It was party time in York today as thousands of runners pulled on their trainers to celebrate the fifth running of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.
The streets of the historic city were a cavalcade of colour as the runners made their way around the scenic course cheered on by thousands of enthusiastic spectators.
Starting at the University of York, the route took the field through the heart of the city and out into villages and country lanes before returning to the university and an electric finish. The race was officially started by Yorkshire legend Dickie Bird who started the first Yorkshire Marathon back in 2013.
First across the finish line in 2017 was Ross Houston in a time of 2:24:13. He was followed by Tom Charles who clocked 2:25:52 to take second place with Scott Harrington finishing third in 2:30:55.
The first woman home was Tracy Millmore in 2:46:09. Joasia Zakrzewski recorded 2:54:47 to take second spot and Sara Bird was third in 2:55:34.
The winning male wheelchair athlete was Bret Crossley in a time of 1:45:16 and the winning female wheelchair athlete was Team GB Paralympian Jade Jones in a time of 2:08:31. Jade and her real-life partner Callum Hall, also a wheelchair athlete from Leeds, were also taking part to raise funds in memory of Callum’s niece Ruby who died aged just nine days old at Leeds General Infirmary in 2016.
Elite athletes in the race were competing for a total cash prize pot of £10,000.
Across the finish line in a time of 3:24:56 was former Leeds Rhinos skipper Kevin Sinfield, who took on the challenge to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, which supports children’s and cancer charities.
It was the latest in a series of charity endurance events the seven-times Grand Final winner has taken on since his playing days came to an end. He notched up a marathon PB by taking almost six minutes off his London Marathon time from April 2017.
The oldest person in the run was York’s Jean Snelling who at 81 managed a very respectable 7:21:51. She was raising money for a host of local animal charities.
Lizzie Jones, the widow of rugby league player Danny Jones, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game, and a group of her friends completed the Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay to raise money for the charity established in his memory.
The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund helps community rugby league clubs and junior teams purchase potentially life-saving defibrillators.
Along with hundreds of runners taking part in the Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay, in which teams of six competed for the title of fastest team in the race, today’s [Sunday 8th October] festival of running also included the Plusnet Yorkshire 10 Mile, which attracted around 3,000 entrants and started after the marathon.
The 10 Mile race was won by Dominic Shaw in 50:15, with Joe Sagar second in 54:46 and Toby Smith taking third place in 55:51. First woman home was Tanya Blake who clocked 1:03:19. Sarah Douglas finished second in 1:03:52 and Margaret Beever was third in 1:03:53.
Also taking part in the 10 Mile event was Paralympic legend Hannah Cockroft, who took part to support the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, of which she is a patron.
Results of the Corporate Relay will be released shortly.
Steve Wilson, Commercial and Marketing Director at Plusnet, said: “Many congratulations to everyone who crossed the finish line today. There was a tremendous atmosphere and it was truly inspirational to see so many people taking on such a tough challenge, many of them raising money for some excellent causes. Well done one and all.”
Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon event manager Lynne Preston said: “The fifth running of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon was a great success and we are delighted that the event continues to go from strength to strength.
“We would like to thank everyone – the runners, spectators, sponsors, partner organisations, charities and particularly the many volunteers – who have helped make today’s run such a success.”
Many of the runners were raising money for a good cause and the event is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.
The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon’s partner charities are Martin House Children’s Hospice, Candlelighters, Macmillan Cancer Support, St Leonard’s Hospice, the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Alzheimer’s Society, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Stroke Association, St Gemma’s Hospice and The Children’s Hospital Charity.
The marathon is supported by Plusnet, Asda Foundation, City of York Council, University of York, Up & Running, Aftershokz, High 5, Viisana, Visit York, Erdinger Alkholfrei, Yorkshire Post and BBC Radio York.
The marathon is organised by Run For All, part of the lasting legacy of Jane Tomlinson CBE, who raised almost £2m for charity by tackling a series of epic challenges, including cycling over 4,000 miles across America, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
It is one of a series of events now held in her name, including the Leeds, Hull, York , Lincoln, Burnley, Bury, Sheffield, King’s Lynn, Leicester and Nottingham 10Ks, the Leeds Half Marathon and the Sheffield Half Marathon.