As a landlocked area, South Yorkshire may not have the sea views of its rivals, but it more than makes up for it in other ways. The area has an abundance of parkland and rural areas to run in as well as easy access to the Peak District.
The metropolitan boroughs of Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley are well known for their industrial heritage but also have a long history of competitive athletics. This is still evident in the 21st century as the region’s biggest city, Sheffield, is home to City of Sheffield AC where Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill started her career.
Nestled at the foot of the Pennines, Sheffield is also the base of the Steel City Striders. We speak to Strider Mick Wall, who explains why the club pride itself on being the ‘friendliest in Sheffield’. Mick also informs us that the city’s abundance of hills is the secret to it producing so many top class runners.
The Steel City Striders organise one of the region’s seasonal favourites, Percy Pud 10K, in December. Another popular race is the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon, which attracted close to 6,000 runners for its second staging this year. Less gruelling distances include the Barnsley 10K in November and the Doncaster Town Centre 5K in July.
It’s not all about competition, though. For a less formal group running environment, Karen Gregory gives us an insight into life at her group Donny Divas. She tells us how she got her colleagues at Doncaster College to believe in themselves and why being a Diva isn’t reserved just to women. For the latest running apparel and equipment, the region is well served with four running stores in Sheffield – Accelerate, Front Runner, Metres to Miles, and Up & Running.
Image: Runners line up at the start of the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon (courtesy Run For All)