Runners finish first Yorks Marathon

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The first runners have crossed the finish line of the first Yorkshire Marathon.

What began as a crisp, sunny morning was threatened by some light drizzle as the runners took their marks at the starting line at the University of York.

But the sky soon cleared, giving way to warm sunshine that showed off the city in all its glory to participants and spectators along a route that took in some of its finest sights.

The first two miles took them from the university to the ancient heart of York through Walmgate, the most complete of the four main medieval gateways to the city, and past the Minster.

Among the crowds gathered outside the Gothic cathedral was Helen Galloway, 39, who was cheering on her brother Peter Downes, 51, with his wife Michelle, 50.

He was raising money for St Leonard’s Hospice in York, where Ms Galloway works as a nurse. Her boss, Emma Johnson, was also running.

Ms Galloway said: “The atmosphere has been fantastic, especially with the sun coming out at last.

“Everyone was clapping and cheering and the runners were all thanking us. Everyone was in really good spirits.”

Mrs Downes added: “It was electric. There were a lot of smiles.”

Mr Downes was hoping to complete the race - his first marathon - in three and a half hours.

“He was certainly up there with the front-runners,” said his sister.

“We’ve got more family along the route to throw him jelly babies so he’ll be fine.”

Elaine Cooper, 44, from Darlington, was also in the city centre cheering on her friend Joanne Todd with Ms Todd’s 15-year-old daughter Anna Wilson.

“I think it’s great that it’s all in the name of Jane Tomlinson,” she said.

“The atmosphere around the Minster was fantastic. It was great to see so many people out.”

The route then headed out of the city centre and out onto country lanes, passing through the villages of Stockton on the Forest, Upper Helmsley and Sand Hutton.

After the halfway point came Stamford Bridge, followed by Holtby, Murton, Osbaldwick and Tang Hall where the finishing line beckoned for the weary racers.

First back at the university was Edwin Korir with a time of two hours, 13 minutes and 31 seconds - minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

The first Yorkshireman across the finish line was City of Leeds running club member Mike Burrett, from Harrogate. The 37-year-old, who works for Betty’s and Taylor’s of Harrogate, finished in seventh place.

Hannah Oldroyd, 26, an energy assessor from Bingley who runs with Saltaire Striders, was the first Yorkshire woman home.