The decision to move the Great Yorkshire Run to Harrogate to celebrate the event’s tenth anniversary turned out to be fitting as around 3,000 runners made their way to the scenic spa town on Sunday (24 July). The race was organised in conjunction with Harrogate Harriers & Athletic Club, who have staged a 10K event in the town for 30 years.
The field lined up on Montpellier Hill before passing the sights of the Valley Gardens, the highly acclaimed Royal Horticultural Society's Harlow Carr Gardens and the Stray on the beautiful 10km route. Runners passed RHS Harlow Carr Gardens before returning back to the Montpellier Quarter to cross the finish line to cheering crowds that were gathered on the grassland.
A whole host of stars from ITV's Emmerdale were in attendance, including Matthew Wolfenden, Eden Taylor-Draper, Chris Chittell and Tony Audenshaw. The award winning soap has its studios in the nearby Harewood Estate, which is just a stone's throw away from Harrogate town centre. Runners were set on their way by Britain's most famous WI members, The Calendar Girls, who were the event's honorary starters.
Leeds City AC’s Jason Cherriman headed the field with a winning time of 32:55, with Joe Sagar (33:53) in second place with Tristan Learoyd following in third with 34:04. With strong ties to the town, Jason was a fitting winner: “It's a real honour to win the event on the first time that it's been staged in Harrogate. My family all live in the town and I come back here regularly so it's a really good feeling.”
In the women’s competition, Sharon Barlow claimed a comfortable victory in 37:10, almost three minutes ahead of Ruth Jones (40:02), with Rhona Haslam third (41:28).
John Mayock, of The Great Run Company, reflected on the commemorative event: “Harrogate has a great reputation for hosting successful cultural and sporting events. This year is the 10th staging of the Great Yorkshire Run and it is fitting that the event has moved to a world-famous town to celebrate such a huge milestone.”