For once the weather gods failed to shine on the runners at this year’s Women’s Running Race Series event in Leeds, but they couldn’t dampen the spirits of the 300 or so women and children who assembled in Temple Newsam park for the 5K, 10K and family mile.
It certainly was a drizzly start in the picturesque setting of the grounds created by one of Britain’s most revered landscape designers, Capability Brown. But as the runners began to gather, the forecast proved right and a few rays of sunshine gradually broke through the clouds.
The Leeds running community has always been one of the strongest, and more than a dozen local running clubs were represented on the day, bringing a strong sense of camaraderie to proceedings – and some vocal support along the course.
During the morning, runners heard from a number of race partners and volunteers. Award-winning food and fitness bloggers, mother and daughter combo Jayne and Bibi Rodgers took to the stage to extol the virtues of running on a vegetarian diet (veggierunners.com). And both took to the start-line, with Bibi six months pregnant!
Women’s Running editor Jenny Bozon was next up with some practical advice on hydration and top tips on how to wear a Buff! She also shared details of her own running journey so far and how to avoid and cope with injury.
After a thorough warm-up from Nickie, from local gym Anytime Fitness the runners were ready to go. As they set off around the course, there was great crowd support from friends and family who had turned out to cheer everyone on.
First back in the 5K was a delighted Corrie Percival, who took the win for the second year running. In second place was Billie Lister with Ailsa Thomas third. Sophie Earle was first in the 10K in an impressive time of 47mins 21secs, given the tough course, with Sueet Tong just under a minute behind in second, and Emer Dudley in third.
WE RACED IT!
Lizzie, Hyde Park Harriers, 50: “I thought it was great. The camaraderie with runners is pretty good anyway but when you’re just running with women it’s even nicer.”
Sophie Earle, 27, Leeds – 10K winner: “I think the course was a good mixture because there was a lot of path and off-road and the stewards were there all the time to guide you around the tricky bits anyway, so it was really well run from that respect. I really didn’t think I’d win at all!”
Corrie Percival, York, 43 – 5K winner: “I think the race was absolutely amazing. First of all, it was wonderful to see so many ladies do their best, they’ve done their training and they’re coming out to have some fun. It’s great to see the determination before they start and to see their excitement. I think that it’s wonderful that you put a race like this together. It was awesome to be the winner of the 5K for two years running, it’s just fantastic and I can’t wait to come back. Well done to the Women’s Running Race Series!”
View the full race results here.