It was the fourth running of the annial race, founded by fund-raiser Jane Tomlinson just three months before she died following a long battle against cancer.
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On the stroke of nine o'clock, her son Steven, 13, set the runners off with a wave of the White Rose flag of Yorkshire.
Moments before, a huge Mexican wave had snaked its way down The Headrow as nearly 7,000 runners showed their appreciation for the founder.
Many of today's charity runners wore multi-coloured costumes and wigs. In a short speech from the starter's rostrum, Radcliffe said Miss Tomlinson would have been proud to see such a suge turnout. "It's great that her legacy continues," she said.
Jane's widower Mike Tomlinson also spoke from the rostrum, under the eye of a Channel Five documentary camera, filming for a programme to be seen next Saturday.
The racers gathered early at Millennium Square for a warm-up. Gradually, they drifted down to the Headwow, where the wheelchair athletes set off first, followed by the elite runners and celebrities at the start of the main race.
Behind them were wave after wave of runners, forming two columns at either side of The Headrow.
Thousands of spectators lined the streets to cheer them on.
All ages and abilities were represented among the racers - most of them raising money for causes close to their hearts.
First across the finish line was David Cowlishaw in a time of 33 minutes and five seconds. Paul Lockwood was second in 33:20 and Ryan Holroyd third in 33:51.
The women's race was won by Lois Rosindale in 37:47, with Claire Elener second in 41:02 and Melanie Pollard third in 41:19.
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Mr Cowlishaw, 42, now living in Madrid but from Horsforth, said: "It was a perfect day for running today.
"I ran the inaugural race three years ago and met Jane Tomlinson, it was a great moment.
"Now I'm delighted to have won this one, you never expect it.
"I feel great, you feel tired on the way round but not when you win."
Paula Radcliffe, who completed the course in 45:35 and ran the final 100 metres with her daughter Isla Lough, said: "It was a fantastic occasion and I had a lot of fun.
"It's a tough course and we have to say thank you to all of the people who turned out today.
"I run every day and it felt good today, I was not concerned about running a time, it was about enjoying the day.
"There were people cheering all the way round, the atmosphere was great.
"Jane Tomlinson was such an inspirational person, she never let anything get her down, and this race is really in her image, it is about something so serious but it deals with it in such a positive way, with a lot of joy for a lot of people.
"I've not done this event before but I have known Jane since 2002 and she was a great person."
John Sutcliffe, 36, from Sheffield, was part of a team of 12 from tea and coffee company Taylors of Harrogate and was dressed as a pot of Yorkshire Tea to run for the charity Children's Heart Surgery.
He said: "It was brilliant - I got a tremendous response on the way round and people were really generous.
"It was quite hard going and it was tough between six and eight kilometres but after that it was no problem."
The next chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan, said he enjoyed the run with his wife Louise. He said: "It has been a great day - for a city like Leeds, it is really important to have events like this, they bring everyone together."
Jane Tomlinson raised 1.85 million through a series of remarkable challenges as she fought her illness.
The fundraising efforts have continued since her death, led by Mike and her three children.
Mr Tomlinson said: "Suzanne, Rebecca, Steven and myself are delighted that Paula has agreed to be a patron of the charity and know that Jane would have been thrilled.
"That Paula has agreed to come and take part in the Leeds 10k whilst being pregnant speaks volumes and I'm sure the people in Yorkshire will be out in their thousands to cheer her on."
Also among the runners were Leeds model Nell McAndrew, actress Gemma Atkinson, actor Dean Andrews and a team from Emmerdale.
Emily Macaulay and Sue Jewell will compete as the final leg of an incredible 330mile challenge, running from Exeter to Leeds.
Mrs Tomlinson, from Leeds, was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2000. Despite her illness she took part in a number of endurance challenges to raise money for charity, including marathons, the Ironman Triathlon and a 4,800 mile bike ride across America. Before her death in September 2007 she had raised 1.85million for charity. Earlier this year her charity announced it had raised 2 million and has now set a 5 million target.
Since the Leeds 10K was launched, the event has raised some 2 million for all the charities supported by runners. The 2009 event raised 300,000 for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the Leeds 10K partner charities: Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, Macmillan, Martin House Children's Hospice, the children's medical charity Sparks and Yorkshire Cancer Centre. The Yorkshire Post is media partner for the event.
All Run For All events are not-for-profit charity events open to people of all abilities – whether they wish to run, walk, wheel or jog.
The success of the Leeds 10K has led to the set up of Jane Tomlinson's York 10K, now in its second year, Hull 10K and Pennine Lancashire 10K.
There are a number of road closures in and around the city centre for the race.
Various roads to the south of The Headrow will be re-opened from 10am and most of the roads north of The Headrow from 11.15am.
Some of the streets surrounding the City Library area, including part of The Headrow and the approaches to Millennium Square will remain closed until mid or late afternoon.
More reports and pictures in Monday's Yorkshire Post
Watch coverage of the 2009 race
I did the leeds 10K today with Nell McAndrew. In 3 weeks time I'll be in Afghanistan with the Army! It was a fantastic day, which I loved every minute.
Adam Blackburn, 27, Leeds
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