Friday 29 January

Following the success of the brand new route, launched last year, the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon returns to Sheffield on 10 April 2016.

Thousands of runners from across the country will unite in Sheffield to take on the challenging Yorkshire Half Marathon, now famous for its grueling hills, beautiful countryside views and downhill sprint to the finish, and raise thousands of pounds for good causes.

The inaugural event burst on to the city’s streets in April last year and proved an immediate success, attracting over 7,000 runners and large crowds that helped create an electric atmosphere.
And with a picturesque and challenging route, children’s runs and a team challenge, the 2016 event is expected to be another winner.

Councillor Neale Gibson, Cabinet Assistant for Neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “After the success of last year’s race when the picturesque new route was launched, excitement is building for this year’s event.

“It’s easy to see why thousands have already signed up, it’s the perfect route for runners and spectators and it showcases why Sheffield is such a great city to live, study, work and play. The city centre start and finish creates a real party atmosphere, and gives a boost to retail and hospitality businesses who open their doors and get involved on the day.

“Sheffield’s hilly landscape makes it ideal for those in training, there are so many fantastic routes to choose from but there’s no escape from those hills. The climbs will be challenging but what better motivation to get up that hill than the promise of taking in the beautiful countryside views that are right on our doorstep here in the Outdoor City.

“Whether you run, walk or cheer from the side-lines it’s a great event and I’m sure it will inspire many more to take part next year.”

The route starts in Arundel Gate and finishes outside the Town Hall in Pinstone Street. In between the route takes the runners into the hills above Sheffield and offers superb views of the Peak District before returning to the city centre.

The event also incorporates a triple challenge giving entrants a chance to be crowned “King of the Hill” in a timed hill climb, triumph in a largely downhill 10K sprint section and cross the finish line first to lift the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield title.

CEO of Plusnet, Andy Baker, said: “We’re delighted to support the Yorkshire Half Marathon for a second year. This is a hugely popular event in our hometown and we’re really proud to be part of it.”
The first Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield raised a fantastic £175,000 for its partner charities and tens of thousands of pounds more were raised by runners running for other good causes of their choice, taking the overall total to an estimated £350,000.

The partner charities given a cash boost were Sheffield-based youth housing charity Roundabout; Myaware – the new name for the Myasthenia Gravis Association, which supports sufferers of this muscle weakening condition; Breast Cancer Care; Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice; Macmillan Cancer Care; The Children’s Hospital Charity; Sheffield Hospitals Charity; CLIC Sargent; St Luke’s Hospice and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

Charlie Tatman, Run For All Event Manager, said: “We believe the £350,000 raised sets a new record for a half marathon in Sheffield. We are delighted that last year’s Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield attracted such wonderful support. We are confident this year’s run will be another success and look forward to welcoming thousands of runners and spectators to Sheffield on April 10th.”

Youngsters will have the opportunity to be involved by signing up for the event’s Arena Group mini and junior runs, which are free to enter. The mini course covers a distance of 1.5K and is for children aged 3-8, while the 2.5K junior run is for youngsters aged 9-14.

All those taking part in the junior runs are encouraged to raise a small amount of money for a good cause of their choice or run for this year’s partner charity, which is Asperger’s Children and Carers Together (ACCT).

Adrian Fitzpatrick, Arena managing director, said: “We are very proud to be entering our sixth year sponsoring the Mini and Junior Run series, ensuring that every young participant can enter for free. These events have become such a popular set of fixtures in the annual sporting calendar, providing family fun whilst supporting worthy local charities and promoting fitness for children across the country.”

Deborah Adams, Community Fundraising Manager at Breast Cancer Care, said: “We are delighted to be one of the nominated charities for the Yorkshire Half Marathon for the second year. We had more than 80 amazing runners take part in 2015 and we hope that even more people join us this year. Breast cancer is the fastest growing disease, with one in eight affected. With your support, Breast Cancer Care can give more women the best treatment, support and information from day one.”

