Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan today [Wednesday 19th November] officially launched the first Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield and Arena Group Sheffield Mini and Junior Run.

The major new charity half marathon – organised by Run For All in partnership with Sheffield City Council – is expected to attract thousands of runners and spectators to the city’s streets on Sunday 12th April next year and raise many thousands of pounds for good causes.

With a city centre start and finish, the event boasts a super new scenic route. Leaving the city centre, the runners will go along Ecclesall Road before taking a right turn up towards Ringinglow.

Then it is along country roads and on to the famous Norfolk Arms, where the route takes a left turn and offers superb views of the city of Sheffield and the Peak District. The course then heads downhill to the outskirts of Dore, back to Ecclesall Road and on to the grand finish at the Town Hall.

And the race incorporates a triple challenge, giving entrants a chance to be crowned ‘King of the Hill’ in a timed hill climb, triumph in a 10K sprint section and cross the finish line first to lift the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon – Sheffield title.

Youngsters will also have the opportunity to be involved by signing up for the event’s Arena Group Sheffield Mini and Junior Runs. 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. The children’s races will be entirely free to enter thanks to the kind support of the Arena Group.

Michael, who was brought up in Sheffield, said: “I am delighted to be launching this new half marathon for Yorkshire. I’m sure it will quickly establish itself as a real winner in this City of Sport.

“The thousands who take part can look forward to a great running challenge and to raising money that will support the vital work of some wonderful charities. I wish everyone who signs up to take part the best of luck.”

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are delighted that the race organisers have chosen such a beautiful route showing some of the stunning countryside which surrounds our wonderful city. It will showcase why Sheffield is such a great city to live, study, work and play. The climbs will be challenging but runners will be rewarded with some of the best views in England as they return to the city.

“The city centre start and finish will provide a boost to retail and hospitality businesses which is also to be welcomed.”

Andy Baker, CEO of phone and broadband provider Plusnet, the half marathon’s title sponsor, said: “This is our home city so we are obviously delighted to be involved with a new event that we are sure will become a key part of the city’s sporting calendar. Plusnet is always keen to get involved in major community events like this, that will raise thousands of pounds for good causes, we couldn’t be prouder to be headline sponsors.”

Adrian Fitzpatrick, Arena Group managing director, said: “We are proud to be sponsoring the Mini and Junior runs at the first Yorkshire Half Marathon – Sheffield. The event is a superb addition to the Leeds and York Mini and Junior events, which we have supported since 2010. It is always a delight to see youngsters of all abilities taking on a challenge and raising money for a host of very worthy charities. I am sure all the young runners who take part in Sheffield will enjoy a really memorable day.”

Sara Birkinshaw, of Run For All, said: “We are really looking forward to bringing this new event to Sheffield next spring in partnership with the City Council. With its triple challenge, scenic route and city centre start and finish, we are sure we can create a colourful event with a great atmosphere and one of which Sheffield can be proud.”

To enter the half marathon go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com. To enter the children’s runs go to www.runforall.com A number of great value season tickets are also available.

Runners can take part in the new event for fun, for a personal challenge or to raise funds for a charity of their choice. They are especially encouraged to support one of the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon’s official partner charities, which are 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; Breast Cancer Care, Sheffield Hospitals Charity; CLIC Sargent; St Luke’s Hospice and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

Linda McDonald, Myaware Regional Organiser (North), said: “Myaware is excited to be involved in the new Yorkshire Half Marathon as a partner charity with Run for All. We are looking forward to supporting this run as it develops and grows in a new era, and to seeing our members and supporters getting involved with a prestigious Yorkshire event.”

Gail Parkin, fundraiser at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as a charity partner of Yorkshire’s new and exciting half marathon. It’s a pleasure to be a part of this brand new event hitting our home town of Sheffield on April 12.

“Working in conjunction with organisations like Yorkshire Half Marathon helps us to continue our work throughout parts of Yorkshire for families who need us during the hardest times imaginable. We rely on this vital support and our hospice simply would not exist without it.”

