With a blend of the architectural splendour of York Minster, delightful country villages and picture perfect Yorkshire countryside, the Yorkshire Marathon is doing its best to put the old saying 'it’s grim up North' firmly to bed.
As the next staging of the event nears (Sunday 14 October), a preview of the 26.2 mile route re-emphasises the great job Run For All have done to construct such a fascinating route.
Runners leave the University of York, which was the Times Higher Education University of the Year in 2010, and then head off to York's historic city centre. They will then enter the ancient heart of York through Walmgate, the most complete of the four main medieval gateways to the city.
Just ahead of the two mile marker at Monk Bar – which boasts the city’s only working portcullis – competitors will pass the splendid York Minster. The minster's Great East Window has the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.
Moving through miles 8-14, competitors will encounter the distinctive Victorian gothic-style, Holy Trinity Church, the ancient village of Upper Helmsley, and, at the mid-point of the race, Stamford Bridge, home to one of the loudest spectator points on the route.
At Murton Turning Point a welcome boost is provided by cheering spectators. You might even get a chance to high five the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu who supports runners in full regalia at this point.
Runners then cross the A64 and begin the journey back. The remaining two miles will see competitors enter Osbaldwick, which can trace its roots back to the 11th century, before the grand finish back at the campus of the University of York.
If this route captures your imagination, charity entries for the Yorkshire Marathon are still open.