Charities were celebrating today as thousands of runners crossed the finish line to make the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon a huge success.
It was the 32nd running of the event which is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for a host of good causes.
Some runners came to win, some to raise funds for their favourite charity and others simply to overcome the challenge of getting round. Whatever their reason for running, they were supported every step of the way by enthusiastic crowds.
The course took the runners along The Headrow, out of the city centre, took in a section of the Ring Road and returned via Abbey Road and Kirkstall Road to the big finish in Cookridge Street alongside Millennium Square.
First across the finish line was Mohammad Aburezeq in a time of 1hr 10mins 22secs. John Hobbs took second place in 1hr 12mins 59secs with Callum Elson third in 1hr 13mins 07secs.
Martha Hanby was the first woman home in 1hr 21mins 52secs followed by Faye Banks, who clocked 1hr 23mins 19secs for second spot and Caroline Bollon who took third in 1hr 23mins 44secs.
The winning wheelchair athlete was Callum Hall.
Also across the finish line were former Leeds Rhinos star Barrie McDermott, actor George Rainsford, who plays Ethan Hardy in BBC TV’s Casualty, sports broadcaster George Riley and Sky Sports reporter Bryn Law.
The event is part of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon Series that includes the Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield and the Yorkshire Marathon.
Andy Baker, CEO of title sponsors Plusnet, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people taking on the challenge of the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon to raise money for so many good causes.”
“I’d like to say a big thank you to all of the runners and spectators who created a tremendous atmosphere and made it such a great event. Many congratulations to all those who crossed the finish line!”
Lynne Preston, Events Manager with race organisers Run For All, said: “Well done to everyone who took part in today’s event. The support given to the runners was superb and we must say a massive thank you to all our volunteers whose hard work helped make the run such a success.”
Many of those taking part were raising money for the event’s partner charities which this year are the Jane Tomlinson Appeal; Martin House Children’s Hospice; Sue Ryder; St Gemma’s Hospice; Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice; Marie Curie; Overgate Hospice; CLIC Sargent, Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The event is supported by Plusnet, Leeds City Council, ViiSana, Asda Foundation, High 5 Sports Nutrition, Erdinger, Aftershokz, Yorkshire Evening Post, Radio Aire, Up & Running and bananakick.
Entries for next year’s Leeds Half Marathon are now open at http://www.theyorkshiremarathon.com/events/leeds-half-marathon/