An ultra-marathon runner is set to make a 63-mile heart-shaped route around Manchester as a unique tribute to victims of the Manchester Arena attack.

Thousands are expected to travel to the city to mark the first anniversary of the bombing, when a lone suicide attacker killed 22 and injured hundreds during an Ariana Grande concert.

It was the worst terror attack in the UK since the London bombings in 2005.

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Nathan Rae, a filmmaker from Manchester, will be paying tribute to the victims by running 63-miles in the shape of a heart around the city. 

He set off from Sale at about 8.30am on Tuesday and estimates it will take about 16 hours to complete the route. 

The circuit will take him through the centre of Manchester and its suburbs, as well Trafford, Salford and Stockport. He plans to stop outside A&E departments at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe and Salford Royal hospitals, where some of the wounded were treated. 

He also plans to stop outside the arena at 10.30pm - the time the bomb went off - for a "moment of reflection".

Writing on his website, the ultra-marathon runner said: "The attack was sickening but I found our city's response to it inspiring and hopeful. I'm just trying to capture a small part of that a year on."

He will be raising money for the North West Air Ambulance and tracking his route using GPS. 

There are several events taking place across Manchester to mark the first anniversary of the attack, and song lyrics will be projected onto the pavements and buildings in St Ann’s Square for five nights. 

'Trees of Hope' memorial trees line the street to St Ann's Square, Manchester

The square became a place for reflection as mourners left a sea of flowers and other tributes in memory of those who lost their lives. 

Families of the 22 victims, as well as members of the public, have been invited to select lyrics to inspire and promote reflection.

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