The legacy of the inspirational fundraiser Jane Tomlinson shone through again today as thousands of runners of all abilities took part in the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K raising funds for a host of good causes.
Jane, who raised nearly £2m by completing a series of daunting challenges despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer, launched the event in 2007. Since then it has raised over £2.5m for charity.
And the huge field that turned the city’s streets into a mass of colour and noise ensured that the ninth running of the event was another resounding success.
Popular Leeds sporting star Josh Warrington, the European featherweight champion, helped get the race underway before joining the thousands taking part and managed to cross the finish line in 64mins 48secs. He was joined by inspirational fundraiser Kate Granger who, despite battling incurable cancer, also finished the event in 1hour 39mins and 19secs.
Cheering crowds provided the runners with superb encouragement as they made their way around the largely flat and fast course that started in Vicar Lane near the Grand Theatre, headed down to The Calls, through City Square, down Wellington Street and along Kirkstall Road before looping back to finish outside Leeds Town Hall.
First home was Kevin Loundes in 31mins 33secs. Jamil Parapia clocked 31mins 53secs to take second place with Phillip Tedd third in 32mins 31secs.
The women’s race was won by Leila Armoush with a time of 37mins 01secs. Fiona Davies was second in 37mins 28secs and Claire Steels took third place in 37mins 55secs. The male wheelchair race was won by Mark Conway who clocked 23mins 54secs whilst Jade Jones won the female wheelchair race in 25mins35secs.
There was also joy for actor Michelle Hardwick – Vanessa Woodfield in ITV’s Emmerdale – who successfully completed her first 10K in a time of 60mins 23secs, a personal best. The finishers also included Thornhill Community Academy English teacher Matthew Burton, of Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire fame, who raced home in 56mins and 11secs.
The field also included hundreds of businessmen and women taking part in the Clarion Leeds 10K Corporate Challenge, in which companies and other organisations compete for the title of fastest firm in the race. The results of that event will be calculated and released later.
Julie Ward, Asda Foundation manager, said: “We are delighted to be associated with such a fantastic event and congratulations must go to everyone involved. Not only does the race generate a great atmosphere, it provides a wonderful opportunity for people to raise money for some very worthy causes.”
Roger Hutton, senior partner with law firm Clarion, said: “There was a tremendous response from the Leeds business community this year as we have hit record numbers for the Corporate Challenge. We would like to thank all the organisations that entered.”
Miriam Pedersen, event lead with Run For All, organiser of the event, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone supported today’s Asda Foundation Leeds 10K and made it such a success. In particular a big thank you must go to our many volunteers who give up their time and work so hard to ensure the runners have an enjoyable and safe race.”
The next Run For All event is the Asda Foundation York 10K on Sunday August 2nd. To enter go to www.runforall.com.