Harrogate Council: we want Great Yorkshire Run here permanently

Harrogate's amazing cancer survivor and brave running mum Sarah Long in The Great Yorkshire Run on Sunday. (1607241AM17)
Harrogate's amazing cancer survivor and brave running mum Sarah Long in The Great Yorkshire Run on Sunday. (1607241AM17)

Harrogate’s iconic Montpellier Hill was a river of running vests and shorts on Sunday for a hot and humid Great Yorkshire Run.

Thousands of runners from near and far took part in this meticulously-organised event - the first time the race has been held in Harrogate after nine years in Sheffield.
And the good news is that the race looks set to return - although the multi-terrain 10k course, regarded as scenic but tough, may be 'tweaked' a little.
But this year event was a proud day for the hosts, Harrogate Harriers and their huge team of volunteer stewards who marshalled it expertly.
Once the warm-up by Pure Gym was over and the race itself got under way, the feedback was positive all-round with from both competitors and spectators who included former England and Leeds Utd footballer Danny Mills, actors from Emmerdale and members of the Calendar Girls.

Among the 3,000 runners was Harrogate's amazing breast cancer survivor and brave running mum Sarah Long.
Motorists did, however, face a dozen or so temporary road closures.
Hopes are also high The Great Yorkshire Run will return to Harrogate next year.
John Mayock, of The Great Run Company, the firm behind the race, said: “Harrogate has a great reputation for hosting successful cultural and sporting events.
“This year is the 10th staging of the Great Yorkshire Run and was fitting that the event has moved to a world-famous town to celebrate such a huge milestone.
“Whether the 3,000 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 and successful day.”
A spokesperson for the company said plans were in progress to secure the same location but they could not confirm this yet as the event date was still to be settled but they hope to announce something soon.
Tony Essex, chairman of Harrogate Harriers said: “The feedback I am getting from the race is all very positive. The representatives from the council thought it was a great success and showcased Harrogate very well, The Mayor seemed to enjoy it, too.
“The question is will the race be back next year and will we Harrogate Harriers be involved - absolutely yes. Will we make some very small tweaks to the course, yes. Will it be better than this year, yes.”

Instrumental behind the scenes in the success of the event was Harrogate Borough Council which fully supported the race coming to Harrogate and is bidding to have it here permanently.

Council leader Richard Cooper said: "Harrogate is becoming known as the place to host the big events. The Great Yorkshire Run was a phenomenal success with thousands taking part many of whom made a weekend of it and filled our shops, restaurants and hotels.

"Harrogate was showcased around the country on social media advertising our beautiful district as the place to come. I want us to capitalise on that so that we can keep people employed in the hospitality industry and make sure our unique independent traders have a good supply of customers.

"I am confident that the Great Yorkshire Run organisers will want to come back to Harrogate and we will give them that big, warm, happy Harrogate welcome that makes this town stand out from all the others."

Having previously been being held in the middle of a big city - Sheffield - Sunday’s race took entrants round more leafy streets in a relatively small town centre.
The picturesque but hilly two-lap route saw the field setting off in waves down Montpellier Hill then up Valley Drive, Cold Bath Road, The Stray, Harlow Hill and Otley Road.
By the standards of other 10k races such as Leeds Abbey Dash this was a far from an easy course, something which was reflected in the times.
The first male runner over the finishing line was Leeds City club members Jason Cherriman in 32 min 55 sec.
The first local male runner home was Harrogate Harriers’ Andrew Grant in a time of 34 min 09 sec.
The winning female runner was Sharon Barlow of Darlington Harriers in a time of 37 min 10 sec while the runner-up was Ruth Jones of Harrogate Harriers in 40 min 02 sec.
But organisers are happy it was impressively scenic and showed off Harrogate in a very good light.
Tony Essex said: “The course was challenging but we live in a lumpy place so it is impossible to find 6.2 miles of flat road that doesn’t close down the town.
“The foot/bridal path section I thought would create a few negative comments didn’t, in fact most runners I spoke to enjoyed that section.
“If you think of the iconic parts, places of Harrogate like Bettys, the Montpellier District, Valley Gardens, The Stray and Harlow Carr the route covered them all.”
Sunday’s race was sponsored by renowned local brewer T&R Theakston while the prizes were provided by Harrogate-based brand Up & Running.
Good causes were also boosted by The Great Yorkshire Run with its official charity partner being Bloodwise, the new name for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK’s biggest blood cancer charity.
The team behind the race for nine years in Sheffield certainly seemed happy afterwards with the switch of location.
The Great Run Company website is already open for runners to register their interest in taking part in next year’s Great Yorkshire Run.