MORE than 8,000 runners are gearing up to take part in Sheffield’s Great Yorkshire Run this Sunday.
Some of the world’s top athletes will join celebrities, politicians and thousands of ordinary South Yorkshire people in an event that has nearly doubled in size since it started in 2007.
From 10am the runners will set off from Arundel Gate, making their way up Penistone Road to Hillsborough stadium and back.
The elite athletes - including GB European silver medallist Chris Thompson and Kenyan former world record holder Micah Kogo - will expect to complete the 10k course in under 29 minutes.
But even those with more modest aims are in with a chance of bringing home a very special award.
Unique sterling silver medals, worth more than £250 each, will be given to just four lucky entrants.
The medals, developed by Sheffield Assay Office, will be awarded to the 5th, 50th, 500th and 5000th-placed finishers of the 10K race, to mark the fifth anniversary of the event in Sheffield.
Ashley Carson from Sheffield Assay Office, who is running himself, said: “We are delighted to contribute to the event in this way and provide the sterling silver medals.
“Outside of the Olympics there won’t be many medals like these in the world, so they will be very special collectors’ items.”
Race organisers have set up two days of entertainment alongside the event.
On Saturday martial arts masters Strike will perform a thrilling high-energy demonstration of street dance in Leopold Square at 5pm, and the elite athletes will take part in a question and answer session at 5.45pm.
On Sunday a Sheffield ‘Bands on the Run’ festival takes place in the Peace Gardens, featuring Satnam Singh’s Noise Blasters, Hayley Gaftarnick, the Sheffield Wednesday and England Kop Band, Dixie Three and Sheffield’s own The Bootleggers.
Former Olympic athlete John Mayock from Barnsley, who is organising the events, said: “The Bupa Great Yorkshire Run is more than a 10K run - it has grown to become a fun festival for all the family with live music playing a central role in the event.”
- There is still time to enter online at www.greatrun.org - last-minute entrants will need to collect their race packs from the customer services information points in Tudor Square on Saturday between 12noon and 4pm, or Sunday from 8.30am.
Major roads throughout the city centre, including West Bar, Shalesmoor, Penistone Road, Haymarket and Snig Hill, will be closed from 8am until 1pm.
Surrey Street to Arundel Gate, High Street, Commercial Street and Park Square will all be closed from 4am until 4.30pm.
The Supertram service will not be directly affected by the event, but may be subject to delays due to increased traffic on Infirmary Road.
All bus services operating to the city centre will use alternative routes from the start of Sunday until 4.30pm - but the following services will be using their normal routes: 53A, 65, 216, 218, 240, 242, and 272.