Thousands of runners are putting in their final few practice miles ahead of this weekend’s Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield.
Last year’s inaugural event, organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All, was a great success, raising £175,000 for its partner charities alone. And on top of that, tens of thousands of pounds were raised by runners for other good causes of their choice, taking the overall total to an estimated £350,000.
More than 7,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s run, which will begin at 9.30am on Sunday (April 10). The route takes in many of Sheffield’s sights and, of course, some of its infamous hills. It starts in Arundel Gate, heading out into the hills above Sheffield with superb views of the Peak District before returning to the city centre and the big finish outside the Town Hall in Pinstone Street.
Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon Event Director Charlie Tatman said: “We were delighted with the success of last year’s first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon-Sheffield. The thousands of spectators who cheered the runners on created a great atmosphere and we look forward to welcoming everyone on April 10.”
The event also includes a triple challenge, giving entrants a chance to be crowned King or Queen of the Hill in a timed hill climb, triumph in a largely downhill 10K sprint section and cross the finish line first to lift the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield title.
Among those taking part are former Premier League and World Cup referee Howard Webb, superstar boxer Kell Brook, Rugby League stars Barrie McDermott, Terry O’Connor and Keith Senior. They will be joined by former Sheffield MP and Minister for Sport Richard Caborn.
Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Talib Hussain said: “This event showcases Sheffield at its best – a vibrant city centre with some of the nation’s finest countryside on our doorstep – strengthens our reputation as a city of sport and reinforces our status as ‘The Outdoor City’.
“It’s wonderful to see the many runners, spectators and hospitality businesses who open their doors, here on a Sunday, getting involved and soaking up the buzz around the city centre. We know this will be another fantastic year for the half marathon and wish all those taking part the best of luck.”
Young people will also be able to experience the excitement of a mass participation run by taking part in the free-to-enter Arena Group mini and junior runs. The mini course covers a distance of 1.5K and is for children aged three to eight, while the 2.5K junior run is for youngsters aged nine to 14.
All those taking part in the junior runs are encouraged to raise a small amount of money for a good cause of their choice or run for this year’s partner charity, which is Asperger’s Children and Carers Together (ACCT).
Arena Group managing director Adrian Fitzpatrick said: “We are very proud to be again supporting the Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield’s mini and junior runs. They are great fun for all the family and provide the children with an opportunity to support a very worthy cause.”
The event is supported by Plusnet, Sheffield Council, Radio Sheffield, Asda Foundation, The Star, iPro Sport, Aftershokz, BananaKick and Viisana.
Plusnet CEO Andy Baker said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon for a second year. Sheffield is our home town and we’re proud to be involved in such a significant event. Good luck to all those taking part.”
This year’s partner charities are Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Macmillan Cancer Support, myaware, Children’s Hospital Charity, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, CLIC Sargent, Roundabout, Sheffield Hospitsal’s Charity, St Luke’s Hospice and Breast Cancer Care.
Run For All is part of Jane Tomlinson’s lasting legacy. Jane Tomlinson CBE raised £1.85m for children’s and cancer charities before her untimely death from cancer aged 43 in 2007. She made headlines across the world by competing in a series of epic endurance challenges despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Entries are still open for the event. To sign up and for details of road closures go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com.