Sheffield’s famous hills and stunning scenery will be showcased in the new ‘special’ route for the city’s half marathon next year.
A six-mile climb out towards Ringinglow and into the Peak District is the challenge facing runners taking part in the event on April 12, 2015.
New organisers Run for All, the charity in memory of cancer campaigner Jane Tomlinson, have changed the former route from Don Valley Stadium into the city centre after taking over following the water shortage chaos this year.
The event was officially launched by Sheffield cricket legend Michael Vaughan in the Peace Gardens, where fountains had been turned pink for the occasion.
The TV presenter, who grew up in Sheffield, said the route was ‘very Sheffield’ and ‘very hilly’.
He joked: “If you’re struggling you can always roll down Banner Cross! “I think the route is very special because it is similar to the Olympic torch relay when everyone came out to see and support it.
“There’s plenty of opportunity for people to get on the streets and support everyone who is taking part.
“I think you’ll see plenty of Sheffield if you can get to the top of Ringinglow Road because you can see all across the city and I think that is what Sheffield is all about.”
This year’s half marathon was cancelled due to a water shortage but many runners did not hear the announcement and completed the route. Organisers came under fire for the blunder and eventually announced they would not be putting the race on again.
Michael, a patron for The Children’s Hospital Charity which is one of 10 causes to benefit, added: “I always think in Sheffield things happen a bit out of the ordinary and the water problem was a bit of a disaster.
“But in 2015 there’ll be plenty of water, a new route, plenty of people cheering on the sidelines and I hope 6,000 participants – let’s try and beat that with 6,500.”
Charity fundraisers and runners alike welcomed the change to the half marathon.
Legendary Macmillan walker John Burkhill, known as the ‘mad man with the pram’, said: “I’m not worried about the hills one bit, I’ve done every one of the Sheffield marathons and I’m not bothered, I go faster uphill than downhill anyway.”
Becca Tomlinson, daughter of former amateur athlete Jane, will be taking part.
She said: “We’ve had 1,200 people sign up already before the entries even opened. Mum would have loved it, the passion that she had for the charity was for it to be a run for everyone.”
The race will start on Arundel Gate, with runners going up Ecclesall Road before taking a right turn to Ringinglow and to the Norfolk Arms pub.
There it turns left to offer views of Sheffield and the Peak District, downhill to the outskirts of Dore, back to Ecclesall Road and then to a grand finish at the Town Hall. There will also be a ‘King of the Hill’ climb and 10K sprint section. Entry, costing £26.70, has opened for the half marathon.
Visit www.theyorkshire marathon.com
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