‘Middleton Woods parkrun’ Readies For An Autumn Launch!

Ben Fraser

Since we shared the news that: ‘a new parkrun in Middleton park could be on the horizon’ back in February this year, we’ve been hard at work to help develop this idea.


On the back of the first article call-out for people to join the core team we received nine expressions of interest to join. After a series of planning meetings we have retained the support and interest of over ten people – gaining along the way.


The ‘core volunteer team’ is made of a wide range of people, with several experienced parkrunners and volunteers – Geoff was the first 100 club parkrunner in Ireland!


The position of Event Director has been taken on by Josh Dixon, a member of the Bramley Breezers. It will be Josh’s role to strengthen the team by supporting people into important roles including ‘Race Director’ and the event volunteers who deliver the nuts and bolts of a parkrun, week in, week out.  


Josh Dixon commented:

I decided to take on ‘Middleton Woods parkrun’ as the event director as I thought it was an opportunity to bring what I believe will be one of the best parkrun’s in the country to South Leeds.


Through persistent hard work Josh and the rest of the core team find themselves several steps closer to a launch date of ‘Middleton Woods parkrun’.


Neil Jones, Active Leeds partnership manager has channelled the momentum of the core team, securing the 3k match funding required to kick start the event activation.


Neil Jones shared:

Tackling inactivity in the City and building opportunities for local people to engage in physical activity is a key Council aspiration for 2017 and beyond.  I am delighted to see such a positive and motivated team taking hold of the project and moving at pace towards an activation date.



I am looking forward to running the course and joining the parkrun community that will be built in Middleton.


The biggest test for the team has come about in the design stage of the event route. The challenge has been to balance the need to create an exciting event – visually and over terrain – without sacrificing the safety of the participant.


With other societies such as ‘SLAM’ South Leeds Aero Modellers Society accessing the park on a Saturday morning. The core team, Leeds City Council and SLAM are patiently working to make the arrangements of the use of the park suitable for everyone. 


Josh was keen to share a sneak preview of the planned route:

I can reveal the route will be a in a shape of a lollipop, we are the stage finalising the exact start and finish lines, before it is officially measured. The next stage will require some willing runners to test the course out.


And he was adamant that the team effort has been the deciding success factor in bringing the event activation process to the stage it is at now…

In the meantime I would like to thank everyone including the core team who have supported the idea for ‘Middleton Woods parkrun’. Also to Neil Jones for all his hard work behind the scenes. Jeremy Hayes for the support from the bike hub and Sam Dooley from parkrun for all his help and advice. And also, last but not least, Ben and Run Leeds who have been major backing for this parkrun and for posting the article that found me and got me involved.



All I have left to say is keep your eyes peeled for our launch and I hope to see you at Middleton Woods this autumn – I look forward to building on the success of bringing free sport into the area!


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