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Leeds Abbey Dash 2015

15th November 2015
Matthew Rose reports

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The start pens - desolate

Sympathy was in abundance after a horrendous night of rain and wind, we were on an Amber Warning from the Met Office and to be honest, I think many of us thought the race might be cancelled.

The penultimate race in the 2015 Road Championships - the Leeds Abbey Dash receives mixed interest - fast and flat, congested, boring, call it as you will but with a maximum field of 12,500 - it's one of the biggest local 10K's around.

We arrived in Leeds for about 7:55am although even with the best laid plans, almost every exit off the A58 was closed and we ended up driving around looking for inspiration and a place to park! We ended up just outside the ringroad near the student quarters, just half a mile from the start.

The main race started at 9:30am and on arrival at 8:15 - there were seemingley more toilets than people.. it was raining and many took shelter in the adjacent carpark. I was a little concerned it might be a washout.. where was everybody? We headed to baggage drop off shrouded in our premium bin bags keeping as dry as we could. Baggage collection was equally as quiet - perhaps it's normal to turn up last minute!

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Seeking refuge from the storms

The mass warmup started at 9am. I headed off to do my own - run, drills and stretches ahead of the race start and then made my way to the start pens - a very ambitious sub 45!

As 9:30 arrived, the rain had stopped and we were greeted with a bit of sunshine and a rainbow. We shuffled out of the start pens and at 9:32 the hooter sounded signaling the start of the race. The course is pretty simple - Starting along Wellington Street, onto the A65/Kirkstall Road, a short loop around the Warner Village before rejoining Kirkstall Road heading towards the Abbey. Once there, around the cone, through the water station, back along Kirkstall, peeling left onto West Street before a short climb onto the Headrow for a sprint finish in front of the Town Hall where all competitors were rewarded with a sports drink and technical t-shirt.

Each of us travelling together had a personal goal; I wanted to see where I was at.. I'd become a self declared 'plodder' and was pleased with my time of 44:50.. Diane Lee was targeting sub 55 - and achieved 54:53, and Mark Catney seeking a PB (perhaps the PB of 48:24 achieved earlier in the week was enough), finished in 48:56.

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A busy finish outside Leeds Town Hall

In total 14 Harriers took to the start line with Lewis Byram coming home first for Holmfirth in 00:34:20.  Stuart Sharp had a disappointing race after an extended period of illness finishing in 00:35:31.  Other Harriers and their times included Matthew Rose 00:44:50; Andrei Vais 00:46:25; Mark Catney 00:48:56 Lucy Thornton 00:50:19; Diane Lee 00:54:53; Jeremy Hoyle 00:55:22; Timothy Cock 00:56:51; John Philpott 00:58:23; Fay Dolphin 01:00:04; Caroline Thomas 01:04:22; Allison Atkins 01:14:13 and Sarah Ross 01:24:45.

The race was won by Bristol and West's Dan Studley in 29:43 leading just four other runners under the 30 minute mark. The first lady was Charlotte Arter of Cardiff 33:00.

Full results available from RacePlus website

Well done all who competed and represented the club in this road championship race.

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We smashed the Dash!

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