15 January 2008
COUNCIL CHIEFS AGREE TO HOLD LEEDS HALF MARATHON IN 2008
Leeds is set for a busy race calendar this year as council chiefs have now agreed to hold a half marathon in Leeds in September this year.
The decision was made after the overwhelming response by runners in Leeds who expressed their disappointment about the decision to combine the Leeds’ Half Marathon and Jane’s Run for All, and signalled their support for taking part in both events. In fact, since the decision was taken for the Run for All to be held in June this year, it has received a surge of some 1,000 entries.
In the long-term, council events managers will work with Jane’s Appeal and the Leeds 10k management team to look at how to make the September half marathon a truly world-class event.
Cllr John Procter, Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure, said:
"I was invited yesterday by the Scrutiny Board for Leisure and Culture to review the decision not to hold the Leeds Half Marathon in 2008. Having reviewed all the information I remain of the view it would not be appropriate to hold the half marathon in May, only a month apart form the Jane Tomlinson 10K Run for All. I am however delighted to announce the Leeds Half Marathon will be held in September 2008 with the support of the Run For All team.
“We were concerned that holding the half marathon in May so close to the Run for All was not in the best interest of the city. However, we have listened to the overwhelming response from runners and it is clear that there remains a desire for there to be a Leeds Half marathon this year. It was never our intention to end the race event, simply to postpone it this year while we considered it’s long-term future.
“We therefore propose to hold the half marathon event in September 2008, which we feel will provide a more balanced running calendar for the city. We think it is important that we continue to consider the event's long-term future and we will liaise and work with the Jane's Appeal to see how a September event can built and improved on in future years.”
Mike Tomlinson, Jane’s Appeal, said:
"We are pleased to hear that the Leeds Half Marathon will after all take place this year. Leeds has a comprehensive programme of quality events and the Half Marathon fits in well with this programme. It will hopefully continue to attract the full support of the local and wider running community.
“Jane's Appeal, together with the very successful Leeds 10k management team, has agreed to support the council with the 2008 Half Marathon in whatever way we can. We have also expressed an interest and willingness to take on more responsibility for the event as from 2009. We are excited about the prospects of working with the council to help make the event an even more attractive and exciting spectacle and to grow it to a size more befitting such a great city as Leeds."
Registration has already opened for the 2008 Run for All and for further details go to www.runforall.com. Registration details for the Half Marathon will be announced in the coming months.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335