The streets of the historic city of York were a cavalcade of colour as over 10,000 runners took part in what was the largest Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon Festival to date. Sunday was also the first time the event played host to the British Masters Athletic Federation’s marathon championships, an extra element on what was a great day of both competitive running and fundraising.
Starting at the University of York, the route took the field through the heart of the city and out into villages and country lanes before returning to the university for an electric finish. The race was officially started by the Lord Mayor Councillor Janet Looker and Tony Audenshaw – who plays Bob Hope in ITV soap Emmerdale.
Elite athletes in the race were competing for a total cash prize pot of £10,000 and first across the finish line in 2019 was Mark Buckingham in a time of 2:21:42. Daniel Kestrel clocked 2:24:47 to take second place with Richard Mcdowell finishing third in 2:25:00. The first woman home was Charlene Jacobs-Conradie in 2:46:50, while Sarah Hill recorded 2:52:21 to take second spot with Kate Owens third in 2:55:14.
Over 3100 took part in the accompanying 10 mile race, which saw Queen’s Park Harriers’ Matt Kitching secure first, crossing the line in 53:09. Robert Byers (53:33) and Bryn Smith (53:50) were in second and third respectively. Harrogate Harriers’ Sharon Barlow was the first female in 58:52, followed by Georgina Weston (60:31) and Becky Penty (62:45).
A feature of both events were the world record attempts. Steve Gaughan from the British Royal Legion attempted to be the fastest man to run a marathon dressed as a 3D plant, and what better plant than the Yorkshire white rose. Owen Willis smashed the current record at last year’s Yorkshire Marathon with a time of 4:51:05. Steve crossed the line at 5:07:06, only just missing out on smashing the world record, however Steve raised an incredible £1,100 for York Against Cancer.
Another outstanding world record attempt came from a 40 men Viking boat attempting to be the fastest 40-person costume to complete a marathon. The Yorkshire Marathon Marauders sailed their boat over the finish line with a time of 6:31:16. The team are awaiting confirmation as to whether their attempt was successful.
Tristan Batley-Kyle, head of events at organisers Run For All, said: “The seventh running of the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon was a great success and we are delighted that the event continues to go from strength to strength.
“We would like to thank everyone – the runners, spectators, sponsors, partner organisations, charities and particularly the many volunteers – who have helped make today’s run such a success.”
Entries for the 2020 event are now open, with an early bird price available until Thursday 31 October.