Leeds Half Marathon

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23/05/2007 at 14:14
Malvern, that should be fun, Just did the Hereford one this last week. nearly as hilly as Leeds but 3 mins quicker
05/01/2008 at 21:43


From: <a href="mailtoport.Development@leeds.gov.uk" title="blocked::mailtoport.Development@leeds.gov.uk Sport.Development@leeds.gov.uk">Sport.Development@leeds.gov.uk</a>

Thank you for your enquiry.The Half Marathon will not be taking place in 2008, as we will be supporting the Jane Tomlinson 10k Run for All that will be taking place in June.  

We will be carrying out a consultation exercise next year for the holding of the Leeds Half Marathon in future years. If you needed any more information please don't hesitate to contact us.


Kind Regards

Sushma Bachra

07/01/2008 at 10:56

It's an absolute shocker that the Leeds half appears not to be happening in 2008. 2000 finishers last year and 141 relay teams, so it's clearly not down to problems with numbers. Did the 2 events not live together quite happily in 2007? Or is it that the residents of Leeds can't cope with the ring road being down to just one lane for a bit one Sunday morning as well as the city centre being restricted twice?

A city the size of Leeds not hosting any kind of half-marathon sets a bit of worrying precedent if you ask me - I know it's not the prettiest of runs, but I've always enjoyed the mingle in Millenium Square before hand and it'll be a shame that looks like disappearing. With the Kirkstall 10K also falling foul of the authorities, the future looks bleak for road races in Leeds, unless they're attached to charities...

08/01/2008 at 09:53

Right. Time to rant. And as I'm hopping mad you may have to excuse any uconstructive rubbish!!!!

I found out about this a while ago but I kept my mouth shut so the lady who told me didn't get into trouble!

I see no reason why the Half Marathon cannot go ahead apart from the ineptitude of the council. I compeletely agree Lee that a city like Leeds not hosting a half (and in fact a county of such wonderful sporting heritage such as Yorkshire) is worrying. And frankly a disgrace. The Abbey Dash (which I have done several times) is disorganised and overpriced. There are far better ten k's for much less. The Jane Tomlinson, although I won't be running it myself, is for a great cause but as others have said esentially a fundraiser. I would argue that really the half and the Jane Tomlinson are attracting different crowds anyway.

I should also point out that I am a Kirkstall Harrier and, as Lee rightly points out, we have also lost our race (though we are planning an alternative and I'll keep you posted). There was very little we could do without potentially upsetting the various authorities and never having another race in any form again. There are all sorts of rumours about other races in Yorkshire. 

I am however going to write to the local paper about this as I'm so bl00dy annoyed. And it bu££ers up my race plans for this year!!!!!

There are a hell of a lot of running clubs and individuals in this county who put a hell of a lot into this sport and have supported local events like this for many years. Surely we deserve better than this? 

08/01/2008 at 10:40

Totally agree with both previous posters.

I have contacted Sport Develpoment at Leeds City Council and John Procter, the councillor who is Executive Member for Leisure to ask for further details and also feel tempted to write to the paper.

This was my first half last year and was really looking forward to trying to improve my time.

Leeds not having a half is a scandal..

08/01/2008 at 12:57
Shocked this one wasn't going ahead. Done it for the past few years and really enjoyed it. I knwo last year a few residents complained about the mess of water bottles left on Stonegate Road - one man complained that they were still there after an hour. Its a shame as a lot of people raise a lot of moeny for charity for this one. I have emailed the sports people at Leeds as well to see if can get any more information. Been training to to get time for this one under two hours, so close at the moment!!!
08/01/2008 at 14:20

I,m another one thats shocked as well, Leeds ranks as one of my favourite half marathons i have always enjoyed the way you have  to graft for the first 6 miles or so and then you can up the pace on the second part where its downhill and flat.

I hope the council will get their act together and bring it back for 2009, it would be a shame if its lost forever.

09/01/2008 at 14:07

See tonight's Yorkshire Evening Post or visit


The third paragraph is a link that enables you to email the Evening Post.

Please contact your fellow club members and training partners

4 months is plenty of time to organise a race - it's not as though they're starting from scratch!

Bob (23 Leeds marathons or half marathons)

09/01/2008 at 15:05

Thanks for the link Bob and well said.

I have sent an email to Sports Development and a letter (with the same content) to my local councillor. And will comment add my comments also via this link.

I will also be enlisting the help of my club members later after our run (Kirkstall) and perhaps write a mass letter.

I really think all runners in the area and all clubs in the area should get together on this one. How much support we'll get I don't know. Some people are happy to let these things happen without a fight and moan about it later. I'm not one of those people!

09/01/2008 at 15:27

Really disappointed about this. I participated in the relay last year, really enjoyed it and had planned to make this year's HM my first half. Found out a few days ago that it was not to be - becase of the Run for All and the council not wanting to close the city centre for 2 Sundays.

Terrible decision. I can undestand the support given to the Jane Tomlinson event, she was an inspiration and what she did for charity was phenomenal. But to completely cancel the longer running HM in favour of this really is a shame

 It might be a good idea to organise another HM event in Leeds this year - maybe later on in the year (say, September/October) to avoid closing the city centre on 2 Sundays so close together.

