A record-breaking number of runners braved cold and blustery conditions to tackle the Epilepsy Action 10k in Bradford yesterday.
Almost 1,500 people took part in the city’s biggest annual road race, raising much-needed funds for the Yeadon-based national charity.
More than 6,000 runners, raising over £260,000, have now crossed the finish line since 2008, and this year’s race has already raised £28,000 with more sponsorship money still to come in.
Runners set off from Centenary Square at 9am, following a faster and flatter course than in previous years to Frizinghall and back.
Last year’s winner Tesfaye Debele, 20, again took the honours in the men’s race in a time of 31 minutes and 42 seconds, but said conditions had prevented him from pushing for a quicker time.
“I wanted to go for it in the last two kilometres, but I couldn’t as it was too windy today,” he said. “It was still enjoyable though, and running this race in Bradford is always special for me, as this was the first place I ran when I came to the UK.
“I will come back here every year to try and run under 30 minutes, as the people always support and cheer for me.”
Danielle Hodgkinson, 29, was the first woman back in a new record time of 35 minutes and 32 seconds.
“It was pretty windy out there, but I really enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s great to get a record time as I’m just getting back into racing. With it being a two-way route, you had people cheering you going out and back, so it was a great atmosphere.”
Kevin Ogden, 42, who runs for the Spenborough Club based in Cleckheaton, finished as third male overall, and the first male over 40.
“It was very tough going out into the headwind, so it was just a case of grimacing and getting the job done,” he said. “This was the first time I’ve done this race, but it was really well organised and attended, and a great event for Bradford as a whole.”
Councillor Joanne Dodds, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, ran with her son Matthew, who suffered from epilepsy as a child.
“It was hard, but it helps spur you on when you know you’re raising money for a good cause,” she said. “It’s a fantastic atmosphere with people cheering you on all the way round, and there’s even a band at halfway who provide a beat that really inspires you to keep the legs going.”
Katie Stocks, from Epilepsy Action, said: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic day. To have a record number of runners is brilliant, and the money will have a huge impact on the work we are able to do as a charity, supporting the 600,000 people who suffer from epilepsy across the UK.
“The race seems to be increasing in popularity every year, and it’s great to see the event being embraced by Bradford.”
Entries are now officially open for the 2015 Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k, which will take place on Sunday, March 22.
To sign up, visit www.epilepsy.org.uk/bradford10k.