Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (and Half Marathon) 2024 Race Report and Results

By: Brian Jenkins

Race Date: 12th May, 2024

Venue: Leeds, West Yorkshire

This is a relatively new event with its first running last year, and seeing as it is now my “local” road marathon, taking the title from the decidedly not local “Yorkshire Marathon” in York, although I was unable to make the 2023 event (due to a clash with a race that I had previously signed-up for), but things were looking good for 2024.

Those who took part in the inaugural race (in 2023) said that there were a few teething problems, especially with long queues at the bag drop in a stiflingly hot room within the stadium.

The race starts and finishes at the Headingley Rugby League Stadium in Leeds (like last year) and the bag drop was moved to the covered shade on the outskirts of the stadium (presumably as a result of feedback from runners).

The race village (and start) was some way away and navigation was complicated by the cricket stadium next door.

At the start the marathon runners were formed-up in 4 groups (based on self-declared estimated finish times). After a brief speech from Rugby League veteran Kevin Sinfield about sticking-by your friends and Motor Neurone Disease (with his former team-mate Rob Burrow in attendance), we were set-off in waves.

We headed towards Leeds City Centre and turned around heading for the countryside.

At 11 miles (after a decent downhill segment) there was a fairly flat out-and-back section providing a good look at (at various times) those ahead of us, and those behind.

The route then progressed to Otley, which previous runners of the race were quick to warn you about. As soon as we had cleared Otley Town Centre we were sent back in the direction of Headingley and (at mile 17) the uphill segment started (and lasted for about 3 miles).

At the top of the hill the crowds happily informed you that the worst was now behind you, and the rest of the race was mostly a series of gentle downhill slopes towards the finish.

The last few miles were interesting, as parts of the Marathon route (especially towards the end) were shared with that for the Half Marathon (whose runners had been set loose an hour after the Marathon start). On one hand this was good, towards the end of the marathon, the opportunity to do a decent bit of overtaking is a good morale booster (even with tired legs), even if the runners ahead are half-marathon runners aiming for a 3 hour finish. On the other hand, some half-marathoners walking several abreast made overtaking challenging, especially on sections that were half-open to vehicular traffic.

We finished the race near where we started, on the rugby stadium pitch running track, with many supporters in the stands making for a good atmosphere and a warm welcome.

Once over the finish line and presented with our medals, we proceeded slowly into one of the stands to pick up our t-shirts. The narrow path to exit the race area was annoyingly stop-start (not particularly helpful when your legs had just run a marathon or half marathon).

Runners who had run the previous year as well said they said that the race organisation was better this year than it was in the previous year. I found the race volunteers to be genuinely keen to help, the salaried stadium staff considerably less so.

Ah yes, you say, but was it any good?

Well, the hill from miles 17 to 20 was challenging (but no more so than Ringinglow Road on the Sheffield Half Marathon, in my opinion) and navigation round the race village could be difficult at times (a familiar criticism of all those who have run the other Run-For-All organised marathon in York). On the other hand, the route was varied, the support from the people of Leeds was fulsome and the stadium finish made it all worth the effort. So, I would say “yes”.

The Marathon was won by Jack Sagar (Leeds City Athletic Club) in 2:25:42 and Melissah Gibson (Ealing Eagles Running Club) in 2:45:16 .

The Half Marathon was won by Jack Kelly (Harrogate Harriers & AC) in 1:11:43 and Faye Birkby (Pudsey Racers RC) in 1:21:43, and in the non-binary gender:  Johanna Quina in 2:12:16 .

Striders’ Results (Marathon):

Pos. Name Cat. Cat. Pos. Chip Time
298 Paul Hargreaves M40 84 03:24:55
425 Ollie Carlisle M40 119 03:31:58
573 Alexander Briggs MS 338 03:38:25
589 Giulia Neri F40 8 03:38:49
1153 Brian Jenkins M50 95 03:56:58
1159 Abigail Hickinbottom F40 30 03:58:05
1357 Andy Hinchliffe M60 17 03:58:27
3054 Melanie English F40 192 04:48:39
3297 Richard Adams MS 1519 04:55:45


Striders’ Results (Half Marathon):

Pos. Name Cat. Cat. Pos. Chip Time
1183 Karen Clark F60 2 01:52:30
1201 Matthew Hawker MS 724 01:47:37
1814 Victoria Johnson FS 239 02:01:45


Full Results (Marathon):

Full Results (Half Marathon):

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