(obviously I'm also saying this for some selfish reasons as I'm now doing the Sheffield HM in April and the London 10,000 in May )

09/01/2008 at 17:02

My reply from Sports Development - I am still waiting for a reply from Councillor Procter but I am sure it will be basically the same

I have also emailed the YEP - I agree with Bob and Stoxy  - we should fight this


Dear Stephen,

Many thanks for your email regarding the Leeds Half Marathon and your comments have been noted.  The decision to cancel the Leeds Half Marathon in 2008 was due to several reasons, the main one being that the City Council will be focussing our resources on the Jane Tomlinson 10k 'Run for All' that will be taking place in June.  This year it is anticipated that 12,000 people will enter the 'Run for All' ensuring we are a City that hosts one of the largest 10k events in the Country.  There are also many issues that arise out of the road closures for the event that were also included within the decision.

We will be carefully reviewing any public feedback received so that we can consider the options of holding a half marathon race in 2009 to ensure that any future decision on the long-term proposals for the race are taken in the context of feedback received from all parties concerned.

If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards

Sara Birkinshaw
Principal Sports Development Officer
John Charles Centre for Sport
Middleton Grove
LS11 5DJ
0113 3950166

'Working Together To Get Leeds Active'

10/01/2008 at 00:58

What an appalling decision by the jokers at the council. Although the JT "Run for all" 10k is a very worthwile event it cannot replace the half-marathon.

Leeds half-mara was the first race I did and it was the goal I needed to start running. Completing a half-mara gives a real sense of achievment to a beginner after months of training, unlike a "fun" 10k which most reasonably fit people can do with minimal preparation. 

I'll be protesting about this and also about the 'Working Together To Get Leeds Active'  motto which, after this decision is just laughable. 


A pi$$ed off Browneye.

10/01/2008 at 10:57


Comments here.
Lets let the council know how we feel!

And yes their motto is laughable in the light of this decision.

10/01/2008 at 11:43

I think the problem goes deeper here than one of simply wanting to support one race over another. As stoxy points out there are problems regarding police support and road closures for all races in the West Yorkshire region. My own club has had police refusing to support our annual road race (and Yorkshire championship). They say that we have to apply for an official road closure from Highways. Highways say we need to deal with the police. With no police sanction we are unlikely to get a permit. Negotiations continue but 4 months after we started them we seem no further forward. 'Sport for all'? Looks  like sport for large, expensive races run by profit  making organisations and charities to me.

Leeds 1/2 was my first ever race and got me into running after 20 years as a football playing smoker. Deplorable decision by Leeds City Council.

10/01/2008 at 11:48
I’ve been a supporter of the Leeds Half Marathon having completed it in 2006 and 2007, I also supported and completed Jane Run for All if only to support Jane Appeal, Both event were well organised  but are completely different with the 10K more of a Fun Run than a sporting event and to use Jane Thomlinson's memory in an effort to gain support for the coucil decsion to cancel the Half Marathon is disgusting. The half Marathon also trully was a run for all event with the mini marathon and the team challenge, kids were able to particiapate in the mini marathon event, how will the ‘combined’ 10K event being staged this year include this group I suspect money has a lot to do with this decsion and last year we saw at least one local clubs running their last 10K race because the police would not provide the support to police the event, we will end up losing all our local events if we do not make a stand now and protest to the council to reinstate the Leeds Half Marathon
10/01/2008 at 12:08


I took the liberty of starting a new thread to get more attention.

I quite agree that if we sit down and take it now how many more events will we lose.

10/01/2008 at 12:26

Claudibird"(obviously I'm also saying this for some selfish reasons as I'm now doing the Sheffield HM in April and the London 10,000 in May )"

Same here!

Thanks for the links Bob & Stoxy.  Would be a good idea if anyone attached to a club raised the issue at their next club meeting.  Mass letters from clubs would have more impact maybe?  (Not that individuals shouldn't write too).

10/01/2008 at 12:27
I raised the issue last night at ours and we are going to see about "clubbing " together (pun intended).
10/01/2008 at 12:58

So much for a healthy start to 2008!

Having both run and marshalled the event, I know how popular it was with both runners and spectators, not to mention the impact it has for local businesses. The city centre on Sunday mornings is usually dead but this event brings thousands to Leeds, many of whom stay for the weekend, raising the city's profile nationally and even internationally.

This is such a short-sighted decision, and one taken with no attempt at all by the City Council to consult local clubs who might have been able to help move the event to a different date or suggest other solutions. I'm a member of Abbey Runners and our committee is planning our reaction too.

10/01/2008 at 13:29
This is such an important even to Leeds, not only by promoting the City, but also to the thousand of club and independent runners and the many supported charities.  But good old Leeds City Council have done it again and cancelled this well attended event without any consultation or putting forward an alternative date or venue. How come Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and even Blackpool can manage to put on more than one running even at different times of the year. That’s Leeds for you, well done to the council, last place again! Patrick A Barrett

Valley Striders, Leeds

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