Report By: Lucy Broom
Race Date: Sunday 23rd October 2022
This was the 36th running of the Leeds Abbey Dash; a charity race which raises funds for Age UK. It’s an out and back course, starting and finishing in Leeds city centre, with the turnaround point at Kirkstall Abbey. It’s known for being fast and flat and therefore attracts some elite runners (this year the first 14 finishers were under 30 minutes) and PB chasers. It was also a qualifying race for the British Masters 10K road championships.
I ran this race last year, when it was part of the autumn road champs; and came back this year to make an attempt on the FV45 record. I’ve been doing some focused training this year, trying to include the right balance of speed, tempo, strength and mobility, and avoiding the range of tempting races that the Strider’s calendar offers. Unfortunately I’ve had a run of chesty coughs and colds since August, so not ideal preparation.
In terms of logistics, the event is a well oiled machine, with plentiful toilets and bag storage in Millenium Square; and a jolly warm up from a local radio station, if you like that kind of thing. I was reminded again this year how much I hate driving in Leeds city centre. Stressful at the best of times but all the harder with added road closures. I made it into the centre quite smoothly, within touching distance of my chosen car park, only to take a wrong turn and find myself heading back out of the city, with closed slip roads sending my blood pressure skywards.
This year’s race will be remembered for the rain – I think ‘biblical’ at times would be a fair assessment! I was hoping to bump into a few striders in the toilet queue – I knew that Fiona was there somewhere – but club vests and heads were all covered up, making it impossible to recognise anyone. We had some respite from the rain in the start pens, but it came down again during the race, and got heavier throughout. As a result there was a lot of surface water – not in the league of Worksop 2021, but still not much fun!
I didn’t get the record this time – a frustrating 10 seconds too slow! I gave it everything and ran well for 5 miles, but then faded painfully in the last mile. I’d like to blame the weather, but really, I need to work on holding my pace in the latter stages. I was still pleased with my time – ducking under 41 minutes for only the second time – the first time back in 2018. So I’m moving in the right direction.
3752 people finished the race. First woman home was Jess Warner-Judd in 32 minutes, 18 seconds. First man home was Andrew Milligan in 29 minutes and 22 seconds.
Link to full results here.
Five striders ran:
|Name||Chip time||Cat position||Cat|