Big-hearted runners tackle Harewood House Half Marathon

Runners set off on the Harewood House Half Marathon

Runners set off on the Harewood House Half Marathon

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RUNNERS negotiated a tough course in a stunning setting at the second British Heart Foundation Harewood House Half Marathon.

They took on the challenge of completing 13.1 miles across muddy off-road tracks and steep forest inclines in Harewood’s picturesque grounds at today’s event.

The British Heart Foundation hopes to raise £50,000 from runners’ sponsorship to help fund the charity’s lifesaving research into heart disease.

Among the 1,400 runners were two Headingley Wheatfields Hospice managers fundraising in memory of their fathers, who both died after suffering heart disease.

Julie Marshall-Pallister, 51, of Pool-in-Wharfedale, lost her father Philip Marshall two days after his 50th birthday in 1989.

Lorraine Hunt’s father Frank Medd, a retired Kirkstall Forge engineer from Burmantofts, died aged 69 in 2009.

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Mrs Hunt, 51, of Bramhope, said: “The course was hard, it’s very hilly but it is a really beautiful place, the scenery is absolutely stunning.

“The atmosphere was really good as there was a great sense of camaraderie. Even if you don’t know each other, people just help you along.

“Lots of people were cheering us and the marshalls were brilliant, they were really enthusiastic and push you along as you are going past.”

Helen Wright, regional event orgainser for the British Heart Foundation, said: “The weather was brilliant and we had about 700 spectators at the event

Race winner Martin Proctor from York

Race winner Martin Proctor from York

“All the runners got round in one piece to raise lots of money for the British Heart Foundation. There were around 40 volunteers who helped out as baggage and route marshalls. And the British Heart Foundation Community Fundraising Group came along and sold cakes to raise more money.”

The first man to finish was Martin Proctor in one hour 17 minutes and 28 seconds. Rhiannon Parsons was the first woman with a time of one hour 36 minutes and 34 seconds.

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