Inspiring People of Manchester – Patrick Barden

For many people, the prospect of running a half marathon is rather daunting, but for Patrick Barden, a 24-year-old with cerebral palsy, completing the Manchester Half Marathon next month is a chance to prove that nothing is impossible.

Patrick is travelling from Kent to participate in the Manchester Half Marathon on 15th October, despite the onerous physical challenges he faces. It is not the first time the young man has achieved over and above what many could have expected from him, and he is determined to walk the full 13.1 miles of the course.

“I aim to prove to people that nothing is impossible no matter what your ability,” says football-mad Patrick, who is proud of the fact that he has been able to achieve a certain amount of independence in his life. He credits the support of charity ‘Step and Learn’, which offers people suffering from cerebral palsy and other motor disorders support to help them control involuntary movements using a method called ‘conductive education’.

Through the charity’s support Patrick was able to move into mainstream schooling and attend university where he studied Sports Science. He is now a football coach and has even been able to learn how to drive.

“Without the support of ‘Step and Learn’, I would not have been able to do some of the things that I have done and would definitely have limited my opportunities in the future,” says Patrick. “Conductive education is very important to me as it has enabled me to be as independent and mobile as I am today.”

Patrick plans to walk the Manchester Half Marathon over the course of three days, starting on Friday 13th October. He will complete five miles on the Friday and Saturday,

and walk the final three miles on race day crossing the finishing line with thousands of others.

“I have to break it up like this because of my muscles,” says Patrick. “They gradually begin to seize up during prolonged exercise, to a point where they don’t move and it becomes very hard to walk. Doing it in one day is too ambitious, even for me!”

As a huge fan of Manchester United, Patrick is looking forward to walking the Manchester Half Marathon course which goes through Trafford and offers views of the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ stadium. Patrick will then finish along with all the other runners at Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire Cricket Club, with a prize-giving ceremony taking place at Trafford Town Hall.

“I’m looking forward to race day and being a part of the fantastic event atmosphere,” says Patrick. “It will be great to have the motivation and support of the crowd to help get me round, and I can’t wait to claim my medal!”

The Manchester Half Marathon is organised by Xtra Mile Events in partnership with Trafford Council.

“There are so many amazing stories that are a part of this year’s Manchester Half Marathon,” says Gus Karagiannis, Xtra Mile Events. “We have put together a series of short films about some of the people who are competing against the odds, but Patrick’s story is particularly inspiring. We really hope that people will get behind him and support him with his challenge.”

Executive Councillor Laura Evans, said: “Patrick’s story is inspirational. The Manchester Half Marathon is fantastic for bringing together people who have different stories to tell and challenges they are over coming. We’re delighted to play host to it in Trafford and encourage as many people as possible to come out and support runners on the day.”

Patrick will be raising funds for ‘Step and Learn’ throughout his challenge. To donate visit, or support Patrick on Twitter using the hashtag #SupportPatricksFinish.