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Elite runners to compete in Yorkshire Marathon next month
KENYAN runner John Mutai is joining some of the world’s top athletes in pounding round the streets of York.
The Edinburgh Marathon winner last year, who holds a marathon personal best of two hours 11 minutes 08 seconds, is among the elite names taking part in the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon next month.
They are vying for a prize of £12,000 – the biggest of any UK marathon outside of London.
Mutai, who was victorious in this year’s Lake Annecy Marathon in France, has also been in the top two in three Edinburgh Marathons and in four Belfast Marathons.
He will be joined in the event on Sunday, October 20 by Kenyan compatriot Edwin Kiprop Korir. The 26-year-old finished second in the Zurich Marathon earlier this year and looks to be a considerable prospect.
Home-grown talent includes Paul Marchant, from Leeds, who was the first Yorkshireman home in this year’s London Marathon in 2:27.
The women’s title will be hotly contested by Commonwealth Games silver medallist Helen Cherono Koskei.
The 29-year-old Kenyan, who has a PB of 2:29.33, was second in the Belfast Marathon this year and in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne seven years ago.
The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon will be the first UK race for Ethiopian rising star Tigist Sheni, inset. The 27-year-old ran a 2:32.34 PB to finish third in Zurich – the same position she claimed in 2012.
Sheni comes from the same small town of Bekoji as the Dibaba sisters, Bekele brothers and the Olympic Gold medallist Tiki Gelana.
British hopes will rest with Doncas-ter’s Jocelyn Payne, who has been the UK’s fastest under-23s female over 26 miles for two years.
The flat York streets have made the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon a popular draw, as have the prizes.
The winner of the male and female races will each receive £2,500, with second picking up £1,250. Prizes go down to fifth and there is also a £500 bonus available to the top male and female British finishers.
In addition, there is a £500 bonus for the fastest male finisher under 2:16 and female under 2:35.
Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon event lead Lisa Ashcroft said: “Introducing such an impressive prize structure in our first year reinforces our ambitions to be among the UK’s best marathons.
“That coupled with an exceptionally flat and fast course has led to much interest from elite athletes from Britain and across the world. We’re looking forward to seeing some fast times on race day.”
The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon sold out in just three days following its launch in January. Entries have flooded in from across the UK, France, the Netherlands, Canada, the USA and even the Caribbean.
The marathon is being run by a new organisation under the Jane Tomlinson events umbrella – the legacy of the late Yorkshire fundraiser and campaigner who raised almost £2million for charity via a series of endurance challenges, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Elite athletes who have not already secured their place can still apply. To be eligible, men must have achieved a sub-2:24 time and women sub-2:50 in the last two years.
To apply, athletes or their agents should send a race CV including their name, date of birth and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
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