BBC Look North's Harry Gration up for York Marathon challenge
10:36am Tuesday 15th January 2013 in News
TELEVISION presenter and journalist Harry Gration has spoken of his determination to take part in York’s first marathon, which he said will be “an incredible thing for the city”.
Look North presenter and York resident Harry – who helped to launch the marathon – said he has started his training regime and would work with a personal trainer ahead of October’s race, which will take in the city and the surrounding villages.
Harry, who twice ran the London marathon in the 1980s, said he was extremely proud the event would be in York.
“The reason I’m doing it is that I think this is an incredible thing for the city,” he said.
“To have thousands of people running a route around the most beautiful part of the country bar none will give a real buzz to the city ahead of the Tour de France, which will be sensational.
“I love York and I’m very proud of the council on this occasion for endorsing it, it couldn’t have been achieved without them getting behind it because it is a disruption.
“You are talking about people who are going to take six, seven, even eight hours to complete it so you are going to have disruption all over the county.
“I think the success of this will come from the public of York because they will be asked to become the games makers if you like, the marathon run makers, and they will be great.
“If you have ever run the Jane Tomlinson 10k race you will know their enthusiasm keeps you going along the run.”
Harry said that while his fitness levels were much improved since he underwent a serious operation in 2011, he would be training steadily and with medical advice.
He said: “I did have a major operation about 15 months ago which was very serious and it depends whether my doctors think I’m up for it.
“And it also depends on the level of training I do. I think that’s the key to it.
“I had a good portion of my stomach removed which makes life a challenge at times.
“But the fitness side of it has been good, because I am running fairly regularly. My legs are not as strong as they used to be, and I have lost a lot of weight.
“It took me a while to get back into things.
“I didn’t do a run for probably nine months after the operation and I’m someone who went out fairly regularly as well, at least twice a week. I’m now running regularly and I have to up the ante significantly.
“I’m determined to do it. I really am determined to do it and unless I get another problem illness-wise I hope to be in the starting block on October 20 as one of the elite runners,” he joked.
The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon – organised under the Jane Tomlinson’s For All Events umbrella – is part of a fundraising legacy to Jane, who raised almost £2m for charity by tackling endurance challenges despite having incurable cancer.
People who want to be put on a waiting list for the marathon should register their details at theyorkshiremarathon.com