Athletics: Highly competitive field in Sheffield’s anniversary Percy Pud race

A scene from the highly-popular Steel City Striders Percy Pud race in the Loxley and Bradfield areas of Sheffield.

Some of the fastest 10k road runners in Britain will compete in and celebrate the 25th anniversary running of Sunday’s Percy Pud race.

Sheffield Race Director Richard Dunk has gathered together a quality field including Mohamed Abu-Rezeq of Altrincham AC, the defending champion and course record holder at 29:57.

At the Cheshire 10k in September, he finished second to Matt Clowes (Cardiff AC) winning time of 29:44. Matt, who is also running, finished thirrd in the October Manchester Half Marathon in a PB of 65:10, so he’s still in good form.

Both will have to be at their best to beat Hallamshire Harriers Andrew Heyes who ran a PB of 29:22 at the Leeds Abbey Dash on November 5, the feat moving Andrew up to 10th ranked in Britain.

Also in the mix will be Sheffield and Dearne’s Iraitz Arrospide who ran 30:32 at the Salford 10k in September.

Other local runners who will be pushing them all the way will be Hallamshire Harriers Andrew Challenger who ran 31:18 at the Salford 10k and Duncan Coombs at 32:37.

Connor Henderson of Sheffield and Dearne who ran 32:36 last year and Rotherham Harriers Philip Hoole at 33:20, will be contesting for a place in the top ten.

Mixed in amongst them will be Britain’s number one ranked Womens 10k road runner Olympian Eilish McColgan, the defending champion and course record holder.

She has just returned from the USA where she ran the Manchester Connecticut 4:75 mile race. She finished fourth in 24:16, but knocked 23 seconds off last year’s time.

At the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k Eilish set a new course record of 32:05, 47 secs faster than 2016.

Last year Eilish set the Percy Pud course record of 32:30 some 22 secs quicker than her Abbey Dash run and the quickest British Ladies 10k of 2016. She said that it was the first out and back 10k that she had run and the support of those who cheered her along lifted her to what was then her PB.

She is hoping that the runners and crowd again lift her to beat her PB of 31:56 which she set in January in Qatar.

Rebecca Robinson of Kendal AC finished second to Eilish at the Abbey Dash in 33:46; she returns to Sheffield after winning the Asda Sheffield 10k in September.

Hallamshire Harriers Nicola Squires the 2015 winner along with Sarah Lowery of Sheffield RC and Fiona Davis of Rotherham Harriers all with similar times will be pushing each other to quicker times.

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