The annual Yorkshire Marathon Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary.


Nadia Sayed (she/her) reports on the 10th anniversary of the Yorkshire Marathon Festival.

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Image by Nadia Sayed

By Nadia Sayed

Sunday, 15 October, marked the tenth anniversary of the Yorkshire Marathon Festival, which has seen runners and supporters travel to York from across the UK.

The Festival made its first appearance in 2013 and has continued to attract thousands of runners. As stated in the Official Yorkshire Marathon Festival Magazine, “over 90,000” runners have participated in the Yorkshire Marathon Festival since 2013, and “over £7.5 million” has been raised for a range of charities.

Whilst the target of hitting a new personal best has motivated some returning runners, other runners are fundraising for charities and honouring the passing of loved family and friends.  In addition to first-time runners, 37 individuals have returned to the York marathon each year since it began, making this their 10th York marathon.

There are several partner charities which the event supports, including York Age UK, York Mind, Macmillan Cancer Support, St Leonard’s Hospice and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. Furthermore, sponsors of the event include, but are not limited to, the University of York, York Sport, BBC Radio York and Arla Protein.

One of the individuals running the Marathon this year is Harvey Gration. Harvey ran to raise funds for Myeloma UK, a type of blood cancer that his father, the late BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration, battled with.

When the Marathon commentator Elly Fiorentini asked how he felt about being at the Festival, Harvey said: “It’s incredible to see so many people here.” He continued: “Two things my Dad loved were Yorkshire and Yorkshire people.”

Harvey fired the starting gun this year, following in the footsteps of his father, Harry, who set off the first firing gun back in 2013 when the Yorkshire Marathon first took place.

Nouse spoke to Issy Wilkie, who was supporting her mum. Issy said: “The training has been really hard for her, but I think she’s enjoyed it.”

Other runners were pleased with the bright and sunny weather, which made for good running conditions.

Alongside the 26-mile race, there was also a wheelchair race, which commenced at 9:25 and a ten-mile race.

According to BBC News, the three women with the fastest marathon times were: Melissah Gibson, Hannah Berry and Jenny Blizard, and the three fastest men were Joe Sagar, Gary Briscoe and Mo Abshir.