Leeds Half Marathon 2011: Record entry for this year’s event

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thousands of runners are expected to descend on Leeds for the city’s annual half marathon on Sunday.

A record 4,600 participants will take to the streets at 9.30am for the 13.1 mile run around the city.

First to be flagged off from The Headrow by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Jim McKenna, will be 37-year-old wheelchair racer Bret Crossley, from Rothwell, a Leeds City Athletics Club member who is the only wheelchair entrant.

The oldest competitor is 82-year-old John Johnson, who has regularly competed at the event in the past.

The event is organised by Leeds City Council’s sport development unit and sponsored by utility company GDF SUEZ, in association with 96.3 Radio Aire and kit suppliers Up and Running.

The event will raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research, the UK’s largest regional medical research charity.

Last year, the half marathon raised £40,000 for the charity.

Spokeswoman Emma Young said: “We’re really excited about Sunday and can’t wait to cheer on all our runners. Everyone is invited to visit us at our charity tent in Millennium Square on the day and we’re looking forward to congratulating them as they cross the finish line.”

Leeds City Council’s deputy executive member for leisure, Councillor Lisa Mulherin, added: “We are really pleased that this year’s Leeds Half Marathon has attracted a record entry and can’t wait for Sunday.

“The event always generates a wonderful atmosphere and as well as providing a great challenge also generates much-needed funding for a fantastic charity.”

The event includes more than 90 teams of six runners, with runners each completing a section of the 13.1-mile half-marathon course in a relay format.

The finishing line for the race is in Millennium Square.

Young Leeds cancer sufferer Toby Nye gets a ride in a fire engine