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Leeds Dock Running Relay

Rachel Atherton

On Thursday 22nd 250+ runners from across the city headed down to the Leeds Dock to take part in the very first Leeds Dock Running Relay event!

Event Background

The Council has the ambition of making Leeds the best city to be active in. Part of this ambition involves activating new areas of the city to encourage people to get active in new spaces. Working in partnership with Allied London, who are the land owners of the dock we developed the Leeds Dock Relay. The event was developed to bring people to the dock and encouraging them to utilise the space as somewhere to be more active. It was also a great way to engage with local runners from the city and re-promote the Run Leeds brand and the new direction of the project. Having the support from the Royal Armouries and surrounding businesses such as Primal Gym and Bar 29 was a real benefit to the event, and highlighted the strength of collaborative working.

What did the event look like on the night?

The aim for teams to complete as many laps of the course as they could within an hour. The course was an approximate 1 mile loop around the dock, starting and finishing in the Armouries Square. Any lap could be started up to 59 minutes 59 seconds being displayed on the clock. Runners were only allowed to complete one lap at a time before passing over to the next runner. The event was run free of charge by Active Leeds, but donations to Leeds Cares were encouraged, with a small amount being raised on the night.

There were 2 races organised as part of the event, with the corporate race getting under way first at 6pm. 23 corporate teams took part in the event coming from a range of different companies such as ASDA and Yorkshire Water. City Fibre, one of the businesses based down at the dock also kindly provided free water and Jelly Babies for the competitors of the race, and these went down a treat for the runners ticking off the laps. There were lots of laps completed by all the teams but the overall winners of the race completed a fantastic 13 laps in the hour!

Next up was the open race which started at 7:30pm. There was another great turn out with 34 teams from across the city coming along to take on the challenge. There was a good showing from local running clubs such as The South Leeds Lakers, Roundhay Runners and Sole Sister. Not to be outdone by the corporate race the winners of the open race also completed a strong 13 laps! Primal Gym provided some great prizes for the winning teams of both races, with a free monthly membership. We also had some spot prizes provided by the Leeds Dock Bar 29.

Leeds Dock Running Relay startling

The event created a real buzz in the Armouries square with lots of passer buyers stopping to soak in the atmosphere and see what was going on. There was also lots of cheering and encouragement for all the teams, with just the right balance of competitive edge and fun! All of the volunteers who helped out at the event were great, displaying lots of enthusiasm and they really helped to make the event a success. Without volunteers event like this wouldn’t be able to take place.

“Cracking little event and well organised! Great to have a fun and competitive atmosphere where athletes with such a wide range of abilities competed. Sign me up for next year! Well done to all who contributed to the creation of the event.”

It was a brilliant effort from everyone who took part in the event, with it attracting approximately 250 participants. The feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive, with lots of teams calling for the event to be held again on an annual basis. It was great to see the event attracting such a wide range of runners, from those regular keen runners to those just starting out. The event really helped to bring the running community together.

“Most fun I had for ages! Leeds Dock relay has got to be the BEST race so far. Thanks Run Leeds, Active Leeds and Leeds Dock for organising. Please can we do it again next year?!”

“Such a great event, still buzzing from the Leeds Dock relay race! Can’t wait for next year!”

 

Watch this space for another Leeds Dock Relay event!

 

 

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