Sheffield half marathon runners get ready to raise thousands for charity

Ken Rowe, a 63-year-old grandad and marathon enthusiast, is dressing up as Clean Sheffield anti-litter mascot Phil the Bin for the 2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield.
Ken Rowe, a 63-year-old grandad and marathon enthusiast, is dressing up as Clean Sheffield anti-litter mascot Phil the Bin for the 2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield.
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Runners hope to raise thousands of pounds for various charities as they take part in this year’s Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield.

More than 7,000 people have entered the race, which begins in Arundel Gate at 9.30am on Sunday (April 10), winding its way out of the city into the Peak District before heading back up the Moor to the finish line in Pinstone Street.

Gym instructor Lee Robertson, 41, is wearing a wedding dress for the 2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield.

Gym instructor Lee Robertson, 41, is wearing a wedding dress for the 2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield.

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Runners get set for the 2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield.

Two Sheffield runners will make things extra challenging by dressing as a bride and a dustbin. Lee Robertson, 41, and Ken Rowe, 63, will don a wedding dress and a ‘Phil the bin’ mascot costume respectively for the 13-mile race.

Lee, who works at a gym in Crookes and is known for his wacky marathon costumes having previously dressed as Superman and a Christmas pudding, said: “I can dress in anything, it doesn’t bother me at all.

“It’s fun for everyone as well as myself. It makes for more laughs, more giggles and makes it more interesting for those watching and running the marathon.”

His preparations for this year’s marathon have been hampered by a knee injury which has kept him out of action for the last ten weeks.

However, with the injury healing up just in time for the big day, the fitness guru is now raring to go, and is calling on those watching to help him make it over the finish line.

“The crowds in Sheffield are amazing. All along the course there are people lined up and it makes for a great atmosphere,” he said.

“I’m sure that they will spur me on on Sunday - even those running help to inspire you. It’s all about the Sheffield spirit - everybody helps each other.”

Grandad Ken is a keen running enthusiast, having taken part in every Steel City marathon since 1982.

He works as a highways supervisor for the Streets Ahead team and will complete this year’s race dressed as the Clean Sheffield anti-litter mascot, Phil the Bin.

“I was looking for a new challenge and thought that running as Phil the Bin would definitely be one,” he said.

“I’ve had a little go at running in the outfit, but I haven’t trained in it – I’ll have to go steady.”

Ken has already raised £600 for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity and is hoping that figure will increase over the weekend.

Lee is raising money for the Children’s Hospital as well as the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and Marie Curie.

Anyone who wants to support Lee’s cause can do so by popping in to Gym Plus on Weston View in Crookes, where there will be donation boxes for the three charities.