Video: Thousands of Sheffield runners set off on new Sheffield half marathon

Thousands of runners set off on Sheffield’s new look half marathon this morning - heading for the city’s hills.

The city centre was packed from around 8.30am as the 7,500 participants started to arrive in preparation for the 13.1 mile challenge.

Among them were families, friends and colleagues, many donning fancy dress including superhero costumes, ears and even a shoe outfit.

Champion boxer Kell Brook was one of the 350 people taking part for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and wished runners ‘all the luck in the world’.

Today is the first time he has taken part in the city’s half marathon - now the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon Sheffield.

He said it was a ‘great day’ and when asked if he would get round, said: “I just have to!”

Also on runners’ orders was former World Cup referee Howard Webb and Richard Caborn, former sports minister and Sheffield MP.

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield posed with legendary fundraiser John Burkhill for pictures, and John brought up the rear of the race with his famous green pram.

He high fived cheering spectators as he set off from Arundel Gate.

The race now continues up Ecclesall Road before reaching the hills above Sheffield, offering views of the Peak District before returning to the city centre.

Entrants have the chance to be crowned King of the Hill in a timed climb, and triumph in a downhill 10k sprint section. Youngsters can take part in shorter 1.5k and 2.5k races.

Last year’s race was cancelled at the last minute because a water delivery failed to arrive, and the organisers later stood down.

ROAD CLOSURES TODAY

Among the road closures are Arundel Gate 4am-2pm; Pinstone Street between Surrey Street and Cross Burgess Street 4am-2pm; Norfolk Street 4am-4pm; Surrey Street 4am-4pm; Charles Street between Arundel Gate and Pinstone Street 4am-4pm; Union Street 4am-4pm; Furnival Gate northbound 8.30am-11am; Furnival Gate South southbound 4am-4pm; Charter Square 8.30am-1.30pm; Charter Row eastbound 8.30am-1.30pm and Charter Row westbound 8.30am-11am.

Away from the city centre, the closures include Ecclesall Road between A61 Ring Road and Brocco Bank 8am-1pm and between Brocco Bank and between Brocco Bank and Ecclesall Road South 8.45am-1pm; Ecclesall Road South 8.45am-12.30pm; Knowle Lane 9am-11.15am; Ringinglow Road between Knowle Lane and Fulwood Lane 9am-11.30am; Sheephill Road 9.15am-11.30am; Hathersage Road between Stony Ridge Road and Limb Lane 9.15am-11.30am; Limb Lane 9.15am-11.45am.

The A621 and A57 will remain open throughout the event as an alternative to the A625 Ecclesall Road/Ecclesall Road South.