Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick is ready to tackle the Leeds Abbey Dash in a show of support for her 90-year-old best friend – her grandmother.
The 39-year-old actor, who plays vet Vanessa Woodfield in the ITV soap, will take part in the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash with her grandma Lilian in mind as she raises funds for the Age UK charity.
Having only taken up running late last year to prepare for her first Leeds 10k, Michelle is preparing for her second distance run in a year with her wife Rosie who is also taking part.
Thousands of fundraising runners are expected to take to the streets of Leeds for the YEP-backed Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash on November 15, as the charity celebrates its ruby anniversary.
“My best friend in the whole world is my 90-year-old grandma Lilian so supporting Age UK during this year’s run means a lot to me,” Michelle said.
“Signing up to run the Abbey Dash and raising money for Age UK means you’re running for a great cause. We’ve got to look after our old people as they looked after us.”
Michelle completed her first ever 10k run earlier this year in one hour and 23 seconds, so has set her sights on completing the Abbey Dash in less than 60 minutes.
The course, which runs from Leeds city centre to Kirkstall Abbey and back, is known for being relatively flat so that runners can post fast times.
Michelle, who has been gradually stepping up her twice-weekly runs, added: “I’m looking forward to the buzz of it.
“There are people of all ages and abilities – not just elite runners.
“This is my first Abbey Dash but from my experience of the Leeds 10k I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere.”
Age UK Leeds works with older people in Leeds to provide social care services such as the Hospital to Home project, which helps older people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
To sign up to take part in the event log on to www.ageuk.org.uk/dash.
For any enquiries about the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the dash hotline on 0800 1698787.