Rob Turner, Macmillan Cancer Support Fundraising Manager, said: “Sheffield is a fantastic city and the people always bring a warm atmosphere to events. We’re delighted to be involved in this popular half marathon and look forward to seeing a sea of green runners. Macmillan has invested £2m in South Yorkshire on new services to support cancer patients and their families. Each day a staggering 19 people in the county hear the devastating news they have cancer so now more than ever we need people to join Team Macmillan.”

David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “As a charity partner for the Yorkshire Half Marathon, we want to get as many people as possible running for Team Theo, to help make it better for our patients and their families. Children come from all over Yorkshire and further afield to be treated at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield, and The Children’s Hospital Charity is committed to going above and beyond the NHS provision for the thousands of them who come through our doors every year. We are extremely proud to be a part of this landmark event for our county, and we hope everyone gets on board to support it.”

Amy Casbolt, Roundabout’s Fundraising Coordinator, said: “Roundabout is delighted to have been chosen as one of the charity partners of the Yorkshire Half Marathon. We work with over 150 young homeless people in Sheffield every day and can only continue to provide our vital services with the support of local people getting behind our cause. We really look forward to being part of the event and cheering on our runners on the day.”

Ruth Block, Sheffield Hospitals Charity’s Fundraising Officer, said: “Sheffield Hospitals Charity is delighted to be charity partner for the first Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon. We’re a big fan of Run for All’s events and can’t wait to join them in our home town. As a charity in the City of Sport, we’re proud to have brilliant runners fundraising with us and the 2015 Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon is a fantastic new event for them, and others, to take part in and support their local hospitals, patients and families.”

A Breast Cancer Care spokesperson said: “At Breast Cancer Care we are incredibly excited to be involved in this new event in Sheffield next year. We hope that thousands of people will get behind the Yorkshire Half Marathon by running and volunteering for all the nominated charities. This event will enable us to support even more people facing breast cancer by raising money and awareness and we are very grateful for this fantastic opportunity.”

Siobhan Curtis, Jane Tomlinson Appeal Legacy Manager, said: “There’s a great buzz around this new event and we are delighted to be involved. Many excellent charities will benefit from the efforts of the thousands of runners who will take part. Money raised for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal will be used to support children’s and cancer charities and we are immensely grateful to everyone running on our behalf.”

Holli Kellett, CLIC Sargent Running Events Fundraising Manager, said: “CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people and their families, providing emotional, practical, financial and clinical support to help them cope with a diagnosis and get the most out of life. Every day 10 children hear the shocking news that they have cancer, right now we can only help 2 out of 3 of them. We are excited to be one of the charity partners for this fantastic new event and encourage people to run for Team CLIC Sargent so we can get closer to our goal of supporting each and every one of them.”

Children taking part in the Mini and Junior Runs are encouraged to raise a small amount of money to help a local cause. They can choose any charity of their choice or run on behalf of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, which is supporting Sheffield-based Safe@Last, a charity working with and on behalf of young people at risk through running away.

Clare Sherratt, Head of Communications and Funding, said: “SAFE@LAST is delighted to be the official charity partner of the Arena Group Sheffield Junior and Mini Fun Run events in the Yorkshire Half Marathon 2015. We’re sure that the races will be great fun for children and their families and would encourage everyone to consider entering. We’re looking forward to cheering the runners on in April. The funds raised through these events will help us to continue to keep vulnerable children in South Yorkshire safe from harm when they feel they have no choice but to run away .

Run For All is part of the lasting legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE who raised almost £2m for charity through a series of endurance challenges, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

The not-for-profit organisation already stages a series of hugely-popular road racing events including The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, the Leeds Half Marathon and 10K events in Leeds, York, Hull, Burnley and Lincoln.

For more information and to enter the half marathon, go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com. To enter the Arena Group Mini and Junior Runs, go to www.runforall.com