Runners go the distance for heart disease in a bid to raise £70,000

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a sea of colour poured through one of Yorkshire’s most picturesque estates as 
the inaugural Harewood 
House Half Marathon got under way.

Supporters cheered as 1,000 fitness fans, many of them running in memory of loved ones, tackled the 13.1 mile 
course through the grounds 
of the stately home near 
Leeds.

Runners setting off on thier cross country event.

Runners setting off on thier cross country event.

And as well as getting their own tickers pumping, the determined runners were also helping hearts around the nation, with organisers hoping the event would raise around £70,000 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Helen Wright, regional event organiser for the BHF, said the race had been a great success and would definitely be returning to Harewood again next year.

“It went really, really well. It’s the only half marathon at Harewood House and it’s a great venue.”

She added: “A lot of people were out there running for people who they have lost to heart disease – they had back signs to say who they were running in memory of. It was an emotional day.”

Runners started and finished in front of the majestic house and made their way through the grounds, which are home to the set of Yorkshire soap Emmerdale.

Married couple Chris and Christina Singleton, from Colne, in Lancashire, were the fastest man and woman to cross the finish line.

Mr Singleton completed the hilly course in 1hr 23min 26sec while his wife finished in 1hr 37min 06sec. The couple, who have three children, said they were delighted to take the joint top spot on the podium.

Mr Singleton added: “It was a really good setting and there was good support out on the course, which always helps when you’re really shattered.”

The money raised will help fund research into coronary heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer.

Runners are urged to return all sponsorship money as quickly as possible. And anyone with excess energy is encouraged to sign up for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on July 11.