26.2 reasons to celebrate for thousands in Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon Festival

Thousands of runners hit the streets of York today for the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, cementing the event’s reputation as one of the North’s biggest and best charity road runs.

A man who knows a thing or two about running 26.2 miles, Ray Matthews – who earlier this year at the age of 75 ran 75 marathons in 75 days – got the race underway alongside triple gold medal Paralympian Hannah Cockroft.

Large and enthusiastic crowds cheered the runners as they left the University of York campus and snaked their way through the heart of the city and out into the villages and country lanes before heading back to a hero’s welcome at the university.

First across the finish line was Paul Martelletti a time of 2:19:36. He was followed by Tom Charles who clocked 2:27:28 to take second place with Scott Harrington finishing third in 2:28:05.

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The first woman home was Sarah Lowery in 2:45:53. Joasia Zakrzewski recorded 2:49:05 to take second spot and Michelle Nolan was third in 2:54:24.

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The winning wheelchair athlete was Callum Hall in a time of 2:01:35. Callum's fiance, Paralympian Jade Jones, was the fastest women's wheelchair athlete in 2:03:51.

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Among the well-known faces taking part were comedian Rob Deering, former Big Breakfast presenter Paul Tonkinson, Educating Yorkshire’s English teacher Matthew Burton.

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The race is now on for a place in the 2017 event. The hugely-popular run has sold out in four consecutive years. Entries for next year’s event, on Sunday 8th October, are open now. For more details and to enter visit www.theyorkshiremarathon.com

Along with hundreds of runners taking part in the Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay – in which teams of six competed for the title of fastest team in the race, today’s [Sunday 9th October] festival of running also included the Plusnet Yorkshire 10 Mile, which attracted around 2,800 entrants and started after the marathon.

The 10 Mile race was won by Joe Sagar in 54:01, with Joseph Monk second in 54:17 and Jordan Howe taking third place in 54:35. First woman home was Victoria Whitehead who clocked 1:02:44. Sarah Douglas finished second in 1:03:08 and Michelle Dorrington was third in 1:03:45.

Among the 10 Milers were BBC TV stars Harry Gration and Nicola Rees, along with race starter Ray Matthews. They were joined by 80 year old Jean Snelling from York Knavesmire Harriers, who clocked an impressive 1:06:07.

Results of the Corporate Relay will be released shortly.

Andy Baker, Plusnet CEO, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in today’s Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon – you really did yourselves proud.

“We’re so pleased to show our support and hope everyone who has taken part is enjoying a well-deserved rest.”

Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon Event Director Charlie Tatman said: “We would like to thank everyone – the runners, spectators, sponsors, partner organisations, charities and particularly the many volunteers – who have helped make today’s event such a success.”

Many of the runners were raising money for a good cause and the event is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon’s partner charities are Macmillan Cancer Support, Martin House Hospice, St Leonard’s Hospice, Candlelighters, type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Stroke Association, Forget Me Not Hospice, St Gemma’s Hospice and The Children’s Hospital Charity.

The event is supported by Plusnet, City of York Council, University of York, iPro Sport, High 5 Sports Nutrition, Viisana, Visit York, Yorkshire Post, BBC York, BananaKick and LTS.

The marathon is part of the lasting legacy of Jane Tomlinson CBE, who raised almost £2m for charity by tackling a series of epic challenges, including cycling over 4,000 miles across America, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

It is one of a series of events now held in her name, including the Leeds, Hull, York , Lincoln, Burnley, Bury, Sheffield and Nottingham 10Ks, the Leeds Half Marathon and the Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield.

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