Deputy Lord Mayor to run in Bradford road race for charity

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Councillor Joanne Dodds Councillor Joanne Dodds

More than 1,000 runners, including the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, have now signed up take part in the city’s annual Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k road race.

Councillor Joanne Dodds will be running with her son Matthew, who suffered from epilepsy as a child, and about 1,500 runners on Sunday, March 16, hoping to raise money to support the 600,000 people affected by epilepsy across the UK.

Organised by the Yeadon-based charity, the race has become a permanent fixture on the Bradford events calendar since it began in 2008, having raised £210,000 for the charity with more than 5,250 runners crossing the finish line.

Coun Dodds, 52, said: “My son Matthew was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was nine, and lived with it for many years, so I know the impact epilepsy can have on a family.

“Running the 10k gives me that chance to raise awareness and funds for a cause that is close to my heart, right in the city where I live. It will also be brilliant to have Matthew running with me.”

The 2014 race sees a slight change in the route from previous years, resulting in a faster, flatter course.

Runners will follow a 10k route, starting at 9am, from Centenary Square to Frizinghall and back. The route will be closed to all traffic from 8.15am to 10.45am, with the course suitable for both elite and first-time runners.

Last year’s race, which had to be delayed until April by heavy snow, saw Tesfaye Debele smash the course record, achieving a time of 31 minutes and two seconds.

For the 2014 race, Epilepsy Action is offering a £50 prize to the first runner who can beat this time and finish the race in under 30 minutes.

Julie Smith, 44, of Birkenshaw, said she is “proud” to be running for Epilepsy Action to support her father, who suffers from the condition.

“I have had several friends over the years that have lived with the condition, so it is an issue that is personal to me,” she said. “In fact, the race goes through Bolton Woods, where my dad was born.

“Anything that raises awareness about epilepsy is a good thing, to help overcome the prejudice and lack of understanding surrounding it.”

Entry fees for the run, which is supported by Airedale Athletics and Sovereign Health Care, costs £18, or £16 for runners affiliated to a UK Athletics running club.

Prizes are awarded for male and female runners placed first, second and third, and for winners of the veterans’ categories. A free technical running T-shirt will be provided to everyone who completes the race.

For more information, or to sign up to the race, visit epilepsy.org.uk/bradford 10k or call 0113 210 8800. The closing date for entries is Thursday, March 13.

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