Video: Crowds inspire 2013 Jane Tomlinson Leeds Half Marathon runners

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CHEERING crowds inspired thousands of runners to go the extra mile during the Jane Tomlinson Leeds Half Marathon.

More than 6,000 people took part in the sell-out event, with runners set to raise thousands of pounds for a string of charities.

The start of the race.

The start of the race.

And hundreds more joined in the junior and fun run events, including youngsters who have undergone operations at the children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

Anne-Marie Sheard’s five-year-old son Isaac, who had a heart operation at the unit just ten weeks ago, was one of 23 youngsters taking part in the one-mile fun run to raise cash for the Save our Surgery campaign.

Mrs Sheard, of Ackworth near Pontefract, said: “The turnout is fantastic. Lots of people cheered us on, the event is a real credit to Leeds.”

Also taking part was six-year-old Toby Lancaster, who underwent heart surgery in 2009.

His mum Joanne, of Stanley, Wakefield, said: “I think its fantastic everybody has come together to show their support for a unit we know is safe and sustainable.”

Yorkshire County Cricket Club opening batsman Alex Lees ran the half marathon in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The charity helped care for his father Simon, who died of cancer aged 47 in May 2011.

Also running were Alex’s grandmother Margot Dale, brother Tom, 24, and cousins Josh Chapman, 25, and Polly Chapman, 18.

Alex said: before the run: “I’m apprehensive, but it will be good fun.”

England Rugby Union coach Stuart Lancaster, of Headingley, took part in the mini run event. He said: “It’s brilliant to get up on a Sunday morning and see so may people here in Leeds. The city of Leeds always put on great events, this is another one of them.”

The oldest runner in the half marathon was John Johnson, 84, of Garforth. He completed the course in a time of 2 hrs and 17 mins.

The event was organised for the second year by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All.

Last year’s event raised around £150,000 for charity - five times more than it had ever brought in before.

Run For All is part of the Jane Tomlinson’s For All Events umbrella.

Jane’s daughter Rebecca, 25, who ran in the Jane Tomlinson Leeds Half Marathon, said: “The turnout is great. I have never seen so many people at a half marathon before.”

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