Video: Runners take to streets for Leeds Half Marathon

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Thousands of runners transformed the city centre into a blaze of colour as they pounded the pavements for the biggest-ever Leeds Half Marathon.

Cheering crowds inspired a record 7,000 runners to go the extra mile around the challenging 13.1 mile course.

Runners came from as far away as the US, India and Hong Kong to take part in the race which set off from The Headrow.

Famous faces taking part yesterday were former Leeds United star Danny Mills, Leeds Rhinos legend Barrie McDermott and England rugby union coach Stuart Lancaster.

And before the race was officially started the city centre paused for a minute’s silence in memory of tragic Leeds teacher Ann Maguire.

Mrs Maguire, 61, died after she was stabbed in the classroom of Corpus Christi Catholic College in Halton Moor nearly two weeks ago. The Spanish teacher, who taught and inspired generations of families across the city, was a supporter of race organisers Run For All - the group that works to continue the fundraising legacy of the late Leeds cancer heroine Jane Tomlinson.

Run For All’s Vicki Robinson said: “We felt it would only be appropriate to hold a minute’s silence before the event. Ann was a friend of Run For All and helped to volunteer at Leeds 10k and support the school team at Corpus Christi who often took part in junior runs.”

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, councillor Tom Murray, set the runners on their way after spectators and athletes cheered following the poignant pause.

Coun Murray said: “It was a solemn moment at the start and it was very respectful.”

First over the line at the YEP-backed event was Tesfaye Debele who completed the course in just over one hour and eight minutes - three minutes ahead of the next runner.

And the first woman to cross the finish line was Pauline Munroe who was just 11 minutes behind the overall race winner.

Former Leeds United and England star Danny Mills crossed the finish line in one hour and 31 minutes.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Leeds is my adopted home town and there were 7,000 people running through its streets today. The support has been brilliant and it makes such a difference and it just drags you around.”




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