Monday, 21 November 2011
Abbey Dash by Paul Basnett
Over 6000 competitors, a record number for the event, started the race and waiting for the start I began to think that it was going to be one of those races were I was not going to get a clear run. My assumption thankfully proved to be incorrect as at 9.30 the race was off and I got a pretty clear run for a field with such big numbers. I started toward the back of the sub 45 area and approaching the half kilometre mark I spotted a line of A&T runners in front of me the form of Jane Eccleston, Emma Higgins, Christine Farnworth and Sarah Wood. Surprised that they were in front of me I shouted my encouragement and moved on. It turns out they'd been ambitious and started in the sub 45 area which perhaps proved to be a good move. The race is an out and back course which proved to be a mild climb on the way out, which I did not seem to notice, and that made the return 5k slightly downhill upto until the final 1/2k which was a climb up the embankment off the Leeds ring road.
The winner of the race was Jonathan Taylor of Morpeth Harriers in a time of 29.20. First back for A&T, as usual, was Lewis Eccleston finishing 93rd overall in a fantastic new PB time of 34.03. Next home was Alex Foster, running his first proper 10k race, and finishing 142nd with a great time of 35.34. Scott Christey followed Alex home a few minutes later with 38.41. The Baron came in next and also attained another PB with 46.17. Then came the quartet of Jane Ecceleston (56.13), Christine Farnworth (56.38), Emma Higgins (56.53) and Sarah Wood (57.20). All four of their times were PB's varying from seconds to minutes, well done ladies. A special mention must go to Emma who only got in from her night out at around 3am to be up at 6am to get to the race. I think she must be taking a leaf out of coach Moran's book as the alcohol fuelled run appears to have worked on this occasion. Also thanks to Colin, Anita and Karis for their support. All in all it's a race I would recommend for next year for attaining a PB, as our trip proved, but it's also a very well organised event and for one with such big numbers proved to be refreshingly clear to pretty much run your own pace.