After kicking off the 2016 Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon Series to great effect back in April, we spent this past weekend in the glorious sunshine at the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon.
We rolled out activation activities designed to engage the crowds and support the runners, bringing to life Plusnet’s “Loves You Back” campaign in the event village and throughout the route. You can read more about the Plusnet Marathon Series’ activity here.
A special addition to the Leeds line-up was a pre-race parade with the Knaresborough Silver Band. We prepared a customised lorry to tour the band around the route, playing brass band favourites to the spectators ahead of the runners, followed by a very special show in the event village. It was an incredible way to build a buzzing atmosphere, and runners and spectators alike enjoyed the entertainment!
The Leeds event surpassed everyone’s expectations, helped by the glorious sunshine, and ensured a busy event village and lots of happy spectators.
We were also proud to see three Banana Kickers pulling on their trainers and hitting the tarmac. A half marathon is a big achievement at the best of times, let alone when run in 25 degree heat, but our Scott, Tom E. and Joe all crossed the finish line with a smile on their faces!
You may know Scott as “the one who’s training for the Ironman challenge” (and you can read his blog about that here). Part of our studio effort to create the branding for the event, Scott goes ‘behind the curtain’ and sees his work come to life:
The Leeds half marathon was a great event for a good challenge…particularly when it was hotter than Ibiza yesterday!
I’m training for Ironman in July and along the way I’ve given myself a set of races to gauge how ready I am. Yesterday showed how seriously I have to start taking the whole thing; I found it tough. It’s the first half marathon I’ve run in a race environment and to say the conditions weren’t ideal would be an understatement: very warm and very busy! I don’t have my start line game down yet so I got at the back, which meant I spent the first 6/7 miles skipping round people, not getting in to my stride and not really concentrating on my own pace more that of the others around me.
Anyway less about my run and more about the race. It’s the 10th year of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal this year and the support for that was incredible. In fact, I’d say that’s what got me round. People lined the streets giving out Jelly Babies and some were even kind enough to create little water fountains to run through to keep cool. I knew friends were out on the route supporting too, so it was nice to hear my name shouted.
Working for Banana Kick, we have quite a heavy involvement in the creative for the day, so for me it’s great to see happy people achieving great things and wearing the t-shirts and medals I had a hand in designing. As a Leeds boy, I may be a bit biased, but I’d say this is one of the best runs I’ve done with the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Run for All and Plusnet. The organisation was great, it was easy to get in and out of the city, and there are plenty of people on hand to help out along the way.
You can read more about our work with the Jane Tomlinson Appeal here.