More than 7,000 runners successfully completed the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10K despite soaring temperatures yesterday morning (Sunday, 14 July). Even in warm conditions, the revamped course produced a series of impressive times across the field, with 19-year-old Tesfaye Debele securing top place in a speedy 30:41.
With its biggest turnout in four years, runners were given their starting orders by ITV Calendar presenters Duncan Wood and Christine Talbot. The modified course meant competitors began the 10k in Vicar Lane, before heading past Kirkgate Market and the Corn Exchange, into Call Lane, City Square, and out towards Kirkstall. Runners returned into town via Westgate, arriving at the finish in front of the historic Leeds Town Hall.
The faster, flatter course paid dividends as Debele, who runs with Bradford Airedale, took almost four minutes of last year's winning time. The 19-year-old, who burst on to the scene with victory at the Bradford 10K in April, finished more than a minute ahead of Ian Mitchell (32:02), with Phillip Tedd in third position (32:30).
In the women's field, Pauline Munro from Kirkby Overblow near Harrogate, took top position in a 34:52 - a PB for the runner at the age of 44. Munro was followed by Katie Parry (36:06) and Emily Birchall (37:17). The mid-point runner was Shelagh Heptonstall in 1:05:17, with the last competitor home in 2:28:09.
Since its launch in 2007, the event has raised more than £2 million to build on the legacy of inspirational fundraiser Jane Tomlinson. Speaking after the race, Jane's husband Mike said: "Jane cycled 4,200 miles across America to raise the money to put on the first ever Leeds 10K. Seven years on she'd be thrilled that the event is still being supported in such huge numbers. Thank you to everyone who took part, volunteered or came out to cheer and made it such a special day."
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