Female winner, Faye Banks

Leeds Half Riding High

33 events in and the Asda Foundation Leeds Half Marathon just seems to be getting stronger with over 6,000 runners competing in Sunday’s (13 May) race. The jewel in the crown of the Run For All portfolio, the half’s success is a broad appeal, from elites to recreational runners to first-timers, all of whom received incredible support throughout the 13.1 miles.

The field departed The Headrow to tackle a course that moved out of the city centre and along Meanwood Road and Stonegate Road. Runners then encourtered a section of the Ring Road, down Butcher Hill and Hawksworth Road, along Abbey Road and Kirkstall Road and back into the city centre to finish in Cookridge Street alongside Millennium Square.

It turned out to be another successful day for Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, who defended his title and improved on his 2017 time. The Altrincham runner crossed the line in 1:08:06 (his fastest half this year), over a minute quicker than Chris Oddy (1:09:37) of Serpentine in second place. Matt Chipping took third in 1:12:49.

Pontefract’s Faye Banks followed up her strong performance at last month’s ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon with a superb victory in 1:22:05, more than six minutes ahead of second placed Lindsey Clegg (1:28:19), with Haley O’Conner in third (1:30:14).

There were some recognisable faces in the field, including actor Dean Smith, Educating Yorkshire star John Burton and Rugby League legends Barrie McDermott, Keith Senior and Jamie Peacock.

Tristan Batley-Kyle, Head of Events with race organisers Run For All, said: “Well done to everyone who took part in today’s event. The support given to the runners was superb and we must say a massive thank you to all our volunteers whose hard work helped make the run such a success.”

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