Thursday, 6 May 2010

Runners at the ready for GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon

Caption: The GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon is one the biggest events of the year in the city

Thousands of people will be putting their best feet forward this Sunday as they take to the streets for the GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon.

Starting on Millennium Square at 9:30am on Sunday 9th May, over 4,500 runners will take part in one of the biggest mass-participation events of the year in Leeds.

Organised by Leeds City Council and sponsored by utility company GDF SUEZ in association with media partner 96.3 Radio Aire and kit suppliers Up and Running, the main GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon has again attracted a full entry of 3,800 people ready to take on the challenge of the 13.1-mile course around city.

The GDF SUEZ Corporate Challenge has also proved hugely popular with over 130 teams of six runners entering the relay-format element of the event. The day will also feature a fun run and junior run which is managed by organisers Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All.

The GDF SUEZ Leeds Half–Marathon and Corporate Challenge parts of the event will be officially started by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Judith Elliott.

Everyone who successfully completes the course will receive a race medal and t-shirt at the finish line, while certificates and the official results will be able to be downloaded from the website at There are also a range of prizes on offer, including £500 for both the first female and male runners to finish.

Leeds City Council lead member for Leisure Councillor Bill Hyde said:

“The Leeds Half-Marathon is a great event with a fantastic atmosphere on Millennium Square for everyone involved to enjoy. We look forward to it being another wonderful day on Sunday.”

Chief Executive of GDF SUEZ Energy UK Marc Hirt said:

"‘As the event sponsor, we’re looking forward to another great day and a successful GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon.”

The first three in the men’s section are back again this year, with Andrew Pearson of Longwood Harriers looking to repeat his victory of 12 months ago which he completed in a time of one hour seven minutes 46 seconds. He was followed home by Fergus Meade of Leeds City AC and Pumlani Bangani of Salford Harriers, who are both back for another crack at victory.

The ladies section is likely to see new names on the podium as none of last year’s top three are taking part this year. Sue Harrison of Leamington won last year’s event, successfully defending her title from the previous year, in one hour 18 minutes five seconds.

96.3 Radio Aire’s mid-morning presenter Griffo said:

“This is a fantastic event for Leeds! I’ll be on stage getting everyone in the mood for the run and helping kick everything off at the start line. Good luck to everyone involved.”

All the runners will be asked to raise sponsorship money for official event charity Yorkshire Cancer Research, which carries out research into the causes and cures of cancer across the region. Their official mascot, the pink Yorkshire Cancer Research clanger, will be taking part in the GDZ SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon and is sure to be highly visible as well as sporting the prestigious race number one.

Yorkshire Cancer Research Events Manager Emma Young said:

“Yorkshire Cancer Research is thrilled to be charity partners with the GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon 2010. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who is involved with the event and good luck to all the runners. Yorkshire Cancer Research is a registered charity that funds research into the causes and cures of cancer. We do this by fundraising in Yorkshire and providing awards to Yorkshire academic institutions. Your support is crucial to us, the money you raise at this event will help us to fund our vital research into cancer. “

New for this year, regular updates on the event will be available via twitter at

Notes to editors:

Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR), now in its 85th year, is the UK’s largest regional medical research charity and provides millions of pounds worth of funding for research into the causes and cures of cancer – all of which is carried out in Yorkshire through universities and associated teaching hospitals in Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York. More information on YCR and the work it funds can be found at

For details of the road closures orders which will be in place around the event, go to


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

The Carriageworks celebrates rising stars of the comedy scene

Caption: The Idiots of Ants are back at The Carriageworks

Mick Perrin for Just For Laughs Live presents
The Carriagworks Theatre, Tuesday 11 May at 8.00pm

This time last year award-winning sketch group Idiots of Ants were playing The Carriageworks’ studio space, upstairs@thecarriageworks. Just 12 months later they’re back – but this time they’re playing the 350-seat Main Auditorium.

Even though they only formed in 2007, the four lads – Benjamin Wilson, James Wrighton, Eliot Tiney and Andrew Spiers – have had a meteoric rise to comedy fame. At the recent Chortle Comedy Awards, they were given the prize for the year’s Best Sketch Act. The award recognises what has been a whirlwind few years for the Ants, whose return to Leeds represents a homecoming of sorts for James Wrighton who grew up in nearby Cleckheaton.

After a sell-out Edinburgh debut, the Ants have gone on to perform at festivals and gigs all over the UK. Their unique blend of fast-paced sketch comedy has invigorated the genre and they’ve attracted a large following both live and online. They were nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards (formerly the Perrier) and have made a host of TV and radio appearances, including BBC3’s The Wall, E4’s Funny Cut season and BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends.

Their Facebook sketch, Facebloke in Real Life, became an “internet phenomenon” (BBC online) with over a million YouTube views and counting.

Idiots of Ants are just part of a great season of comedy at The Carriageworks this summer, which also includes Katy Brand’s Big Ass Tour (Thursday 3 June), Jo Enright (Friday 4 June) and a sold-out gig from TV star Reginald D Hunter (Saturday 12 June).

Leeds City Council lead member for Leisure Councillor Ann Castle

"The Carriageworks has quickly developed a great reputation for uncovering fresh new talent and Idiots of Ants have been an amazing find. We are delighted to welcome them back to Leeds and look forward to another great show.”

Notes to editors:

1. Press tickets and interviews available on request. Tickets available from the Box Office on 0113 2243801 or online at Tickets: £12 (full) / £10 (concessions and restricted).

2. The Carriageworks is a thriving theatre at the heart of Leeds’ Millennium Square. It showcases the best new national and regional performance with a dynamic programme of theatre, dance, comedy and film. At the same time it provides support to young and emerging theatre makers, offering them a key platform to develop their work. The Carriageworks also gives opportunities for members of the local community to take part in a variety of high quality arts activities, and is home to the Leeds Civic Arts Guild. This is an umbrella group of performing societies offering the opportunity for local people to experience making theatre in a fully-functioning professional venue.

3. For more information about Idiots of Ants, please visit their web site


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: