Complete guide to the York Marathon 2014

11 Oct 2014 @ 12.10 pm
| Entertainment, Sport

Running again… the marathon returns to York

Click to go to… The basicsThe routeThe relay raceWhere to watchGetting thereFamous faceTop athletesRoad closuresThe charitiesTV highlights

It’s back by popular demand. The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon will see thousands of runners pound their way around York’s historic landmarks for 26.2 miles this Sunday (October 12).

Here’s all you need to know.

The basics

  Heslington Campus, York University

This is the second Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon in York. All 7,000 places were snapped up shortly after they were released in January.

The first event was a huge success. Flatter and faster than London, Paris, Chicago and Berlin the York marathon attracts runners from across Europe.

Participants raised up to £2m for a host of good causes.

Organised by the same team responsible for the Run For All 10K series, it is part of the legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson, who raised almost £2 million by completing a series of amazing sporting challenges despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

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The route

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Map of the route. Click to see a bigger image

The marathon course starts and finishes at the University of York Heslington campus with the scenic course winding through Walmgate Bar, Parliament Street and St Helen’s Square.

Landmarks along the route include Betty’s tearooms and York Minster. Runners will leave the city walls via Monk Bar and then journey on around the Vale of York and the villages and towns of North Yorkshire.

Participants will travel through, or close by, Stockton on the Forest, Grange Wood, Upper Helmsley, Stamford Bridge, Gate Helmsley, Turkers Wood, Murton, Osbaldwick and back towards Heslington.

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The relay race

For those people who find the idea of taking on the full 26.2 miles too daunting, the inclusion of the Northern Gas Networks Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay in the ‘running schedule’ allowed teams to get involved, too.

Groups of friends or colleagues will complete the course in relay form – each sharing a section of the 26.2 mile course while soaking up the unique atmosphere of a marathon race day.

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Where to watch

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Map of the spectator stations. Click to see a bigger version

Clearly you can watch the runners anywhere along the route, but there are also four Plusnet Motivation Stations around the course, found at:

  • St Sampsons Square, York
  • Stamford Bridge
  • the corner of Church Balk
  • Stamford Bridge Road in Dunnington

There will be amenities, entertainment and prizes up for grabs at each station. A bus service will take spectators to the stations so you can go along and help motivate the runners at some of the hardest points on the course.

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Getting there

There are two drop-off points at the York University campus, where the event starts and finishes.

Once a participant has been dropped off, drivers must park the car off-site. Organisers recommend parking in the city centre.

To view the drop off loops, go to the marathon website.

A dedicated Park & Run service at Elvington Airfield will enable runners and non-runners to park and travel to the event. Cars are free and the coach is £5 return per passenger.

A regular event shuttle bus service for participants will operate from York Railway Station. Places need to be booked in advance with tickets priced at £5.

And a designated spectator bus service will operate from the University of York to Plusnet Spectator Points at Dunnington and Stamford Bridge.

Tickets are £5 on the day. More on the marathon website.

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Famous face

Matthew Burton, the English teacher featured in fly-on-the-wall TV hit Educating Yorkshire, is among the runners this year.

Matthew is running in memory of child actor Harry Whittaker, the nephew of a friend, who played Leo Dingle in Emmerdale. Harry who was just three-years-old when he died earlier this year.

As well as raising money for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield, he is fundraising for the Miscarriage Association.

“On Christmas Eve 2012, my wife and I very sadly lost what would have been our first baby, and words can’t ever really describe the feeling,” he said.

“Miscarriage is so common but isn’t spoken about and can be a taboo subject.

“The remarkable people at the Miscarriage Association work hard to support those who need it, to support research into it, and to raise awareness of something that damned well needs it.”

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Top athletes

A host of world class athletes will take part in the Yorkshire Marathon, aiming for a share of the £12,000 prize pot.

Among those hoping to cross the line first this year is Girma Assefa of Ethiopia. He boasts a personal best of 2:07:46 gained in Paris in 2011, the year he also won the Mumbai Marathon.

Great Britain’s Tomas Abyo – personal best 2:10:37 – will be hoping to repeat his Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon success of last year when he finished third and was the first British runner home.

Frashiah Nyambura Waithaka, of Kenya, is a strong contender to be the first woman across the finish line at York. Earlier this year she clocked a personal best of 2:32:26 to take first place in the Barcelona Marathon.

Back for another crack at the race is England’s Holly Rush, who finished second last year, and was the winner of last year’s Edinburgh and Pisa marathons.

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Road closures

University Road will be closed between Innovation Way and Green Dykes Lane on Saturday 11th October from noon. It will re-open at 9pm on Sunday 12th October.

Elsewhere, closures on the Sunday will begin from 6am and will affect roads around the 26.2 mile course. Roads will reopen on a rolling basis, as soon as it is safe to do so.

City centre roads affected by the closures include: Walmgate, Hope Street, Leadmill Lane, Piccadilly, Parliament Street, Blake Street, Duncombe Place, Deangate, Goodramgate and Monkgate.

Most will close from around 9.15am and should be reopened by around 10.30am.

Further out, Heworth Green, Stockton Lane, The Village, Common Lane, Northgate Lane, Holtby Lane, Murton Way, Bad Bargain Lane and Osbaldwick Lane will be among those affected.

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The charities

Participants can run for fun or raise funds for any charity of their choice.

They are particularly encouraged to support the event’s official partner charities, which are: St Leonard’s Hospice, Martin House Children’s Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Parkinson’s UK, The Haven breast cancer support centre, CLIC Sargent, Candlelighters, Sue Ryder Care and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

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TV highlights

Sponsors Plusnet have funded a TV production of the Yorkshire Marathon, which will be screened on Channel 4 on Sunday, October 19 between 9am and 10am.

Dream Team Television’s 50 minute documentary is set to be screened by other broadcasters later in the autumn including BT Sport, Sky Sports and British Eurosport.

“Capturing stories of the individual runners within this splendid backdrop is the recipe for a great TV programme,” said presenter Rob Walker.

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