Despite wet conditions, the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash lived up to its reputation as being one of the quickest races in the circuit with a series of fast times posted and almost 10,000 runners taking part. As with last year, it was exceptionally close at the top, with just five seconds separating the top three of Andrew Butchart, Callum Hawkins and Phil Hurst.
The course saw runners leave Leeds Town Hall and pass through 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. With an out and back profile, the race creates a highly-charged atmosphere as, along with the supporters, runners encourage each other as they approach and run back from the turn around point.
Central AC’s Butchart, in fine form leading up to the race, crossed the finish line in 29:17, just four seconds ahead of fellow Scot Callum Hawkins (29:21), with Phil Hurst in third position (29:22). The top three times were all quicker than the 2014 event. Last year’s winner, Matty Hynes, was fourth in 29:27. Winner Butchart later tweeted: “Big thanks to everyone today! Really chuffed to win Abbey Dash in a PB as well. Good running from all the Scots!!”
There was also a Scottish 1-2 in the women’s competition, with Steph Twell taking first in a 32:38, with Eilish McColgan following (33:02), both times represented PBs for the athletes. Rhona Auckland finished just one second behind McColgan in 33:03. Andrew Davis was the mid-point competitor in 56:46, while the final runner came home in 2:17:12.
Full results are available via northernrunningguide.com