The first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, which was hosted by the University of York, has been hailed a huge success with charities emerging as the event’s big winners.
More than 6,000 runners signed up to take part in the inaugural race raising an estimated £1.3m for a host of good causes.
Thousands of spectators lined the streets of York and surrounding villages to cheer on the participants as they made their way around the picturesque 26.2 mile route, which started and finished at the University.
The field included a host of elite athletes and the honour of winning the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon went to Edwin Korir, from Kenya, who clocked a time of 2:13:31.
The first woman home was Helen Koskei, also from Kenya, in a time of 2:40:10, while Christopher Nash was the first wheelchair athlete over the finishing line in a time of 3:00:49.
The marathon, organised by the team behind the popular Run For All Asda Foundation 10K series and Leeds Half Marathon, is part of the lasting legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE, who raised almost £2m by completing a series of amazing sporting challenges, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Her husband Mike said: “In all the time I’ve been going to events – or organising them – this was by far the best event I have ever been at. I hope that we have put on an event that the whole of Yorkshire can be proud of and that will continue to flourish over the years. What started as one person’s dying wish to run a marathon has turned into a celebration for 6,100 others today.”
The race attracted entries from a number of celebrities including BBC Look North’s Harry Gration, former Leeds United and England international footballer Danny Mills, double gold medal Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, Leeds Rhinos legend Keith Senior, Olympian Tracey Morris and ITV Yorkshire Calendar presenter Christine Talbot.
Jane Tomlinson was an inspirational figure to millions and we are extremely pleased that so many people, including many of our own students and staff, have been able to support the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon
Dr David Duncan, University Registrar
Among the scores of good causes to benefit from the marathon were the event’s partner charities – Martin House Children's Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Parkinson's UK, the Haven, Clic Sargent, Candlelighters, St Leonard's Hospice, Sue Ryder Care and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
The marathon was hosted at the University of York. University Registrar, Dr David Duncan, said: “The University was honoured to play host to this wonderful event. Jane Tomlinson was an inspirational figure to millions and we are extremely pleased that so many people, including many of our own students and staff, have been able to support the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. We are proud to make our facilities available for such a deserving cause.”
The city of York’s business community was also a winner, with the race worth an estimated £1m to the local economy.
The event was sponsored by Plusnet, James Potter Eggs, City of York Council, the University of York, Lucozade, Asda Foundation, BBC Look North, BBC Radio York, the Yorkshire Post, Runner's World, Marathon Talk and Run247.com.
Following the success of the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, the race looks destined to become a major date on the county’s sporting calendar and attention now turns to next year’s event, which takes place on Sunday 12 October.
Runners can currently sign up to a pre-sale register which will open for entries on Friday 3 January. Regular entries will then go live on Monday 6 January. Go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com for details. Can’t wait? Run For All’s Ultimate Season Ticket is on sale now and includes a guaranteed place in The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon for 2014. For more details go to www.runforall.com