A number of leading Scottish runners are preparing for this weekend’s Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash. The Scottish contingent will represent a reunion of Commonwealth athletes—including Beth Potter, Steph Twell, Laura Whittle, Eilish McColgan and Callum Hawkins—with hopes for a series of strong performances at a 10K race that has established itself as one of the fastest in the circuit.
Beth Potter, for one, will be aiming to match her fourth place showing at last year’s event where she posted a SB of 33:44. The 22-year-old athlete has been in impressive form this year having set a half marathon PB of 73:26 and taking sixth place October’s Great Scottish Run.
Potter feels that the Scottish team for Sunday’s race is looking strong: “I was fourth in Leeds last year and it may even be a stronger field this year because we’ve four good Scottish athletes in the team for a start with myself, Steph and Laura having been at the Games and Rhona running well in cross country.”
Callum Hawkins, meanwhile, is part of a men’s team that also comprises, GB cross country international Andrew Butchart, GB hill runner Andrew Douglas and Scottish 10,000m track champion Luke Traynor. After a consistent 2014, Hawkins will be looking for another strong performance at the Leeds Abbey Dash; last year, the Kilbarchan runner took third place in 29:24.
The event, set to attract up to 12,000 competitors, departs from Leeds Town Hall and passes through some of the city's most important historical buildings, including Kirkstall Abbey, before returning to Yorkshire Television Studies on the way to the finish line. With an out and back profile, the race creates a highly-charged atmosphere as, along with the supporters, runners encourage each other as they approach and run back from the turn around point.