Final race of the Grand Prix produces record fast times

Leeds Abbey Dash credit Sport Cam

Almost 10,000 runners travelled to Leeds on Sunday for the 29th annual Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash, which was the final race in the runbritain Grand Prix and helps raise funds to support vulnerable older people.

Photo Credit Sport Cam

The popular race was chosen for the second year running as the final event in the series due its fast, flat and professional course. Approximately half of the top 100 ran their fastest time ever including winners of the men's and women's races. First to cross the finish line for the elite runners was Andrew Butchart (handicap MINUS 5.3)  in an impressive time of 29 minutes and 18 seconds, followed closely by Callum Hawkins (handicap MINUS 5.4) who ran the race in 29 minutes and 23 seconds. The fastest woman was Steph Twell (handicap MINUS 1.0), who completed the course in 32 minutes and 30 seconds. 52 men ran under 31 minutes for the 10k distance and 27 women ran sub 36 minutes. This is believed to be the first time in almost 20 years that more than 50 British runners have gone sub 31 mins in a UK road 10k (previously 48 at Bupa Great Manchester Run 2007) although detailed records have only been held since 2006.

Personal best times were to be had throughout the field with plenty commenting yesterday on our facebook page including some runners who managed their best time even with a 'loo break'!

Participants were started on Wellington Street by Emmerdale actress Alicya Eyo, who went on to join the other thousands of runners competing in the race. Alicya, who plays Ruby Haswell in the popular television soap, finished the race in one hour and 9 minutes.

The wheelchair race winner was Callum Hall, with a time of 27 minutes and 41 seconds.

The 2014 Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash saw the event’s fourth Junior Dash, with around 250 runners aged between eight and 15 taking on a two kilometre course. The first boy to cross the finish line was Jack Brennan (handicap 2.3), who completed the race in 5 minutes 38 seconds and the first girl was Lily Winfield (handicap 6.3) who finished in 6 minutes and 18 seconds.

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This year’s Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash is set to raise more than £275,000 for Age UK’s work that supports vulnerable older people across the country such as tackling loneliness and isolation. Some funds raised this year will also enable Age UK Leeds to provide services and programmes for older people in the city such as information and advice and help to get online.

Lydia Curran, Head of Group Events at Age UK, said: “It was fantastic to see thousands of runners pounding the pavements for Age UK this year. The Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash continues to be a fantastic event for runners of all abilities and the money raised will help Age UK support older people and tackle huge issues such as loneliness. Thanks to everyone who took part in the 10k course and Junior Dash, as well as our volunteers and supporters who lined the route and helped make the event truly spectacular.” 



Top 3 runners (male):

1.    Andrew Butchart (handicap -5.3) 00:29:17

2.    Callum Hawkins (handicap -5.4) , 00:29:23

3.    Phil Hurst (handicap -2.6), 00:29:25


Top 3 runners (female):

1.    Steph Twell (handicap -1.0) , 00:32:30

2.    Eilish McColgan (handicap -0.6), 00:33:04

3.    Rhona Auckland (handicap -0.7), 00:33:05


Top 3 wheelchair racers:

1.    Callum Hall, 00:27:41

2.    Tiaan Bosch, 00:32:21

3.    Jade Jones


Junior Dash winners:

First boy: Jack Brennan (handicap 2,3),  00:05:38

First girl: Lily Winfield (handicap, 00:06:18

We are now checking through the results and hope to bring the final standings in the Grand Prix soon.

If you have been inspired to take on a challenge for Age UK, the charity has a series of events year-round including 10k running events in Leeds, East Cheshire and Crystal Palace in March 2015. For more information, visit