Club of the Month – Hyde Park Harriers

Rachel Atherton

 Hyde Park Harriers

Club Information

We meet at the ‘Welcome to the Exhibition Centre’ doors at the Edge at the University of Leeds on Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm.

Every Tuesday is long run night, with a variety of routes that include hills, flat runs and speed work. We also have splinter groups some weeks with different offerings (*details below).

We have up to eight levels, from group one (beginners, returners and runners who take more than 35 minutes to run 5k) to group eight (people who can break 40 mins for 10k).

Please talk to any of our leaders if you are not sure what group is best for you.

If you’re new to running and not sure of your speed, then don’t worry. No-one is too slow – you’ll never be left behind and you’ll never be made to feel a nuisance.

Our splinter sessions aim to bring something extra to Hyde Park Harriers and offer our runners some diversity within their running these sessions are held in addition to our usual groups mentioned above.

  • 1st Tuesday of the month is our well established #runandtalk session brought to you by our Mental Health Champions.
  • 2nd Tuesday is our popular Kirkstall Hills session (meeting outside Virgin Active, Kirkstall Road, for a 7pm start).
  • If a month is lucky enough to have a 5th Tuesday we encourage runners to step up a group, if they feel ready, in our Progression Session.

Thursday is our speed, strength and conditioning session, when you can push yourself with the support of teammates. We start from the Edge at 7pm.

Typically, we’ll spend an hour doing a series of strength and speed exercises and practice running drills, intervals and general stretching to improve our all-round fitness.

This session is suitable for anyone and all abilities so just come along and reward yourself with some great trainings and have some fun!

Wearing something light/bright is always advisable, especially when evenings are dark! Don’t forget to bring a drink!


How the club started:

We started as Virgin Active Road Runners in 1996, then we moved to the University of Leeds and became Hyde Park Harriers. We often get confused as being from Hyde Park in London!

Interesting or fun fact/info about the club or its members:

One of our founding members, and honorary lifetime member is Tom Williams, now Chief Operating Officer of parkrun Global! He also started Woodhouse Moor parkrun in 2007, the first parkrun outside of London.

Hyde Park Harriers is one of only two clubs in the UK to have two members who’ve run 500 parkruns!

Any major milestone / success stories:

We were once called the ‘friendliest run club in Leeds’, by Leeds List. We are also one of the cheapest EA affiliated run clubs to join in the city. Our ladies team won the PECO XC league in 2018/2019!

How the club’s responded to Covid-19:

When we are not running, at times of lockdown and isolation, we’ve been looking out for each other. We held our awards do on zoom, we’ve been drawing animals on strava, or writing messages, we’ve been making batons and our own race bibs and running with them, we have a photography competition running, we have weekly quizzes, Thursday night riddles, virtual strength & speed sessions… and our triathlon section even have a Zwift race series going on. There’s been something for everyone and there’s room for more of us!

5 words to describe the club or club motto:

Friendly, inclusive, ‘ain’t no barriers’, community, fun!


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