More than 1,600 amateur athletes signed up for the event organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All – part of the lasting legacy of the inspirational fundraiser who made headlines worldwide with her amazing endeavours after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The run – one of the biggest in the area – is expected to bring in many tens of thousands of pounds for local and national charities.
Starting and finishing outside the Mechanics Theatre in Manchester Road, Burnley, the route took in three of the town’s pretty parks and landmarks like Towneley Hall and Burnley FC’s Turf Moor Stadium.
The winner of Sunday's event was Tarus Elly who crossed the finish line in 32mins 29secs. Second was Matthew Lalor in 34mins 34secs while Jonny McKenna came in third in 35mins 43 secs. The first woman to finish the new Pennine Lancashire 10K was Laura Hesketh in 42mins 06 secs, while Holly Gamble came second in 44mins 10secs. Third placed woman was Lisa Collier in 45mins.
Event Lead Emma Griffiths said: “The sun shone, the crowds turned out and I hope everyone had an amazing day.
“We’ve had a brilliant debut in Burnley – thank you so much to everyone in the town who has given us such a warm welcome and helped in every way possible with the event. We couldn’t have done it without you!”
Leader of Burnley Borough Council, Councillor Julie Cooper, said: “We’re delighted with how well the first ASDA Foundation Pennine Lancashire 10K in Burnley went.
“Over 1,500 runners signed up and got to see first-hand the stunning countryside we have to offer here in the borough. We will look forward to next years’ event!”
Among those taking part in today’s event was the face of Safestyle Windows’ famous TV ads Jeff Brown – the company’s well-known Buy One Get One Free Man – who lost over 5 stone in weight while training for the event.
Jeff was set the 10K challenge by Lancashire firm Premier Range which pledged to donate £10,000 to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal if he completed the race.
Jeff, who finished the 10K in 1hr 33mins 37secs, said: “That was tough. But I enjoyed it I really did. I think some people thought I might not do it but there was no way I was letting down Jane’s charity.”
Premier Range General Manger Martin Mensforth said: “We had a little banter at a game and as a result, we threw down a challenge to Jeff to get fit and join in.
“We have committed to donating a pound for every metre Jeff runs - so 10,000 metres equals £10,000!
“As the race was coming to Burnley for the first time it seemed too good an opportunity to miss!
“Like most other people in the UK, our staff at Premier Range have all been touched by the spectre of cancer at some point in their lives, and are so happy to be able to make a contribution towards raising awareness of this awful disease by raising funds for Jane’s fantastic appeal.”
Siobhan Curtis, the legacy manager of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, said: “We couldn’t be prouder of Jeff’s amazing efforts. Some people might have doubted him, but we never did. He was always very determined. The money Jeff has raised for us will go to support children’s and cancer charities locally.”
Also running today was Lee Cunliffe, 38, of Burnley, who was raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. The charity provided accommodation for him and his three young children following the death of his wife, Tracy, who was just 33-years-old when she died of skin cancer in 2006.
Lee was first helped by the fund in 2001 when he and Tracy suffered the loss of their daughter, who was stillborn. The help given by the fund has helped Lee rebuild his life since leaving the RAF in 2007.
He finished in 48mins 40secs.
Lindsay Barry, 36, ran the 10K for the Aspire spinal injuries charity after her husband Peter, 52, was left paralysed when he fell down the stairs in 2012.
Peter, who suffers from epilepsy, had a seizure and then fell downstairs, hitting his head at the bottom. He broke his neck in several places and has not been able to walk since.
Lindsay completed the 10K in a time of 1 hour 29mins 23secs.
The Pennine Lancashire 10K is sponsored by the Asda Foundation, Burnley Borough Council, Lucozade, the Burnley Express and 2BR
Julie Ward, manager of title sponsors, the ASDA Foundation, said: “It’s been another brilliant event from the team at Run For All. It seemed like the whole town turned out!
“The Asda Foundation is very proud to support the Pennine Lancashire 10K.”
Entrants ran for a personal challenge, for fun or for charity. They were encouraged to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts, but especially one of the event’s official partner charities: Pendleside Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Derian House Children’s Hospice, Sue Ryder, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Shine and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.