Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash

This fantastic 10k is flat, fast and perfect for beginners and elites alike. Have fun, get fit, and raise money for older people in Leeds and around the UK.


History of the Abbey Dash

Thirty or forty years ago, road running hit a boom period. Lots of new clubs were born, along with a variety of road races. Founded in 1984, Abbey Runners has always been actively involved with the scene, believing that, as well as enjoying races, the club should also contribute to organising them  – a tradition we still maintain with races such as the Eccup 10, and the Golden Acre Relays.

Seeing a niche in the market, and wanting to put on a club race, Colin Morath and Richard Witt, (a club member then working for Mencap but later for Age UK), planned a winter race for the centre of Leeds. They finally settled on a 10km course out and back to Kirkstall Abbey. The first race in 1986 attracted over 600 runners. It grew rapidly, and when it became impossible for Abbey Runners to manage all the organisation, Age UK took over the office administration, while Abbey Runners managed the ground work, i.e. start, finish and marshalling.

Of course there were difficulties, particularly as many people wanted to run in such a prestigious race, but for years we managed by requiring people to find a marshal to take their place so they were free to run. As the race continued to grow it became necessary to create separate teams with different responsibilities and to bring in helpers from other places. However it has always remained our race.