History was made in Yorkshire on Sunday as the White Rose County hosted the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. The hotly-anticipated race drew in a field of almost 4,000 runners and saw Kenyan Edwin Korir secure a convincing victory in a time of 2:13:31.
The event had attracted considerable interest immediately after its launch with entry levels increased twice to keep up with demand. The flat and fast course took runners through the historic city of York and along a picturesque 26.2 mile route, which started and finished at the University of York.
Setting a quick early pace, Korir was matched by John Mutai for the first 15 miles. Korir, however proved to have the far stronger finish of the two and crossed the line more than 7 minutes ahead of Mutai (2:20:35), with Tomas Abyu securing third position (2:22:23). Korir's time meant he received £2,500 for first place, plus an additional £500 for finishing under 2:16.
In the women's field, Helen Koskei took top place with a time of 2:40:06. Koskei was followed by two British runners in Holly Rush and Philippa Taylor who finished in 2:46:26 and 2:49:11 respectively.
The event was staged by a new organisation under the Jane Tomlinson charitable events umbrella. Despite only being in its first year, the event is expected to raise between £1.3 and £1.6 million for charity.
Jane's daughter, Rebecca, completed the marathon in a PB time of 3:23:49, and was greeted by her father, Mike, as she crossed the finishing line at the University of York. Rebecca, who wore bib number 1, commented: "It has been fantastic, and I have loved every minute and I will be doing it again. I just wanted to do my best and enjoy it, but to complete it in a personal best makes it even better."
Mike said he was delighted with the inaugural event, commenting: "In all the time I've been going to events - or organising them - this was by far the best event I have ever been at. I hope that we have put on an event that the whole of Yorkshire can be proud of and that will continue to flourish over the years. What started as one person's dying wish to run a marathon has turned into a celebration for 6,100 others today."