• The Hills of Kirkstall

The Hills of Kirkstall

The first Tuesday of the month is the opportunity for those who run with Hyde Park Harriers to tackle the seventeen hills that are contained within a one mile stretch along Kirkstall Road. They vary in gradient and they vary in length. What doesn’t vary is the maximal effort that is put into climbing each and every one as fast as you can. (Well, maybe except the first one.)

As with all Tuesday runs with Hyde Park Harriers, we meet at 7 pm. The Kirkstall Hills run starts at Cardigan Fields and starts with a gentle warm up run to the start of the hills. We then pause, an opportunity to explain the brutal torture that is about to occur to those who have never attempted these hills and to order the group by pace.

Then we’re off.

The first hill feels incredibly unrelenting and is best used as a warm-up, it’s certainly the hardest of them all. The summit is welcomed and I begin the gentle descent back down… Only sixteen more to go.

I maintained a good pace for the first few but I think my legs were still struggling with the 47:55 10K I ran just two days ago in Bradford. I decided to ease off a bit more and, while still working hard, didn’t overdo things.


Conversation with friends I hadn’t seen for at least a week and new friends I hadn’t spoken to before helped take my mind off the constant up and down that Kirkstall Hills offer.

Time actually passed pretty quickly and before long we were up the flat(-ish) but long(-ish) penultimate hill. There was a gentle recovery down and then a congregation while we waited for the runners behind to join our clan.

It was a cold evening and the proposal of one blast up the final hill before completing that last hill together actually seemed appealing, so we decided to do that before returning back to the bottom.

After we had all grouped together, we completed one more, final, ascent up Greenhow Road and our run was finished.

We then headed out for a Hyde Park Harriers social event at Sela Bar in Leeds where we ate sufficient pizza to ensure our energy stocks were replenished. Some of us may have even eaten two whole pizzas. Not me, of course. I’m an athlete…


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