Despite the warm conditions, runners turned out in their thousands to take part in the 31st edition of the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon, a race which has been given a five star endorsement by European Athletics Running For All, on 8 May.
Cheering crowds helped to create a fantastic atmosphere as the runners - many of them raising money for good causes - crossed the start-line in The Headrow before following a route that headed out of the city centre and returned via Abbey Road and Kirkstall Road to finish in Cookridge Street alongside Millennium Square.
More than £300,000 was raised for charity last year and the organisers anticipate that a similar figure will be generated from this year’s edition.
Race director Charlie Tatman from organisers Run For All said: “We are delighted with the support shown for this year’s Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon.
Run For All is part of the late Jane Tomlinson’s legacy and many runners ran to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. Tomlinson famously raised nearly two million pounds for children’s and cancer charities despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
At the front end of the race, the winners were reigning champion Mohammad Aburezeq (1:07:12) on the men’s side and Hannah Oldroyd (1:23:04) on the women’s side. The winning wheelchair athlete was Bret Crossley who finished in 1:01:37.
With temperatures reaching 23C, some runners struggled in the conditions and the organisers even deployed hose pipes as a means of cooling the runners but an estimated 8000 runners still took part in an event which dates back to the 1980s.
Andy Baker, Plusnet CEO, said: “Congratulations to the thousands of runners and also to the many spectators who created such a wonderful atmosphere and cheered the runners around.”
Entries for next year’s Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon are now open at the event website.
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