There was disappointment for thousands of runners including GB ace Charlotte Arter after race organisers announced that the course for the 2019 Leeds Abbey Dash was short. This follows on from the recent Preston 10 miler that was also found to be short due to a human error.
The athlete who holds the women’s record for the fastest parkrun (15:50) thought she had set a new Welsh best for 10k with her blistering performance at last month’s race. However like hundreds of other runners her landmark effort will not now be officially recognised after the course was found to be 23 metres short.
Renowned for being one of the fastest races on the circuit, the Dash is one of the highlights of the racing year and boasts a mix of GB internationals, Olympians, club runners and first-timers alike.
Last month’s race was no different with a huge field of 7,000 looking to round off their autumn training. It was Arter, however, who took what was arguably the biggest accolade of the day with a convincing victory ahead of Abbie Donnelly (32:00) and Beth Potter (32:05).
Now those times plus those of the leading men – Omar Ahmed (28:38), Ross Millington (28:39) and Adam Craig (28:45) – are no longer valid. The men’s competition had been hotly contested with 29 runners dipping under the 30 minute mark.
The course for the annual Leeds classic, follows a route from Leeds city centre to Kirkstall Abbey and back. It was updated this year when the start line was moved to the Headrow and the Cardigan Fields Loop was removed. Post-race the updated route was reassessed by officials and the distance found to be short.
Due to the shortfall, times recorded for thousands of runners at the event will no longer be recognised by UK Athletics or the Power of Ten.