Runners turn out to celebrate Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon's 30th birthday

Thousands of runners made it a happy birthday for the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon as they turned out in force to help the event celebrate its 30th running.

The event has grown into one of the region's biggest runs and is a key date in the UK's sporting calendar.

In its 30th year, more than 9,000 people entered the event which will raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.

The city's streets came alive with colour as enthusiastic supporters cheered the field around the 13.1 mile course, starting in The Headrow and finishing in Cookridge Street, alongside Millennium Square.

First home was Mohammad Aburezeq in a time of 1:11:18 followed by Mike Burrett, who clocked 1:12:08 in second place with Alasdair Tatham third in 1:13:56.

Winner of the women's race was Hannah Oldroyd in 1:23:13. Nicola Gleadall took second place in 1:24:30 and Roslyn Eadie was third in 1:24:54. Wheelchair racer Brett Crossley finished in 1:06:02.

Among those taking part was John Convery, the first winner of the Leeds Half Marathon in a time of 1:06:59 - still one of the fastest in the event's history. He finished the 2015 event in 1:20:06 - putting him in 33rd place overall. 

Some familiar faces could also be seen taking part, including former England and Leeds United footballer Danny Mills, Sky TV favourite Bryn Law, racing driver Daniel Lloyd, BBC Look North's Nicola Rees, 5Live's sports presenter George Riley and England Rugby head coach Stuart Lancaster. 

Organised by Run For All, the Leeds Half Marathon is part of the lasting legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE who raised almost £2m for charity through a series of endurance challenges, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer. The charity which bears her name has now raised almost £8m for good causes.

The Leeds Half Marathon forms part of the new Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon Series, which also includes the Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield and the Yorkshire Marathon.

Andy Baker, Plusnet CEO, said: "Huge congratulations to all those who took part in today's Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon. This was our first year as headline sponsor and we we're absolutely delighted it has been such a success.  

"It's been fantastic to see large crowds turning out to cheer and encourage the runners. It's contributed to a fantastic atmosphere. A big thank you to all those involved and to all those who have raised money for so many great causes."

Lucy Elsender, Run For All's event lead, said: "We are enormously grateful to all those who have supported today's run and done so much to make it such a success."

This year's Partner charities are the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Forget Me Not Children's Hospice, Martin House Children's Hospice, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Sue Ryder, Overgate Hospice, St Gemma's Hospice, CLIC Sargent, Leeds Children's Hospital Appeal and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The event is supported by Plusnet, Leeds City Council, Asda Foundation, Yorkshire Evening Post, Radio Aire,, Runner's World, banana kick and LTS.

Entries for the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K are open now, here

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