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Thousands turn out in Harrogate for Great Yorkshire Run

Great Yorkshire Run

Published at 5:05pm 24th July 2016. (Updated at 5:10pm 24th July 2016)

Nearly 3,000 runners have taken part in the first Great Yorkshire Run to be held in Harrogate.

The 10K route, which started and finished on Montpellier Hill, included Valley Gardens, RHS Garden Harlow Carr and the Stray.

Club runners, fun runners and fundraisers were joined by TV stars including Matthew Wolfenden, Eden Taylor-Draper, Chris Chittell and Tony Audenshaw from Emmerdale.

Laura Aikman, Matt Kennard, Gruffudd Glyn, Ray MacAllan, Andy Knott, Ruth Gibson, Dave Atkins and Aneirin Hughes also took on the challenge.

All celebrity runners are supporting Bloodwise, the official charity of the Great Yorkshire Run - Harrogate.

Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard in Emmerdale, said: "The Great Yorkshire Run has come to such a lovely town like Harrogate for the first time and these fantastic courses are what keep Bloodwise runners returning year after year.

"The atmosphere is amazing and people really make a day of it as well.

"We are supporting Bloodwise, the charity that helps people with blood cancer, and it's so important to keep spreading the word to raise awareness to beat this disease.

"We will not stop until blood cancer has been eradicated!"

Britain's most famous WI members, the Calendar Girls, were the event's honorary starters.

The ladies bared all in a charity calendar and have raised millions of pounds for Bloodwise.

The Great Yorkshire Run - Harrogate is sponsored by Masham brewery T&R Theakston and organisers also teamed up with Harrogate Harriers & Athletic Club which previously staged the Harrogate Town Centre 10K and provided over 50 volunteers to help at the event.

The first male runner across the finish line was Jason Cherriman, who sprinted home in a time of 32:55, swiftly followed by Joe Sagar in 33:53 and then Tristan Learoyd in 34:04.

Jason, who is part of Leeds City AC and originally from Harrogate, said: "It's a real honour to win the event on the first time that it's been staged in Harrogate. My family all live in the town and I come back here regularly, so it's a really good feeling.

"The course was tough but a good challenge and very worthwhile to be able to say I came first!"

In the women’s race, Sharon Barlow claimed victory in 37:10, ahead of Ruth Jones who crossed the line in 40:02.

Third place was taken by Rhona Haslam in 41:28.

Sharon, who is from Northern Ireland and runs with Darlington Harriers, said: "I am really surprised with that result, it's amazing to be the first woman across the line.

"I knew Harrogate is hilly, I found the route quite tough and for that course, I think my time was really good.

"The atmosphere was incredible and it was great to see everyone cheering you on as you head down that bank."

John Mayock, of The Great Run Company, added: "Harrogate has a great reputation for hosting successful cultural and sporting events.

"This year is the 10th staging of the Great Yorkshire Run and it is fitting that the event has moved to a world-famous town to celebrate such a huge milestone.

"Whether participants came to aim for a personal best or to run for fun or to raise money for worthy causes, our runners along with the likes of Theakston, Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate Harriers were the key to such an amazing day."