The 28th staging of the Leeds Abbey Dash drew its biggest f to date with 7,380 participants taking part in Sunday's race. The event, which was raising cash for Age UK's Spread The Warmth campaign, lived up to its billing as being notoriously fast with the top 8 runners recording sub 30 minute performances.
The record crowd were treated to perfect conditions, with crisp, cool weather for the duration of the morning. Following a warm-up in Victoria Gardens, runners moved through Kirkstall Road, out to Kirkstall Abbey and then back to finish on the Headrow outside Leeds Town Hall.
First home was Leeds City's Luke Cragg in 29:29, closely followed by Tipton Harriers' Josh Lilly (29:92), with Mohammed Abu Rezeq taking the final podium position in 29:49. Such was the quality of the field, the first 20 runners all finished below 31 minutes.
Top in the female field was Alyson Dixon, who capped off a fine year with a PB of 32:53. The Chester-le-Street runner said she was surprised by her own performance: "When I saw the start list I convinced myself I was going to come fourth I was hoping for a PB, but not as fast as I did. It's great to see so many people out. It's good for running but also great when it's a big charity race."
Senior events manager for Age UK, Lydia Curran, said she was delighted both by the turnout and the fundraising efforts of the runners: "We are delighted. We knew the people of Leeds would be really supportive of the cause.There are older people who are lonely this winter and we are making a real difference, and that's why so many people are getting behind us."