ORGANISERS of the Wetherby 10k run declared the event a huge community success.
Just under 900 athletes lined up at the racecourse on Sunday ahead of an expected hurricane and were cheered on by family and supporters.
Wetherby Runners Club President Rob Gray commented: “The event continues to grow in popularity.
“It captures the great community atmosphere which Wetherby Runners and the Lions have worked to establish over the past six years.”
“With The London Olympics now under a year away the race seems to have captured the new surge in enthusiasm for running for health and fun.
“Although many come to Wetherby to establish a good PB (Personal Best) time, as the course is relatively flat and offers a good competitive race too, the emphasis has been on building a race that has an appeal for all.”
The competition started with the Moores Mini Marathon set off by Steve Thompson, Head of HR at Moores Furniture Group.
Children tackled an off road route of 1.8 miles which was on the Railway Cycle track towards Thorp Arch then via farm roads and field tracks before returning to the racecourse.
The first runner who led the field of 162 was Jonny Dudley, however being over 15 years prevented him from taking the winners prize which went to Robert Etherington and was around in a record time of 9 min 55 seconds.
He was followed by Ethan Dalton of Beverley and Oliver Cockerill.
First girl was 11-year-old Stella Cross a Wetherby Runner from Tockwith, Lauryn Garwood was second and Dayna Arnott from Beverley. As Stella had won overall, the award for 1st Primary girl went to Morgane Dennis and first Primary School boy was Wetherby Runners AC Thomas Dudley.
In all, 16 of the 162 runners were from the Wetherby club, which was a very impressive turn out of the distinctive orange vests of the club and there were some very close battles between club rivals.
Moores Furniture Group provided the winners prizes and medals and goody bag for all the finishers.
Running through the finish for the first time allowed the assembled spectators to see and cheer the throng of almost 900 runners sweeping down wards to the roundabout and along the width of the link road towards Moto Services in a blaze of colour.
At the 5km drinks station in Kirk Deighton Alec Thomson in Highland dress provided a tune on the bagpipes and for the leading group the hard work was beginning to show.
The winner for several years Gary Dunn made the pace for the first 3km but having only recently returned following an ankle injury in the spring, found the pace too keen eventually falling back to 11th.
Yorkshire Dales Series front men - Mike Appleton (Ripon) and Tony Lambert (Swaledale) battled for fith and sixth positions but the clear leader was Paul Lockwood of Wakefield AC followed by unattached runner Jack Simpson who in turn was being chased hard by Mike Burrett of Leeds AC.
Chris Miller of Harrogate Harriers finished seventh and the first lady for the second year was Pauline Munro of Bingley Harriers, just 40 seconds slower than her 2010 time despite the windy conditions, she finished in 38.43. She was followed by Wetherby’s Lisa Mawer 39.18 as second woman and third Caroline Lambert 40.05.
The team and vet awards are yet to be announced.
Co race director Willie Allen of Wetherby Lions wanted to especially thank the local traders and businesses such as The Wetherby Whaler, Sykes House Farm, Electrician Mike Mckinley, Jack Joy Insurance and Days Inn who had offered support.
“It is particularly this year as Wetherby shops are being put under so much pressure it is clear that it is their inclusion and support that helps make this a special event for the town,” he said.
The Lions chosen charity for this year was The Army Benevolent Fund.