Thursday, 31 March 2011

Still time to team up for Leeds Half-Marathon challenge

Caption: The GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon is one of the biggest annual mass-participation events held in the city

Time is running out for teams to take on the unique challenge of competing against each other at this year’s GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon.

Places are still available for any teams to sign up for the GDF SUEZ Corporate Challenge which offers businesses the chance to take part in the annual event which this year will see more runners than ever taking to the streets of Leeds on Sunday 8 May.

Teams of six employees each run a section of the 13.1-mile half-marathon course in a relay format, with various prizes up for grabs. With no limits on the number of teams each business can enter, it is hoped up to 150 teams will be battling for victory.

The final places are also now being claimed for the main GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon itself, which this year will see a record entry of 5000 runners benefiting from the new start line on The Headrow in a move from the previous start on Millennium Square.

The closing date for entries for both elements is Friday 8 April 2011 with no applications to be accepted after that date.

The event is organised by Leeds City Council’s sport development unit and sponsored by utility company GDF SUEZ in association with media partner 96.3 Radio Aire and kit suppliers Up and Running.

The event also features the Jane Tomlinson's Arena Group Junior and Mini Fun Run, which are free to enter. The Arena Group Junior run consists of a 2.5-kilometre course open to children aged nine to 14 and the Arena Group Mini Fun Run which is 1.5 kilometres and is open to children aged three to eight who must be accompanied by an adult. For more information visit

Leeds City Council's deputy executive member for leisure Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:

"The half-marathon is a fantastic event and it would be great to see as many runners of all ages taking part. The event also raises much-needed funding for charity so we look forward to seeing more people than ever on the new startline on The Headrow this year.”

The main GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon takes in a course around the city and is open to anyone 17 and over. 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.

96.3 Radio Aire presenters Larry and Paul said:

"We're pretty sure someone using our names and crazy wigs signed the form for us to enter! But never mind, we're happy to be running, walking and limping the GDF Suez Leeds Half-Marathon.”

All the runners will be asked to raise sponsorship money for official event charity Yorkshire Cancer Research which helps local people beat cancer by supporting world-class research, diagnosis and treatment throughout Yorkshire. Last year those taking part raised nearly £30,000 for the charity.

Head of events at Yorkshire Cancer Research Emma Young said:

“It’s only with the help of our supporters that we’re able to fund so many vital projects throughout Yorkshire, and we were amazed by the incredible generosity of everyone who took part on our behalf in 2010.

“This year we hope even more will be raised for our life-saving work. By supporting us you will not only be helping to find cures, but will also ensure that Yorkshire people who get cancer will have the best possible chances.”

For more information or to receive an application form go to or call Leeds City Council’s sport development unit on 0113 3950001. Application forms can also be collected from Leeds City Council leisure centres and 96.3 Radio Aire reception. The deadline for entries is Friday 8 April.

There will also be regular updates about the event via twitter at

Notes to editors:

Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR), the UK’s largest regional medical research charity, funds around £7m a year of internationally recognised cancer research at its five centres of excellence at the universities of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York and their associated teaching hospitals. For more information visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Make your efforts count for elections in Leeds

A limited number of staff are still needed to help at elections taking place in Leeds this year on May 5.

Temporary paid opportunities are available for a variety of different jobs, such as counting or opening postal votes.

This year’s local elections take place on Thursday May 5 and checking of votes will take place on the night, with the count taking place on Friday May 6.

It will be a busy time for the council as it hosts its own elections, town & parish council polls, and the local vote for a national referendum on a proposed Alternative Voting system.

There are a number of support roles available, including:
• Working in polling stations
• Verifying and counting votes
• Opening and verifying postal votes
• Inspecting polling stations
Casual staff are required for a number of dates ranging from 26 April to 6 May.
You have to be aged over 18 to apply and you can find full details and download an application form here on the council’s website: employment at elections in Leeds Alternatively, you can call 0113- 395 2858 or email

The Electoral Commission plans to deliver public information booklets this year to all UK households about the local elections and referendum in advance of the polls. To find out more or to download a copy of the booklet go to

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335