The Morrisons Great Yorkshire Run will bring a festival of running to Sheffield city centre this Sunday with more than 6000 runners expected to take part. Re-commencing their friendly rivalry will be Yorkshire and Lancashire, who will both be vying to take top spot in the annual War of the Roses competition.
Starting on Arundel Gate in the heart of the city, the 10k route takes runners through West Bar and into Shalesmoor, carrying along Penistone Road and Owlerton, before reaching the halfway point at Hillsborough Stadium. The final 5k returns along Penistone Road, past Ponds Forge and up to the finish line on Arundel Gate, where thousands of families and spectators will be cheering on.
After battling their opponents in the online vote, two inspirational fundraisers have now been chosen as county captains for the War of the Roses clash, with Richard Hayes and Ben Ashworth representing Yorkshire and Lancashire respectively.
Yorkshire captain Richard is known as the Mohican Runner, due to the unique haircut that he has sported during his charity challenges that have seen him raise thousands of pounds for charities such as the NSPCC. In his latest challenge, the Sheffield-born runner will spend the next 52 weeks racing at least one event per week to raise money for The Children's Hospital Charity.
Ben Ashworth, from Preston, has raised an incredible amount of money for various charities. Diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2012, he committed to running 6 marathons in 6 months last year, and has since completed 17.
This month he completed the national 3 peaks challenge, cycling the 450 mile distance between each mountain.
He said: “I'm overjoyed to be the Lancashire captain for the Morrisons Great Yorkshire Run. It means even more, because the readers of my local paper, the Lancashire Evening Post voted for me. I'm a very proud Lancastrian and when the t-shirt arrived with the red rose of Lancashire and the words ‘County Captain' on the back I got goose bumps. I can't wait to get out there and represent my county on Sunday!”
Sheffield has established itself as a city boasting a hotbed of musical talent, with local bands motivating runners along the 10k. This Sunday live music will take place in the Peace Gardens, with Carmen Ghia and the Hot Rods opening the stage for the second year running.