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The inaugural ‘Run For All’ Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon held today alongside the Leeds Half marathon saw 8 Eccleshill Road Runners take on the challenge, after months of training some toed the start line with trepidation at their first marathon, some  who must have lost count just how any they have one to date and some nursing injuries but all determined they were going to complete the enormous challenge ahead alongside the greats Kevin Sinfield OBE and Rob Burrow MBE. We all knew it was going to be an emotional day at some point. Those who were honoured to be able to run shoulder to shoulder could not fail to be moved by the sight of Kev pushing Rob around course to then carry him over the finishing line.

Billed as a marathon for everyone, it lived up to it’s reputation as record breaking numbers (over 12000 signed up to take part), reportedly over half of these tackling 26.2 miles for the very first time! This inaugural event marked the first time the City of Leeds has hosted a marathon in twenty years. It’s a biggie, welcoming runners from all corners of the UK and across the world. Receiving support far and wide, the event has reached runners as far as the US, Canada South Africa and China. Starting and finishing at the world renowned Headingley Stadium, the marathon route explored the very best of Leeds. From stunning scenery to the diverse neighbourhoods, runners were cheered along by the great Yorkshire spirit we all know and love. There was plenty lined up to keep them entertained on course, from local music groups to cheer stations. Former Leeds Rhinos player Rob Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019. Since then, Rob and his family have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness and funds to support other families living with MND. The Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon will see participants take on a brand new route and will be a fitting tribute to the city that launched Rob’s career and which he calls home.

This is an event that truly is for everyone, so whether you are an experienced runner or have never thought about running an event before, the organiser’s welcomed all abilities to join them for this very special event. The 26.2-mile circular route started and finished at Headingley Stadium. Runners left the stadium and ran through Hyde Park and Woodhouse Moor towards the city centre before doubling back and going through Headingley and West Park on the Otley Road, beyond the ring road, towards Adel. They then ran north east towards Eccup, before rejoining Otley Road near Bramhope. The route continued to Otley, via Arthington and Pool in Wharfedale. Runners then hit the 17-mile mark in Otley, before returning for the last nine miles along the Leeds and Otley Road back to the stadium. The event was held in support of the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal as well as the MND Association. However, it was also recognised that many participants had their own reasons for taking part. As such, entrants were encouraged to raise money for a charity of their choice, or for one of their partner charities.

The blue and white of Eccleshill Road Runners were out in force today not only to run but also to show their team spirit and support, well done to each and everyone of you but especially the marathoners: Robert Sutton 4:38:08, Sarah Myers 6:05:28, Sarah, Rawlings 6:05:28 (unofficial), Gillian Jago 5:38:47, Mike Farrell 5:11:42, Marc Steele 4:54:57, Annie Kisluk 6:03:10, David Goodyear 5:40:13. 

Photos courtesy of Anne Akers