Moving moments and a record-breaking triumph occurred today as thousands of people ran for good causes during the annual Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash.
Professional athletes, race novices and fundraisers of all ages took part in the adult, junior and wheelchair events which set off from Wellington Street, leading up Kirkstall Road towards Cistercian ruins on Abbey Road and back.
Some took to the 10k course in fancy dress, with computer game characters the Mario Brothers and a Dalek from Doctor Who keeping spirits up.
Olympic finalist Eilish McColgan achieved the fastest ever female time in the race at 32 minutes and five seconds.
Nicholas ‘Peanut’ Baines, 39, the keyboard player for Leeds band the Kaiser Chiefs was also among those taking part.
He said: “This hurt last year when I did it. This year, I’m feeling much, much better for it. And it’s probably about two degrees warmer.”
The Meanwood man has enjoyed running at a variety of places, from 5k parkruns on Woodhouse Moor to Copacabana Beach in Brazil while on tour.
And the race was an emotional occasion for those who turned out in memory of people close to their hearts.
The daughters and nieces of Leeds woman Nichola Sykes, who took her own life in 1999, raised nearly £1,000 for the mental health charity Mind ahead of competing in the race.
Nichola’s mother Carol, 60, of East End Park, said: “I’m so proud I could cry. She would have been 40 so we’re doing this instead of having a party.”
Those running in her honour were Donna Sykes, Rebecca Sykes, Ella Sykes, Kelly Dixon, Michelle Abbott, Dawn Abbott and Louisa Cooper.
For part-time triathlon coach Dave Bradley, of Holmfirth, it was his first big race after a DIY accident meant that he needed an operation on his ankle.
The 60-year-old Wakefield Triathlon Club member said: “I did it about 10 years ago. I fell off a roof and it’s taken me years to get back into running quickly again. I’m older, but it was really good fun.”
Rachel Rutherford, 48, of East Ardsley, was raising cash for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
“I’m doing it for my mother-in-law. She recently finished chemotherapy.”
Phill Atkins, 58, of Pudsey, was taking part in his first organised race.
“I just decided to take up running back in August,” he said.
Sam Stabler won overall in 29 minutes, 13 seconds. Tiaan Bosch triumphed in the wheelchair 10k,finishing in 26 minutes and 37 seconds. Ethan Hussey won the 2km junior dash race in five minutes and six seconds.