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Thousands of runners hit the streets for the record-breaking Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash

By: Age UK
Published on 06 November 2017 12:00 PM

Charity Age UK on track to raise more than £275,000 for older people in need and female elite runner smashes course record

Almost 9,000 runners from across the UK came out in the sunshine on Sunday 5 November to complete the 32nd annual Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash, which helps raise funds to support vulnerable older people, both in Leeds and across the country.

The race, which is part of the England Athletics 10k championships and a popular course due to its flat, fast route, was well attended by elite runners, as well as beginners.  First to cross the finish line for the male elite runners was Sam Stabler in an impressive time of 29 minutes and 13 seconds, followed closely by Paul Pollock and Ben Connor, who both ran the race in 29 minutes and 20 seconds. The fastest woman was Eilish McClogan, who broke the female course record yesterday and completed the Dash in 32 minutes and 5 seconds – the previous record held for this was 32 minutes and 15 seconds. 

Local star Peanut from the Kaiser Chiefs fired the starting gun for this year’s event before joining the Dash runners, he completed the race with a personal best of 41 minutes and 9 seconds  After the race, he said: 'Coming home to Leeds and running such a fast course was a great buzz. Huge shout out to everyone around the city for all the support, it made all the difference.  It was also a great opportunity to raise money for lonely older people, who particularly need our help over the cold, winter months.'

This year’s Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash aims to raise more than £275,000 for Age UK’s work supporting vulnerable older people across the country, including for services that help tackle loneliness. Research from the Charity shows that 1.2 million older people in England are chronically lonely [i]. Age UK wants to combat this problem by providing companionship, advice and support for older people who are facing later life alone. Some of the funds raised this year will also enable Age UK Leeds to help older people in the city.

Lydia Curran, Head of Events at Age UK, said: 'This year’s Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash has been brilliant! We’d like to thank the thousands of runners who took part, as well as our volunteers and the crowds of supporters who cheered everyone on. The Dash raises vital funds for Age UK’s work in tackling loneliness amongst older people. It’s heart-breaking to know that so many older people feel they have no one to turn to, especially at this time of year so we’re hugely grateful for everyone’s support.'


Top 3 runners (male):

  • Sam Stabler – 29 minutes and 13 seconds
  • Paul Pollock – 20 minutes and 20 seconds
  • Ben Connor – 20 minutes and 20 seconds

Top 3 runners (female):

  • Eilish McClogan - 32 minutes and 5 seconds
  • Emma Mitchell – 32 minutes 51 seconds
  • Ashley Gibson – 33 minutes 30 seconds

If you have been inspired to take on the Dash next year, you can sign up now for a super early bird ticket



Notes to editors

For more information and images please contact Sarah Timms, Senior Media Officer at Age UK, on 0203 0331204 or email

Download hi-res images

View race times

1 Figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,247 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 23rd December 2014.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).26% of people aged 65+ selected being ‘always, often or sometimes’ when answering the question ‘How often, if at all, do you ever feel like you have no-one to go to for help/ support?’. Calculations were made by Age UK. Population figures for the UK are based on mid-2013 population estimates, ONS 2014, using the figure of 11,131,805 people aged 65 or over in the UK.

Age UK

Age UK is a national charity that works with its national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and its local Age UK partners across England. It also works globally to support older people, especially in developing countries, through its subsidiary charity Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. It provides free information, advice and support to over six million people and carries out research and campaigns on the issues that matter most to older people. Its work focuses on ensuring older people have enough money; have good wellbeing; have access to the health and care support they need; feel safe and secure at home; and are able to make a full contribution to our society and are valued for it.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

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Last updated: Nov 07 2017

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