ONE of Yorkshire’s favourite sons will send Yorkshire Marathon runners on their way when the race begins on Sunday.

Former cricket umpire Dickie Bird OBE is to fire the starting pistol at 9.30am for athletes gathered at the start line in Heslington.

Dickie, who also started the first Yorkshire Marathon in 2013, is one of many celebrities and well-known Yorkshire faces associated with this year’s race.

Among those lining up to tackle the 26.2 miles will be former Leeds Rhinos skipper Kevin Sinfield, who is taking on the challenge to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, which supports children’s and cancer charities.

He said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. Jane was a truly inspirational figure who showed what can be achieved if you have the spirit and determination.

“It’s an honour to be running for the appeal established in her name.”

Paralympian Jade Jones and her fiancé Callum Hall will be among a group of wheelchair racers battling to cross the finish line first.

The widow of rugby league player Danny Jones, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game, is running the Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay to raise money for the charity established in his memory.

Lizzie Jones and a group of her friends are taking part in aid of the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund, which helps community rugby league clubs and junior teams purchase potentially life-saving defibrillators.

More than 7,000 people entered this year’s marathon – and they will be joined by over 4,000 participants in the Yorkshire 10 Mile, which has proved extremely popular since its launch in 2015.

Steve Wilson, commercial and marketing director at Plusnet said: "We’re extremely proud to show our support for the Yorkshire Marathon series and would like to wish everyone taking part good luck. The event has proven to be popular in the country’s running calendar and I for one am really looking forward to attending this weekend.”

The route starts and finishes at the University of York, and travels into the city along University Road, entering through Walmgate Bar, past York Minster and exiting the city through Monk Bar.

The route then takes runners north east towards Stockton-on-the-Forest, Upper Helmsley, Sand Hutton, through Buttercrambe Moor Wood and on to Stamford Bridge, before turning back.

For more information on the race, route and road closures, go to