MORE than 1,000 runners helped raise over £25,000 for Epilepsy Action by taking part in today's Bradford 10k.

The race was won by Joe Sagar, who powered across the finish line in a time of 32 minutes and 58 seconds, ahead of pre-race favourite Joe Townsend.

The first woman to finish was Faye Beckett, 19, of Wakefield District Harriers, who recorded a time of 38 minutes and three seconds.

Sagar and Beckett were also the first recipients of a new award that was introduced at this year's event. The Alice Redmond prize was awarded to the fastest male and female aged 21 and under. It is in memory of Alice Redmond, who was involved in the development of the Bradford 10k, and was presented by her dad Steve Redmond.

Katie Stocks, fundraising events manager at Epilepsy Action, said: "People in Bradford have always been hugely supportive of this event, and this year was no exception. It’s been a fantastic event and it was great to see so many people out enjoying the race and raising awareness about epilepsy.

"Special thanks must go to all of the runners, volunteers, marshals and people who came to cheer on the participants. All of the funds raised at this event are vital in helping Epilepsy Action to continue to deliver its life-changing services."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Winner Joe Sagar flanked by second-placed Sam Clegg, left, and third-placed Joe Townsend, right

Winner Joe Sagar flanked by second-placed Sam Clegg, left, and third-placed Joe Townsend, right

A total of 1,150 runners tackled the course, which starts and finishes in Centenary Square via Frizinghall. Among those taking part was the Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Joanne Dodds, and her son, Matthew.

Cllr Dodds, 54, who finished in one hour, ten minutes and 58 seconds, said: "The atmosphere across the course was brilliant. There was a choir and two bands and the beat inspired you to run. And everyone is clapping and that inspires you.

"It is a fantastic event and it is for a wonderful cause."

Hopes were high before the race that Townsend could beat Tesfaye Debele's course record of 31 minutes and two seconds.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Runners set off on the Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k

Runners set off on the Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k

The reason for the pre-race hope was Townsend had finished 30th overall in his first-ever London Marathon last year in just two hours and 23 minutes.

But the 26-year-old Leeds runner, who suffers from epilepsy, had to settle for third, and said: "It was hard work. I am not as fit as I was a few months ago.

"I set off steady but could just not pull them back in."

He added: "It is a brilliant event and I really enjoyed it. It is about coming down and enjoying it."

Second-placed Sam Clegg, 30, said he had expected Townsend to win, and added on his own finish: "I am reasonably happy with it. I did not know what to expect. I went too hard on the first half."

Winner Sagar, of Spenborough and District Athletics Club, won the Bradford City Runs 10k last October. He said of yesterday's win: "I will take that. I kept going at a steady pace - I feel good."

Women's winner Beckett said: "I feel amazing! I was not expecting that."

The women's top three was completed by Laura Dransfield, 24, of Roundhay Runners, and 39-year-old Rebecca Cesardesa, of Skyrac Athletic Club.

Next year's race will be the tenth Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k.


Click here for the full Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k results

Click here for the Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k category results summary

Clcik here for the Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k gender results summary