Report by Zaheer

It was a very early start to the day as I met up with fellow club members Neal Matthews and Gokul Giri outside the EIS where Neal had kindly offered to drive.

This race is a very popular fixture on the Yorkshire running calendar and is usually held on the first Sunday in November eachyear in Leeds city center. The course is an ‘out and back’ from Leeds City Center, and mostly flat with some minor inclines around the 5k and 9k mark.

This was my second time running this race, so when I entered this a few months ago, my only aim had been to beat my 10k PB of 1:01:53 from last year.My running had been below par since the summer, so leading up to this I wasn’t too confident that this would be a PB day. But thanks to the support and words of encouragement from running club colleagues, I’d finally begun to believe that a respectable time may well be on the cards.

There is adequate car parking dotted around Leeds, but we parked at the Brewery Wharf car park , which costs £3.00 to park all day on a Sunday, so relatively cheap by city center standards. This is not one of the car parks mentioned in the race guide but we found this a better option for when driving up from Sheffield.

This is a short 10 minute walk away (ideal for a warm up!) from the start line in Wellington Street in the city center. If in doubt to the directions, just follow the hundreds of other runners making their way to the start line!

It was a very cold, crisp autumn morning, so we made sure to wrap up warm. Due to the large field , the baggage drops are located at various points near the finish which is around 5 mins warm-up from the start.

On to the start line. My strategy was not to push too hard too early, run at my own pace, and follow a random runner slightly faster than me for as long as possible!

However, this unscientific approach fell apart very quickly. My first 3 mile splits were much faster than my usual race pace, and I was in danger of running too fast too soon and maybe even stopping altogether.

I needn’t have worried though, spurred on by the hundreds of other runners and by the crowd dotted throughout the course, I managed to keep a consistent pace throughout and before long the sprint to the finish line, in a faster-than-expected time of 58:52 – my first sub-60 minute 10k beating my previous PB by 3 minutes, and of course a 10K PB!

Every race finisher gets a T-Shirt and a Lion Bar. That’s right, no medal! Not the best of goody bags but most people tend to do this race for the camaraderie, the fast (mostly) flat course, and the huge field made up of all abilities of runners.

In my excitement of beating my PB I missed the person handing out the Lion bars, but remembered to get the T-Shirt!Looking back at the split times, there is definitely room for improvement but overall a very pleasing Sunday morning getting my running back on track and making me realise what is possible with the support of a great running club!

I’ll be back next year aiming for another PB!

Finally, congratulations and a massive well done to the following SRC runners :
Joe Sweetnam-Powell – 34:17
Tim Fletcher – 39:44
Gary Brooks – 40:08
Samya Armoush – 40:45
Neal Matthews – 50:44
Gokul Giri – 51:19
Bring on the Percy Pud!

Leeds Abbey Dash 2017