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UK Athletics

Leeds plays host to final Runbritain gp race of 2013

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Ryan McLeod
15 November 2013

The final round of the runbritain Grand Prix takes place at the Leeds Abbey Dash on Sunday 17 November. The 10km race, which also acts as the England 10km Championships, contains strong fields in both men’s and women’s categories and promises to be highly competitive on both fronts.

The top two men from last year’s race, Luke Cragg (coach: Phil Townsend) and Josh Lilly, will not have it all their own way as they line up against an excellent domestic field.

After a long layoff through injury, Ryan McLeod (John Nuttall) has returned to fitness in style in recent months, running the fastest leg of the day with 16:55 at the National 6 Stage Road Relays. He was victorious on his last three outings over 10km at the Heaton Harriers Memorial 10km, Bupa Great North 10km and Bupa Great Yorkshire 10km, where he ran a time of 29:40.

Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans) is another athlete in fine recent form. He retained his Bristol Cross Challenge title against a competitive field last month and the 22 year old has been equally impressive on the roads, running a personal best of 65:01 at the Cardiff Half Marathon, the most recent runbritain Grand Prix event.

Cross country specialist Frank Tickner (Clive Thomas), currently 11th in the Grand Prix standings and the highest ranked male on Sunday’s start list, finished fourth at the Bristol 10km, sixth at the Bupa London 10km and 11th at the Admiral Swansea Bay 10km.

Also in the field is international cross country runner James Walsh (Mike Baxter) and Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins), who ran 29:39 to win the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish 10k last month.

The highest returning female finisher from last year’s Abbey Dash is Rebecca Robinson, who was second in the 2012 race with a time of 33:09. This year she will face the challenge of National and Inter-Counties cross country champion Louise Damen (self-coached) amongst others.

Claire Jacobs sits fourth in the women’s runbritain Grand Prix standings and recently finished fourth in the Cardiff Half Marathon, setting a personal best of 76:26 in the process.

43 year old Emma Stepto (Alan Rowling) has had a superb resurgence late in her career and this year has set personal bests over every distance from 5,000m to marathon. A half marathon personal best of 73:40 en route to winning the Bristol Half Marathon in September suggests she is in shape to challenge for the top places in Leeds.

The likes of Beth Potter (Mick Woods), fourth at this event last year, Laura Whittle (George Gandy) and former World Junior 1500m bronze medallist turned triathlete Emma Pallant (Woods) highlight the depth of the women’s field.

For more information on the runbritain Grand Prix series please visit www.runbritain.com/run-britain-grand-prix