Rob Turner, Macmillan fundraising manager said: “Sheffield is a fantastic city and the people always bring a warm atmosphere to events. We’re excited to be involved in this popular half marathon and look forward to welcoming runners to the green team. In 2014 Macmillan invested over £900,000 in South Yorkshire on services to support thousands of cancer patients and their families. Each day a staggering 21 people in the county hear the devastating news they have cancer, so now more than ever, we need people to join Team Macmillan.”

Caitlin Hodgkinson, of Roundabout, said: “We are delighted to be one of the charity partners for the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon again this year. Last year was an incredible fundraising event for us and we encourage everyone to have a go, from beginners to professional runners. The new route that was implemented proved to be hugely popular showing off the beautiful scenic surroundings that our city has to offer, making the experience even more enjoyable for the thousands of runners that took part.”

Clare Robinson, of St Luke’s Hospice, said: “St Luke’s Hospice is dedicated to the support and wellbeing of all terminally ill people in Sheffield and their loved ones. That support might be at the St Luke’s In Patient Centre, at the Therapies and Rehabilitation Centre or in patients’ own homes but wherever the care takes place the St Luke’s mission is quite simply to deliver the best possible palliative care in Sheffield, whilst developing and driving continual improvements for everyone affected by terminal illness.”

Tonya Kennedy, events fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “The Yorkshire Half Marathon is a hotly-anticipated event for our runners, and after a record-breaking year in 2015 we are hoping for even more people to join us in 2016. By joining Team Theo, The Children’s Hospital Charity’s group of active challenge fundraisers, runners can help us keep Sheffield Children’s Hospital at the forefront of paediatric care. Run for our children in 2016 and make it better for patients from across the region, the UK and abroad who rely on our hospital.”

Siobhan Curtis, Jane Tomlinson Appeal legacy manager, said: “After its fantastic debut in 2015, we’re excited for the Yorkshire Half Marathon to kick off this year’s running season. The event was a great fundraiser last year, with Appeal runners raising thousands to help us support children’s and cancer charities across Yorkshire. We’d like to invite runners to be part of the 2016 Appeal Team and take on this fantastic challenge for a good cause.”

David Reynolds, Sheffield Hospitals Charity director, said: “As a local charity we are excited to be involved in this event. It’s a really fun day for runners and spectators. We hope that people choose to raise funds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity as their support makes a real difference. All funds raised will help to ensure adult patients and new-born babies that are being treated in Sheffield hospitals, receive the very best treatment and care.”

Amy Green, Running Events Fundraising Manager – Team Leader for CLIC Sargent, said: “CLIC Sargent is proud and excited to once again be a partner for The Yorkshire Half Marathon. Every day 10 children hear the shocking news ‘it’s cancer’. As the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, we provide practical, clinical and emotional support. However, right now we can only support 2 out of 3 children diagnosed. Run for us this year and help us get closer to reaching all of them.”

Linda McDonald, of Myaware, said: “Myaware supports people affected by myasthenia, a rare, muscle weakness illness of the voluntary muscles for which there is no cure. The fluctuating muscle weakness makes day to day activities like walking, talking and even smiling very difficult, and when swallowing and breathing are affected, this can lead to a medical emergency.

“Myaware’s aim is to make life easier for sufferers and their families by providing information, advice and support, through our website, our free magazines and newsletters, and through our nationwide network of local Support Groups where people can meet others who understand the problems of living with a rare illness. We rely on voluntary income and thank our runners for their support.”

Nicola Hough, of Asperger’s Children and Carers Together, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for this year’s Mini and Junior runs, especially just as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary as a parent-led charity. We have grown exponentially over the year and so has awareness of Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism – many of the children entering these races will be aware of someone at school, in their family or elsewhere who is referred to as ‘having’ Asperger’s or Autism.

“The support ACCT provides to children, young people and their families is life-changing and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to raise awareness about our work as well as to raise vital funds to continue our clubs and activities.”

The Sheffield event, organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All in partnership with Sheffield City Council, forms part of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon Series that also features the Leeds Half Marathon and the Yorkshire Marathon.

Entries are now open. For more details and to enter go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com.