Some were marathon veterans keen to post a good time but many of those lining up on the start line were motivated by a desire to help others or had their own inspirational stories to tell as they grimaced through the pain determined to cross the finish line.
There were scenes of pride at the end as the runners, some staggering with exhaustion others smiling widely as the impact of what they had achieved hit home, completed their 26.2 mile personal journey.
Elated family members, friends they had made along the journey and well-wishers threw their arms around one another in celebration of what had been achieved.
The race got off to a foggy start but runners came prepared for the conditions. One Angus Thompson, from Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees, wore a furry Viking helmet to keep the cold out, “Its a bit of fun,” he said.
Former England Rugby Union captain Matt Dawson, who started the race, said the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon capped off a great year for Yorkshire which has also seen it host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. “It’s been a brilliant, brilliant year,” he said.
Crowds loudly cheered on the runners. Sandra Armitage, who lives in Selby, was cheering on her son Michael Armitage, who was taking part. “They have got such courage,” she said of the runners.
The event provides a huge boost for charities with many runners wearing vests emblazoned with the names of the charity they were supporting on their vests. Other runners opted for last standard running gear with one dressed as the grim reaper.
The first male elite athlete over the line was Kenyan Boniface Kiprop Kongin in a time of 2:13:59 just outside the course record of 2:13:31 held by Kenya’s Edwin Korir.
This year, 7,000 runners took part in the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon dedicated to the memory of Jane Tomlinson, from Rothwell, Leeds, who raised almost £2m for charity by tackling a number of epic challenges despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
It is staged by Marathon Yorkshire Ltd, the sister company to Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All, which runs a number of other events including the Leeds 10k.
Places for this year’s event sold out in record time and runners are being urged to sign up early for next year’s event. The date has already been set and will take place on October 11. A priority pre-sale list is now open at www.theyorkshiremarathon.com
Yesterday Mike Tomlinson, Jane Tomlinson’s widower said: “The aim is always to try and get more people running and make it a bigger event.”
Teams also ran in the Northern Gas Networks Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay running in stages.
The race is staged by Marathon Yorkshire Ltd, the sister company to Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All, which runs other events including the Leeds 10k. Places for this year’s marathon sold out in record time, and runners are being urged to sign up early for 2015 when the race will take place on October 11. A priority pre-sale list is at www.theyorkshiremarathon.com