More than 9,500 runners successfully completed yesterday's Leeds Abbey Dash 10K in what turned out to be one of the most thrilling finishes the race has witnessed. North Yorks Moors' Matty Hynes edged out Josh Lilly and Callum Hawkins to secure top spot, with just two seconds separating the top three performers.
Celebrating its 29th year, participants departed from Leeds Town Hall and passed through some of the city's most important historical buildings, including Kirkstall Abbey, before returning to Yorkshire Television Studies on the way to the finish line. 2011 winner Susan Partridge started both the 10k and 2k Junior Race.
The race lived up to its reputation as being seriously fast, with the top 15 runners all securing 30 minutes or below. Hynes had to produce a PB to take victory, coming home in 29:23, with Josh Lilly taking second 29:25 and Callum Hawkins third 29:26 (chip time 29:24). Hynes, who managed a negative split of 14:50 and 14:33, later commented: "It's a fantastic course and good support. I'm very pleased with my performance."
In the women's field, Winchester Running Club's Louise Damen took victory and set a PB in the process, coming home in 33:04. Damen was followed by Belgrave Harriers' Tish Jones (33:16), with Emma Stepto taking third place (33:30).
Jayne and Bibi Rodgers, best known for their great blog Veggie Runners, took part in the race and told northernrunningguide.com: "Despite the concerns of many people who've run the Abbey Dash before, the new route was great. Running through a cinema car park was a bit odd but it did make the route more direct and possibly even faster than ever. We love the Abbey Dash. You get a great mix of runners and, whether you're aiming for a PB or not, it's so fast and flat that the time seems to fly by."
On the organisation of the event, they added: "The Abbey Dash runs like clockwork. It's a 'runner's race' - it started as a relatively small local race organised by Leeds Abbey Runners running club so the needs of runners have always been key. Plenty of loos near the start line, for example - it's the little touches that make all the difference!"