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Leeds 10k: No clowning around for stroke survivor

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Of the ten thousand runners who took part in the Leeds 10K Race for All, each had their own reasons for competing - fitness, personal challenge or raising money for charity.

But Graham Werrett’s is perhaps one of the most special.

Just seven weeks ago the 60-year-old, from Little Smeaton, Pontefract, suffered a stroke, which affected the right side of his body, including his legs.

“My consultant told me not to run,” he said. “But I had to do it. Training for this has kept me going.”

And he did - dressed as a clown to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

He’s taken part in the race every year since it was launched by the inspirational city fundraiser in 2007.

“That year I raised more than £3,000 and met Jane. It’s her legacy that brings so many people here each year. She’s a heroine.”

As well as Mr Werrett in his clown suit, many runners dressed up for the occasion despite the hot and humid weather, including a pair of Minions, a storm trooper, superman, a full set of Ninja Turtles and a group dressed in business suits - all raising money for charity.

But for the many members of running clubs taking part, it was a serious race to the finish line.

First to cross the line was wheelchair athlete Mark Conway, 35, of Lincoln, in just over 24 minutes.

The men’s winner was Nathaniel Williams who crossed the line in just 31 minutes and 45 seconds.

The women’s winner, Pauline Munro, 45, of Wetherby Runners, finished in 35 minutes 36 seconds.

She said: “I had to really fight for it, I really wanted to win.

Among the famous faces taking part were a group of teachers from Educating Yorkshire school Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury, Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis and Leeds Rhinos stars Barrie McDermott and Keith Senior.

 

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