people took part in the 55-mile Stroll and 26-mile Ramble on foot, and the 78-mile Roll on bicycles.

This year’s event has raised over £27,500 so far for a variety of local, national and international charities, with one month left to collect money. Over 80 per cent of participants completed the event, when previous years have seen only 55 per cent finish it.

Tom ran the 55 miles in 9 hours 43 minutes, but 44-year-old Steve Judd was four minutes faster. The organisers have awarded them a joint victory, making them the fastest to complete the course since Benj Ellerby ran it in 8 hours 17 minutes in 2003.

“I think Tom absolutely deserved to win,” said Steve. “I finished first but I can’t compete with a hero like that, I feel absolutely dreadful.”

Though Steve’s run didn’t feature any major drama, he recalled almost being struck by lightning last year. “It had been stormy all day,” he said, “and as I was running through some woodland it touched down about 5 metres away from me. It scared the living Bejesus out of me!”

The Bogle Stroll began in 1961 when a group of UMIST lecturers missed the last bus home from Lancaster and walked the 55 miles back to Manchester.

Some of the group started to hallucinate and saw an imp, known as a Bogle. It taunted the walkers, willing them to give up, and so the goal of the event is to defeat the Bogle.

Now organised by volunteers at Manchester RAG, the event has run every year since 1961 and is the longest running sponsored event in the North West.

“I’m very glad it’s over, but in a good way,” said Claire Smith, who co-ordinated the event with Alex Crabtree. “I’ve only had two hours sleep in a week but I’m very proud of how it went.

“It was a calmer, more streamlined experience than it has been in the past. Everyone has praised the 300 volunteers who helped, we couldn’t have done it without them.

“Nothing went wrong, no-one was injured, it was great!”

Richard Heathcote, a 50-year-old who completed the 78-mile Bogle Roll, said: “I feel on Saturday I saw the very best of Manchester University and its students. What a great event.

“The folk at the Union and the people I cycled with could not have been friendlier and more encouraging.  The volunteers at each control point were amazing.

“There was a lot of smiling and laughter amongst the agony and the blisters.”

Asked whether he will return for next year’s Bogle, Tom said: “Yeah, I think so. I came second by such a fine margin that I sort of have to.

“I grew up in the countryside in Cornwall so I was always outdoors as a child, running and climbing trees. I’m aiming to run 100 miles non-stop next year.”

Determined to beat Tom again, Steve said: “This July I’m going to run 250 miles non-stop, which will take about 72 hours. I’m mad!”

  • Joe

    In the nicest way possible, who cares?

    I honestly don’t know why the Mancunion has such a vendetta against social junkies. Honestly, most people couldn’t care less. There are more important issues in the world.

  • Louis

    @disqus_GZQPNzn19a:disqus I agree. Thanks for the publicity Mancunion. It is very kind of you.

  • Manchester Nights Out

    The Mancunion seems to have a problem with all promotion of nights The flyer isn’t really making light or trivialising the serious issue of alcoholism, but speaking on a level that as students we do refer to our drinking habits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisamaryfranceswilliams Lisa Williams

    What about the name “Hit & Run”? And also, what about the name “Dry Hump?” It’s even actively advertised on the UMSU website.. http://manchesterstudentsunion.com/events/audio-hijack-au-social

  • george

    any publicity is good publicity just saying

  • Olly

    @facebook-1375023356:disqus too true, Maybe The Mancunion should be less concerned about the Alcoholism at Rehab and more concerned with the Drug abuse which routinely takes place at Pangea?

    Personally i think Disorderly Conduct are also promoting negative behaviour with their events name….. wonder if they’ll ever be mentioned in the Mancunion or is that sort of publicity reserved for Social Junkies nights.

    • Manchester Nights Out

      Olly, I agree with you, but Disorderly conduct actually changed their name to Orderly Conduct just before they launched to avoid being associated with promoting Anti-social behaviour. :)

      • Tom

        The Facebook page is still very much called Disorderly, I would post the link but don’t think anyone is really interested in it. Everyone knows its all about The Cookie Jar on a Friday, although perhaps they’ll be accused of promoting obesity….

  • Joe

    In the nicest way possible, who cares?

    I honestly don’t know why the Mancunion has such a vendetta against social junkies. Honestly, most people couldn’t care less. There are more important issues in the world.

  • Louis

    Joe I agree. Thanks for the publicity Mancunion. It is very kind of you.

  • Manchester Nights Out

    The Mancunion seems to have a problem with all promotion of nights The flyer isn’t really making light or trivialising the serious issue of alcoholism, but speaking on a level that as students we do refer to our drinking habits.

  • Lisa Williams

    What about the name “Hit & Run”? And also, what about the name “Dry Hump?” It’s even actively advertised on the UMSU website..http://manchesterstudentsunion

  • george

    any publicity is good publicity just saying

  • Olly

    Lisa Williams too true, Maybe The Mancunion should be less concerned about the Alcoholism at Rehab and more concerned with the Drug abuse which routinely takes place at Pangea?

    Personally i think Disorderly Conduct are also promoting negative behaviour with their events name….. wonder if they’ll ever be mentioned in the Mancunion or is that sort of publicity reserved for Social Junkies nights.

    • Manchester Nights Out

      Olly, I agree with you, but Disorderly conduct actually changed their name to Orderly Conduct just before they launched to avoid being associated with promoting Anti-social behaviour. :)

      • Tom

        The Facebook page is still very much called Disorderly, I would post the link but don’t think anyone is really interested in it. Everyone knows its all about The Cookie Jar on a Friday, although perhaps they’ll be accused of promoting obesity….

  • Mancunion

    Testing 2.

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