OPINION: 7,000 winners and one special event for Sheffield Half Marathon 2016

2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield.
2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield.
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The sun shone, the competitors ran, and there was even plenty of water to go round.

This year’s half marathon sprinted out of the blocks from the get-go, a slick, well-organised event which threw yet another marker down for Sheffield as a sporting city.

The 2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon can only be deemed a monumental success for the organisers, for everyone who ran it, and for the city of Sheffield as a whole.

Yes, we all remember that fateful day, two years ago, where a water shortage caused chaos.

But since then, Sheffield has played host to a spectacular leg of the Tour de France, the Sheffield Grand Prix, the Sheffield Sky Ride, the British Indoor Athletics and the ever-present World Snooker Championships, to name just a few. As the birthplace of football and boasting the oldest club in the world, sport is a legacy for the city, but one which on the evidence of this weekend and the past two years, will continue well into the future.

Weekends like the one we’ve just had, where thousands of people pack into the city to take on a personal challenge and raise money for charity only serve to show how important not only sporting achievement, but making a difference in people’s lives is to the population of Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

The entire event created a palpable buzz as thousands turned out to cheer on the 7,000 people who signed up to the race.

The runners also reported that the new route, taking in Ecclesall Road, remained a big improvement, highlighting that the race is an event which is now going from strength to strength, despite an uphill start.

But most heartening of all were the smiles on the faces of every runner who smashed their personal goals and raised money for some truly inspirational charities in the process.

Two Sheffield mums finished in the top five female runners and raised more than £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Care, while another group raised cash for the Children’s Hospital Charity, spurred on by a bereavement in the family.

Every single runner had their own reasons for pulling on that jersey and stretching every sinew across all 13 miles, someone they were running for, a cause pushing them on even further than the thousands of supportive spectators could.

And every one has done themselves, and the entire city, immensely proud.

You did it.

Well done, and whether you ran or spectated, thank YOU for helping to make a difference, one step at a time.

WATCH THE VIDEO AND READ THE REPORT HERE: VIDEO: Sun shines on Sheffield Plusnet Half Marathon 2016.

Pick up a copy of The Star on Monday, April 11 to see if you can spot yourself in our coverage of the event.