South Leeds Lakers Go Urban Trail Running

Steve Woods

Round about 12 months ago a series of trail runs were launched named the ‘Urban Trail Runner’; It sounded a great idea to get runners of all abilities to experience runs among some of the most beautiful trail and parks around Leeds, I unfortunately missed the first of the trail runs last year which was held at Temple Newsam. I was eager to put that right this year and this my review of the Temple Newsam event which was held on the evening of the 8th June.


Getting there in plenty of time I nervously looked around the crowd of runners who posed a threat to me winning the race, I quickly came to the conclusion that there was at least 157 of them that could do just that. I resorted to necking a quick cup of very strong coffee, this could give me an edge over what seemed to be a very strong contingent of St Theresa’s runners and other running clubs from around Leeds and the surrounding areas.


The weather was very kind to us although slightly muggy, the registration and picking up of the number was very efficient – all good to go! By this time I was joined by fellow South Leeds Lakers who also fancied the challenge of an off road run.


Making our way to the start we had our health and safety brief, which basically went along the lines of ‘please don’t do what this lady did last year and fracture your shoulder’. The Lady in question was our actual starter and quickly sounded the starting horn, fortunately without incurring any further injuries – result!


The runners quickly spread out as we headed down the hill, this was a quick downhill dash to jockey for positions, I noticed my Tom Tom watch wasn’t playing ball so had to reset it which nearly led to me being taken out by a low branch. Down to the bottom of the first stretch was when the honeymoon ended, we saw the first uphill section in front of us, through gritted teeth I attacked the hill and fortunately still had them in when I reached the top! This roller coaster ride was the theme all way through the run: up hills, down hills, over stiles, through gates – a thorough workout of a runner’s endurance and skill.


Over the last twelve months I have done many trail runs and would put this trail run in my top five list, it was ‘a tad over 7 miles’ as the organiser put it and it certainly felt every bit that distance at the end of the race! Most of the way I found myself battling against the strong showing of St Theresa’s runners, a bit of friendly rivalry always makes the runs more interesting and this one was no different. In the end the race was won by St Theresa’s Terry Midgley!


In summary this was a well organised, well marshalled race, one only an idiot could have gone the wrong way… which I managed on 3 occasions… but totally my fault! Reckon I need to run with my head up more.


I’m really looking forward to the next 2 events in the series, bring on Roundhay on the 13th July and Middleton on the 21st August!







Want to keep up to date with everything Run Leeds? Sign up now to stay in the loop!