Matthew Kingston-Lee set a new Grantham RC club record and smashed a thirteen year old personal best when he clocked 34:34 at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, held on Sunday 17 November 2013. Matthew, who is enjoying the form of his life after an injury affected first half of the year, was delighted to better his old 10k best of 35:06, set at Chelmsley Wood in 2000.
The Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, hosted for the 29th time, is primarily held to race funds for Age UK and this year saw a record 12,500 entrants. Its reputation as a fast, flat, out-and-back end of year 10k has meant it has become the final round of the runbritain Grand Prix and also acts as the England 10k Championships. Conditions were perfect for the race, cool, with leaden skies, and the merest wisp of a breeze.
The course had altered slightly this year to accommodate the extra entrants, meaning a slightly unwelcome climb in the final kilometer. Nevertheless, runners would be hard pushed to find a quicker course on the British Isles.
Matthew, reveling in being surrounded by a mass peloton of fast runners, went through the opening 5k in 17:30. Following the sharp U-turn at halfway, he picked up and maintained the pace, running the second half of the race in 17:04 to clock 34:34 and earn himself his first 80%+ WAVA age graded result (80.98%).
Such was the quality of the field - the men's race was won by Matthew Hynes of North York Moors in 29:23 and the women's race by GB international Louise Damen of Winchester in 33:04 - Matthew found himself finishing in a relatively lowly 245th position. This though was of little concern for Matthew, who now focuses his attention on attempting to break his 10 mile PB at the forthcoming Nene Valley 10 on December 1st.