The upcoming Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash looks like it may just boast one of its most competitive fields to date with a host of elite runners confirmed. As it stands, the 10k, regarded as being one of the fastest on the UK circuit, will include a nice balance of previous winners, GB internationals and Olympians, all of whom will be aiming to record a fast time before the festive season hits.
The 2017 staging of the race, scheduled for Sunday 5 November, will see runners take to the streets of Leeds to tackle a speedy course that moves from Town Hall and passes some of the city's most important historical buildings, including Kirkstall Abbey, before returning to Yorkshire TV studios on the way to the finish line.
Looking to take advantage of this fast 10k will be Olympic and World championships 5K finalist Eilish McColgan. Eilish will be pushed by in-form Emma Pallant who recently clocked 33:10 for 10k while running the 10 mile Cabbage Patch race. Belgrave’s Tish Jones, with a PB of 32:58 under her belt, will no doubt pose a challenge, as will Emma Clayton, Annabel Simpson (Scotland) and Charlotte Arter of Cardiff AC.
In the men’s competition, Jonny Mellor, currently ranked 4th in the UK) will be pushed by Charlie Hulson, the in-form Phil Sesemann, plus Andrew Heyes, Kevin Seaward and Paul Pollock (Irish marathon Olympians). The race has often seen a number of runners dip beneath 30 minutes: in 2016, the first 14 competitors all crossed the line in less than half an hour.
While the event is known to be one for the elites, its appeal spans each type of runner and has been contested, throughout a history that stretches over 30 years, by recreational, club and first-timers. It’s massive field, expected to be over 10,000; an enticing course, and rousing support on offer ensures this is a race with a varied field.
Entries for the Age UK Leeds Abbey remain open: registration is available here.