An exciting wheelchair race is in prospect at Sunday’s Asda Foundation Leeds 10K which has attracted some of the country’s leading athletes.
The top class field – some with their sights on next year’s Rio Paralympic Games – includes 19-year-old Jade Jones, who represented Great Britain at the London Paralympic Games and won bronze at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
The line-up includes Callum Hall, of Leeds, who was left paralysed after stepping on a sea urchin while diving off the Greek island of Skiathos. Along with Jones – his girlfriend - he is now part of a training group organised and coached by Ian Thompson, husband of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who holds 16 Paralympic medals and won the London Marathon six times.
They will face strong competition from Bret Crossley, of Leeds, winner of this year’s Leeds Half Marathon. A former successful motorcycle racer, Bret turned to wheelchair racing after suffering a spinal cord injury in a motorbike accident.
Also chasing a win will be Mirfield’s Neil Malcom, paratriathlete and winner of last year’s Asda Foundation York 10K; paratriathlete Lizzie Tench, of Cheshire, a member of the Great Britain paratriathlon development squad and Tiaan Bosch, of York, a winner at this year’s British Wheelchair Racing Association’s National Championships at Stoke Mandeville.
Organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All, the Leeds 10K was revamped in 2013 and the route is now faster and flatter. It starts in Vicar Lane, takes the runners through the city centre, out and back along Kirkstall Road and ends in front of the Town Hall.
Run For All’s Miriam Pedersen, Leeds 10K event lead, said: “We are delighted that so many excellent wheelchair athletes have entered and their race should be a highlight of Sunday’s event. We look forward to welcoming them and wish them the very best of luck.”
The race, which since its launch in 2007 has established itself as a highlight on the city’s sporting calendar, gets underway at 9.30am on Sunday.