The third Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield was hailed a huge success with thousands crossing the finish line on Sunday 9th April.
One of the most talked-about events in the region, the run has become a major highlight of the city’s sporting calendar.
And the third outing of the event cemented its reputation as a ‘bucket list’ run.
The field of thousands set off from Arundel Gate to follow a scenic route that took them out of the city centre and out into the hills above Sheffield with super views of the Peak District.
Then it was downhill to the city centre finish where large crowds were waiting to cheer the runners home.
First across the finish line was Steven Bayton of Hallamshire Harriers in a time of 69mins 25secs. John Franklin from Serpentine RC took second place in 70mins 41secs with Joe Sweetnam-Powell from Sheffield RC in third in 73mins 55secs.
Sarah Lowery, from Sheffield RC, was the first woman home in 80mins 23secs followed by Sally Fawcett who clocked 84mins 47secs for second spot and Martha Hanby who took third in 84mins 57secs.
The runners were joined by some familiar faces including Rugby League stars Barrie McDermott and Keith Senior. Keith clocked 2hrs 04mins and 26secs while Barrie made it home in 2hrs 41 and 4secs.
The race also featured a triple challenge giving entrants a chance to be crowned “King or Queen of the Hill” in a timed hill climb, triumph in a largely downhill 10K challenge section and cross the finish line first to lift the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield title.
King of the Hill was Terence Forrest who completed the mile-long climb on Ringinglow Road in a fantastic 6mins 10secs. Queen of the Hill was eventual winner Sarah Lowery who took 7mins 20secs to complete the climb. Fastest male in the 10K challenge was male winner Steven Bayton who clocked 30mins 56secs with the fastest female Sarah Lowery, again, taking 35mins 47secs.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “It was awe-inspiring to see so many thousands of people on the streets of Sheffield on Sunday, whether they were racing or cheering the runners on.
“Congratulations to everyone who took part and enormous thanks must also go to the many volunteers who gave up their time to help make the event such a success.
“It is also fantastic to see this popular road race go from strength to strength and establish itself as one of the most-loved annual events here in Sheffield – The Outdoor City.”
Andy Baker, CEO of mobile, broadband, home phone and TV provider Plusnet, the half marathon’s title sponsor, said “The Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon was another massive success, both for the runners and for all the charities who will benefit. Sheffield showed fantastic spirit, turning out in force to support the runners. Thank you, you all did us proud!”
The event was staged in partnership with Sheffield City Council by Run For All, part of the legacy of the late inspirational Jane Tomlinson CBE.
Run For All Course Director Tristan Batley-Kyle said: “A huge well done to everyone who took part in the half marathon – we hope it was a day to remember. Thank you to everyone who helped make the event such a success, especially the volunteers who are the lifeblood of our events. See you next year!”
On a day when the spectators generated a superb atmosphere, some of the biggest cheers were reserved for the hundreds of youngsters who took part in the event’s free Arena Group mini and junior runs.
The winners of the Arena Group Junior Run were Hugh Mackie in first place, Benjamin Highland in second and Thomas Anderson in third place in the boys’ category, with Leah Hayward, Marci Walsh Holly Davey coming in 1, 2, and 3, respectively, in the girls’ event.
Adrian Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Arena Group, said: “It was fantastic to see so many children taking part in the mini and junior runs which we are delighted to sponsor. We hope they had a brilliant day and raised lots of money for charity.”
Official charity of the Arena Group Mini and Junior event was Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, which works with children across South Yorkshire.
The Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon’s official partner charities were Sheffield-based youth housing charity Roundabout; Myaware – the new name for the Myasthenia Gravis Association, which supports sufferers of this muscle weakening condition; Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice; Macmillan Cancer Care; The Children’s Hospital Charity; Sheffield Hospitals Charity; CLIC Sargent; St Luke’s Hospice, Breast Cancer Care and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
The Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield’s supporters are Plusnet, Asda Foundation, Sheffield City Council, Radio Sheffield, ViiSana, Up&Running, Aftershokz and BananaKick.
Entries for next year’s Sheffield Half Marathon on Sunday 8th April are now open! Go to www.runforall.com/half-marathon/sheffield/