There was little surprise that yesterday's (Sunday 6 November) downpour failed to make any impact on the field at the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash as the event once again highlighted the qualities that has formed the bedrock to its reputation over the past 31 years. An incredible turnout of almost 9,000 runners taking part and an enthralling battle at the front of the field, with Jonny Mellor just edging victory.
The 10k saw the field move from 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 the Dash known for its speedy course, it was, as anticipated, tight at the front: pre-race favourites Mellor and Adam Hickey were joined by Graham Rush in forming a formidable front three. It was Mellor, however, who made the decisive move to cross the line first in 29:12, the second fastest 10k time of his career. Hickey, winner of the recent Aldi Manchester Half Marathon, followed closely in 29:15, with Graham Rush one second behind in third.
In the women’s field, Eilish McColgan built on her performance in Rio (she took 13th in the 5,000m final) to record an impressive win – and PB – of 32:52. The Dundee runner was almost 30 seconds ahead of Katrina Wootton, second in 33:21, with Victoria Park’s Josephine Moultrie third (33:33).
As ever, the Dash attracted runners from across the UK, many of whom were raising money for Age UK, Britain’s largest charity for older people. One recognisable face in the field was Adrian Howden, winner of the very first event 31 years ago. Howden, who had his leg amputated 10 years ago following an accident, completed the 10k by using a hi-tech running blade.
Howden’s memorable story was just one of many on a day when runners joined forces to raise money for a valuable cause, as recognised by a recent post on the event’s official Facebook page: ‘’Thank you to all 10,000 runners who took part today. Every penny you have raised through the Dash will help us to support so many vulnerable people in later life in Leeds and across the UK.’’
Results are available at the runABC North race listings page.