Video: Rain fails to dampen spirits as thousands turn out for Leeds Abbey Dash

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Professional athletes, a rock star and thousands of hopeful runners turned out in the rain for the Leeds Abbey Dash.

They gathered in the city centre for the 10k event, backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

PIC: Simon Hulme

PIC: Simon Hulme

Jonny Mellor was the first man to cross the finish line after 29 minutes and 12 seconds, closely followed by Adam Hickey and Graham Rush.

Mr Mellor, 29, said: “It was really good, it was a great event. I haven’t done it for a few years. It was a really good atmosphere.

Olympian Eilish McColgan won the women’s race, with a time of 32 minutes and 52 seconds.

She said: “This is my second 10k, ut was a bit of a shock to the system. I’m not used to 10k, my distance is 5k.

Abbey Dash runners at Kirkstall Abbey.

Abbey Dash runners at Kirkstall Abbey.

“I was about 10 seconds quicker than I did in 2014, so it was a step in the right direction.”

She was followed by Katrina Wootton and Josephine Moultrie.

The dash saw roughly 10,000 runners take to the streets of Leeds for the fundraiser in support of vulnerable old people.

Celebrating its 31st year, the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash is popular with fun runners, celebrities and elite athletes alike and has been hailed one of the best races in the country by Men’s Running magazine.

Abbey Dash runners near Kirkstall Abbey

Abbey Dash runners near Kirkstall Abbey

Kaiser Chiefs keyboard player Nick “Peanut” Baines took part in the race after recently getting into running.

The 38-year-old said: “The Abbey Dash was in my diary but with our touring I never know if I can make it.

“It’s good to do some fundraising in my own home town.”

Though he said many people in the music business run, he thinks his bandmate, frontman Ricky Wilson, “is far to competetive to make it fun.”

Also among the notable runners today was Adrian Howden, who won the very first Leeds Abbey Dash.

But after having his right leg amputated following an accident 10 years ago, this time he is competed using a hi-tech running blade.

Since being fitted with the specialist limb by Leeds-firm Steeper, the former international distance runner has competed in 50 triathlons around the world.

Before the race, he said: “Other runners that I meet are always impressed when I tell them I won the race 30 years ago and will be running it again with the blade Steeper have provided,” he said.

Adrian, from Roundhay, had his right leg amputated below the knee in 2006 after being hit by a motorcycle.

He was prescribed the specialist Steeper carbon fibre running blade which has helped propel his success, including finishing third in his age group at this year’s Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon in Leeds.

A spokesman for Steeper, which works with the Specialist Rehabilitation Centre at Seacroft Hospital, said: “He always has a smile and pushes himself and the equipment to the maximum, showing what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.”

The Lords Mayor of Leeds, Coun Gerry Harper, congratulated the winners and runner-up athletes on the steps of Leeds Town Hall.

He said: “Leeds is one of the main races in the running calendar throughout the north of England.

“I’m a bit jealous actually because I wanted to to it myself.

“I used to be a marathon runner. I’ve done one of these races in 47 minutes once, in the past when I was a young man.”

A British Rail Class 155 diesel multiple unit (DMU) at Leeds station. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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