6,000 hotfoot it to run in the Sheffield sun

BUPA Great Run 2012'Runners take on the challenge of a 10k run
BUPA Great Run 2012'Runners take on the challenge of a 10k run
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INSPIRATIONAL scenes unfolded in Sheffield as the city capped off a summer of sporting glory.

More than 6,000 runners pounded the streets for the Great Yorkshire Run – while thousands more lined the route of the 10k race to show their support.

A warm sun smiled down on participants who limbered up at the starting line on Arundel Gate before Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun John Campbell sounded the klaxon for the first wave of competitors, including elite athletes from across the UK.

And among the fun runners the usual array of bright and colourful costumes included Batman, Spiderman and a Star Wars stormtrooper.

Dean Andrews, the Rotherham actor best known for playing DC Ray Carling in BBC show Life on Mars, took part for the fourth time, joined by his 20-year-old daughter Alice.

The pair were running for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Charity.

Dean said: “I probably haven’t done enough training as I should but 10k is OK. It’s a great event. We’ve all been touched by cancer. I’ve lost parents, so this was a good charity to do it for.”

Never one to turn down the chance to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, wig-wearing John Burkhill, 73, was given a special cheer as he embarked on the road race – with his trusty pram and Olympic torch in check.

John said: “I’ve done the Great Yorkshire Run every year. I love it. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of.”

Sweat, blood and tears were all present as the mixture of seasoned runners, amateurs and first-timers navigated their way from the city centre to Hillsborough and back.

When it was all over, hundreds still riding high on the success of the Olympic Team GB gave cheering crowds their best ‘Mobot’ impressions.

First home for the men was Liverpool lad Jonny Mellor, 25, who fought off competition from Olympian Nick McCormick to finish in 29 minutes, 24 seconds.

He said: “I missed almost all of the summer through injury and to win, particularly against Nick, an Olympian, is a real step up. It’s a big win.”

Last year’s women’s winner Gemma Steel successfully defended her title, with Sheffield’s Jilly Woodthorpe claiming second place in 36 minutes, 30 seconds.

But for the thousands of others who took part, there was a huge sense of achievement at making it past the finish line – often for a cause close to their hearts.

First-time runner Natasha Lyons, 27, of Fulwood, completed the run in one hour, 18 minutes.

She said: “I ran for a friend of mine who is recovering from a brain tumour, to help raise funds for private physio for him.”

Rebecca James, 29, and partner Richard Pettigrew, 38, from Doncaster, were taking part to support the Ectodermal Dysplasia Society, as Richard’s son has the condition.

Rebecca said: “I did it in one hour and 28 minutes. I was just proud to get across the finishing line. There was a fantastic atmosphere.”