EMOTIONS ran high as organisers of Sheffield Half Marathon revealed the record-breaking amount this year’s race raised for charity.
A cheque written for £175,000 – which will be split between 10 hand-picked local and national causes – was unveiled at an awards ceremony yesterday honouring those who took part and helped to make it happen.
This year, The Star-backed event saw 5,792 runners sweat it out in sizzling temperatures on the 13-mile course.
Bob Jackson, chairman of the Sheffield Half Marathon trustees, said: “I was emotional last year when we passed £100,000, the first time we cracked it.
“This year I’m even more emotional that we’ve managed £175,000.”
Coun John Campbell, Lord Mayor of Sheffield, and Margaret Lilley, chairman of the race organising committee, handed over the cheque to the 10 benefiting charities.
Those benefiting from the cash are Sheffield’s The Children’s Hospital Charity, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in North Anston, St Luke’s Hospice in Whirlow, the British Heart Foundation, the Teenage Cancer Trust, Support Dogs, Sheffield Wildlife Trust, the Myasthenia Gravis Association, South Yorkshire MS Therapy Centre and Breast Cancer Care.
Mrs Lilley said: “We can’t express how thrilled we are to have achieved this amazing total. It is so far beyond what we expected.”
“The race was the biggest ever, so we were confident we would raise the most in our history, but this blew us all away.
“It makes it worthwhile when you can present such a cheque. It is amazing.”
Coun Campbell said: “It was a tremendous effort from the people of Sheffield who put themselves out to take part.
“I’d love to commit myself to take part next year, but I’m built more for eating and drinking.”
The prestigious ‘Man of Steel’ trophy was awarded to Simon Wheatcroft, Simon Walker and Charlie Baxter.
The trio ran nearly 70 miles between them on the day of the event to raise more than £1,400 for the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB), with the half marathon race route making up part of their challenge.
Mr Wheatcroft, who was registered blind at 17 after being diagnosed with a genetic eye disease, said: “I have run great distances before as an ultra-marathon runner, so thought it would be a good idea to do this challenge as part of the half marathon. It was really tough because I was so ill and unfortunately didn’t manage the full distance, but the point was to raise money for the SRSB and we achieved this, which is great.”
Andrew Shorthouse won the award for top individual fundraiser, raising £4,845 for St Luke’s Hospice.
The date for the 2013 Sheffield Half Marathon has been announced as Sunday, May 12.