Last Sunday (13 December 2015) saw over 350 runners brave the arctic weather, much mud, and (thanks to Saturday’s torrential rain) a last-minute obstacle of a large fallen tree to complete the Leeds Xmas 10k Challenge in Middleton Park.
Now in its fourth year, the multi-terrain race organised by FairPlay Events was this year also supported and hosted by South Leeds’ own Hunslet Hawks. Both local RunLeeds running groups, South Leeds Lakers and South Leeds Sisters, were well represented, and there were also participants from many running clubs in the Leeds and Yorkshire area as well as from further afield. Many runners had got into the Christmas spirit with the addition of a bit of seasonal fancy dress, and all were cheered around the course by many volunteers and spectators.
The race started with a lap of South Leeds Stadium before heading out along the side of the Middleton Light Railway track, up ‘Scrooge Hill’, and into Middleton Woods. Runners completed 3 laps of a route which took us along the tramway, a 50m climb up the Ice Road, and downhill along the Wagon Way, including a diversion past the huge tree that had fallen across the track during the night. We then headed back down Scrooge Hill, back along the railway track, and into the Stadium for one last loop, before the weary, cold, and very muddy runners received a high-five from Harry the Hawk as they finished and a well-earned post-race mince pie.
The race was won by Ben Douglas in an amazing time of 34 minutes 27 seconds. Especially impressive given the conditions and the fact that the course involved a total climb and descent of over 200m/700 ft! After the race the 1st-3rd placed male and female runners in open, V40, V50, V60 and V70 categories were presented with their trophies by Hunslet Hawks club directors Kim Groves and Peter Jarvis in the South Leeds Sports Centre’s Phoenix Bar, before everyone dispersed for a much-needed bath!
Thanks to everyone who helped organise and support the event….see you next year!
This post was written by Niki Woods using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.