THOUSANDS of runners have pounded the pavements and streets in and around York today for the 2019 Yorkshire Marathon.

Many have been running for charity, others for personal goals, each one cheered on by supportive spectators lining the route.

Now in its seventh year, the event started and finished at the University of York with a mass warm-up in University Road.

There was also a minute's applause to remember lost loved ones, including Sean Coxhead, from Holgate, York, who died from bladder cancer in September.

The 37-year-old took on the Yorkshire Marathon last year, in spite of his illness, and had raised more than £21,000 for Macmillan before his death.

The wheelchair racers were the first to set off just before 9.30am, followed closely by the pack of runners, with elite athletes leading the way as they competed for a total cash prize pot of £10,000.

Bret Crossley won the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon Wheelchair race clocking a time of 1hr 58mins and 20 seconds.

The top three males to cross the finish line were: First place, Mark Buckingham in 2hrs 21mins and 42 secs, second place went to Daniel Kestrel in a time of 2hrs 24mins and 47secs, and third was Richard McDowell in 2hrs and 25 mins. 

The top three females were Charlene Jacobs-Conradie with a time of 2hrs 46mins 50secs, followed by Sarah Hill clocking a time of 2hrs 52mins 21secs and third place went to Kate Owens with a time of 2hrs 55mins and 14secs.  

Fun runners in elaborate costumes drew some of the loudest cheers during the day.

Among them was a group of men and women attempting to set a new Guinness World Record - by running the Yorkshire Marathon in an enormous 85ft long Viking boat costume.

The stunt was organised by Shipton-by-Beningbrough-based events company Rat Race Adventure Sports.

Rat Race founder Jim Mee wanted to set a new Guinness World Record for ‘fastest marathon in a 40-person costume’, with eight and a half hours being the time to beat.

The vessel weighs around 250kg. Because of its length, one of the biggest challenges was trying to negotiate the marathon’s tight corners.

In true Viking style they roared their appreciation whenever a spectator put money in their collections buckets.

Before the race, Jim said: "The group of 40 runners are packed closely together in the boat, which means they can’t see any obstacles that might be lurking underneath their feet.

“Speedbumps and potholes are going to be a real hurdle and the team needs to be in constant dialogue with each other to spot the hazards.

“Meanwhile there are a couple of really tight corners in the Yorkshire Marathon.

“Our turning circle is the opposite of brilliant, so again it’ll require real teamwork and group cooperation to get through the course successfully.

“It’s going to be an epic day!”

The boat itself was built by York craftsman Steve Popple and features a lightweight metal frame inside a plywood exterior.

Jim and the Rat Race team hope to raise around £10,000 for their partner charity - Children With Cancer UK.

The event is now an established highlight on the region’s running calendar, and the addition four years ago of the Asda Foundation Yorkshire 10 Mile proved such a success, it attracted more than 4,000 entries this year.

This festival of running was completed by the Yorkshire Marathon Relay, which attracted 97 teams all keen to be crowned the region’s fastest firm.

The challenge split the 26.2 miles into six legs of between three and six miles, making it accessible to runners of all abilities. The event is open to companies, sports clubs, groups of friends and other organisations.

Matthew Evans was the first of his team of six runners in the Cooper & Hall relay team from Tadcaster, and said he was feeling apprehensive about his 4.8-mile stint. “I have been injured for the last six weeks.”

Representing Benenden Health relay teams, in the starting block, were Dora Kolacsek, David Waiting and Chris Smith-Kirk.

Popular spectator points included Dunnington where supporters could see runners pass twice as they headed to the turning point in Murton and then returned for their final seven miles.

This year's event which has been an annual sell-out since its 2013 launch attracted runners from across the UK and abroad, with 23 countries represented, including Canada, Italy, Norway, Hong Kong, Thailand, France, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Portugal and Australia.


More than 7,000 people entered this year which is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity - 23 of those were running on their birthdays.

Thousands more took part in the Yorkshire 10 Mile.

This year’s Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon also played host to the British Masters Athletic Federation’s 2019 Marathon Championships, which for the past two years have been held at Chester.

Ollie Cook, a 28-year-old joiner from New Earswick, was running for St Leonard's Hospice.

“My granddad passed away last year and St Leonard’s really looked after him," he told The Press. "I have raised over £4,000. I’ve had some big donations; people have been really kind. This is my first time doing this. I have been training hard and I am aiming for four hours.”

Teresa Kay had travelled from Sheffield to take part and was raising funds for the Makeni Trust Fund to support a clinic in Sierra Leone for pregnant women and children who can’t afford to go to hospital.

“My target was £450 and, as from this morning, I’ve reached £720. I just need to get around it now!”

The Yorkshire Marathon is staged under the umbrella of Jane Tomlinson's Run For All, the not-for-profit organisation behind the Asda Foundation 10K Series along with half marathons in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Derby.

These events, along with the marathon, stand as part of the lasting legacy of the late fundraiser and campaigner Jane Tomlinson who raised almost £2 million for charity by tackling a series of epic challenges, including cycling more than 4,000 miles across America, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

Mandy Hepworth, Asda Foundation coordinator, said: “The colour, excitement, friendliness and outstanding atmosphere of the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon make it a wonderful event to experience, whether you’re a runner or a spectator."

Tristan Batley-Kyle, Yorkshire Marathon event manager, said: “It’s been wonderful to see the Yorkshire Marathon grow into such a high-profile event, attracting runners from across the UK and abroad.”

The marathon's official partner charities are the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Macmillan Cancer Support, Candlelighters, Alzheimer’s Society, Martin House Children’s Hospice, St Leonard’s Hospice, St Gemma’s Hospice, Children’s Air Ambulance and Mind Leeds and York.