Leeds 10K MoRun. Flyers on Tour
Leeds is just one of the many cities in the UK I have connections with, and when earlier in the year my sister bought a new home, I had a great excuse to visit. My sister (Alex) has been settled in Leeds for many years, and our busy lives mean we get to see each other just a handful of times a year.
Leeds has many, many parkruns to choose from on a Saturday morning, so I knew that when I planned to visit, I would be able to fit in a run somehow. However, looking on the runners world website, I found a 10K run (with a 5k option) at Temple Newsam. The ‘Mo Run’. I enquired about the normal ‘Are you dog friendly?’ to which the race director was really welcoming. So as I went to book it up, I made the joking comment to Steve ‘You want me to book you in too?’ ‘OK’ he replied. Steve who hates running??? I didn’t ask twice, I just booked him in.
The early start Saturday morning meant a need to go Friday evening. I was all ready to go, but Steve was down the pub with work. I became more and more frustrated as time ticked on and I was still sat in my living room. Waiting. We eventually got on the road after 8pm, and I knew ETA would be after midnight. Steve assured me he had only ‘had a couple’- but the smell of alcohol and the lack of food I had eaten due to recent health problems was not helping my mood in the slightest. I knew we would have two crazy dogs to deal with at the end of the long car journey (Rafas beloved ‘Cousin Dave’ the Border Terrier). And I knew it would be an early start in the morning.
When we eventually arrived just after midnight, and we did have two crazy dogs leaping everywhere. We didn’t get much sleep. Cousin Dave and Rafa spent the entire night sniffing under the door at each other! After a breakfast of fruit for me, bacon sandwich for Steve, my sister and her partner Neil drove us up to Temple Newsam. Weather was horrific. Freezing cold and pouring with rain. Ground saturated. Covered in mud before the run even began. But the biggest shock was probably Steve wearing a bright orange flyers shirt!! Now, when I bought it for him a few months back, he shouted at me that I had wasted my money and to ask for a refund. He wasn’t a flyer, and never would be. When I said ‘OK well I’ll give it to one of the other Flyer guys, I’m sure they will appreciate it’, it disappeared into the depths of his wardrobe. Until today. When I saw him wearing it, and said ‘Bloody hell, thought you would never be a flyer?’ his response was ‘When abroad and all that!’
Up at Temple Newsam it was busy, with a lot of what I would describe as ‘Fun Runners’- mainly fancy dress, very few club vests. Lots of Mo’s and dogs! And lots of hills. Perfect if I was feeling well. It had the party atmosphere of Kirste 5. Steve was somewhat put off by the terrain and lack of trail shoes, claiming he would do one lap and weigh up the options!
We set off. Big crowds, off the grass and on to some downhill concrete. Steve disappeared into the distance, but it was difficult to safely over take with Rafa. Soon, we hit the mud. And the hills. And it was hard. At one point I was almost on my hands and knees as my shoes were not gripping enough. I felt pretty rough from about 4K in and knew this was gonna be a slow one. Steve was aiming for the hour, and got in under. I was aiming to stay alive, and I did, despite worrying chest pains and feeling pretty awful! Will spare you the details. When I came in, I was told that I had missed a wonderful moment. A woman pushing hard to get in under the hour was coming in- they announced ‘here comes Sarah, all cheer for Sarah, she’s doing brilliant’- as she crossed the line she projectile vomited. Perhaps she wasn’t so happy for everyone to be looking at her at that point! Reminded me of just a few weeks before back at Thurrock. Oh how I wished I’d had the energy to push myself that hard. But on the positive- on a very hard course, I was still quicker than I was at Southend 10K last year- and quicker than all my trailscapes which had a comparable elevation and mud factor!
The race itself was a little more costly than your average, but it was for charity. The medal was a lovely tash with an orange ribbon, and you got a sweat band too- a choice of blue or red (but the blue were quite small apparently). The race was chip timed, they gave out water and Lucozade. The route was clear and plenty of volunteers were there to help out. Apparently they had cake on sale. I didn’t hang around. And certainly not for cake the way I was feeling.
Next time I visit Leeds, I won’t do the Temple Newsam parkrun that’s for sure! Had I managed to persuade Steve to the dark side of running? No. But he hasn’t ruled out running with me again- but I couldn’t twist his arm for Benfleet 15 or Great Bentley!