Every year the waterways of Leeds hosts the Waterfront festival. This year is the festival’s ninth year and also the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Leeds to Liverpool canal. There were a multitude of different food and drinks stalls and various events on and off the water. One of these events was a run organised by local running group “Veggie Runners”. I attended the festival on the Saturday to check out the food and drinks stalls with a couple of Lakers and on the Sunday, I joined the Veggie runners.
The Art run was just over 4 miles mostly along the canal with various stops along the way. The stops included looking at points of interest and some surprising facts about the canal and surrounding areas, who knew that the canal from Leeds to Liverpool took 46 years to build? I certainly didn’t.
I was joined by Mike from the Lakers and Alison, my sister in law. Alison is a much better runner than she thinks she is and was up at the front most of the time. Mike hung back and kept me company, having a nice chat along the way. There were plenty of stops to allow people to take pictures and this gave me chance to catch up.
The route took us along the canal for around 2 miles to a bridge close to Armley park, the path then followed a woodland trail stopping at the bottom of a staircase known as “Armley Killer Steps”. They certainly lived up to their name! We were warned that the top that we could see was not actually the top, it still came as a bit of a shock when I saw that there were so many more steps.
After skirting the edge of the park and a short stretch on the road we descended back down to the canal side. It was then a case of retracing our steps back to the start point. Along the way I heard a voice cheering me on by name, I though that he had just seen my name on my shirt but when I looked it was Ed and his boatbuilding buddies.
The group was led by Janey who took us through our paces in the warm up and post run stretches. There were 16 of us in total and the run was well organised and no one was left behind. As a slower runner, I felt welcome and supported and was never made to feel as if I was holding anyone up.
After the run Alison and I enjoyed a lovely coffee and a chat.
More information about Veggie Runners can be found at http://www.veggierunners.com/running-2/get-fit-with-veggie-runners/
or they can be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VeggieRunnersUK/
or on Twitter https://twitter.com/VeggieRunnersUK
They have regular sessions on Mondays at 6.30pm, suitable for more experienced runners. They also have other running based events, details can be found on the website or social media pages.