The phrase “off the beaten track” might have its origins in the time where explorers, or frontiersmen may have created paths through the forest by cleaning away the undergrowth and other obstructions. Being off that beaten path meant you must have been in real unexplored territory or worse, completely lost.
You might think that the Leeds Country way is the complete opposite of this concept because it is by definition, a way cleared for tourists, walkers and yes, even runners to enjoy safely, the Yorkshire countryside.
You would be wrong.
Returning to Leg 1 of the LCW relay after three weeks and its nearness to civilisation, it’s very on-the-beaten-track-ness seems to have gone back with the onset of summer. Entropy has taken over! The decision to wear long running tights was a good one. They are not completely nettle proof but have saved my legs from being raw after wading through them waste deep. In places you might think that surely a path doesn’t go through there!
This might be a little woosy-ness on my part because these “jungle stretches” were probably a few percent of the total route that does go through some stunning countryside. But, as the Boy Scouts say, you should “be prepared”. So my advice to anyone doing the Leeds Country Way Relay:
Firstly, reccy your route and then do it again, in even this simplest of routes near home I had to look at my GPS a few times.
If you are going out at this time of year, wear running tights/leggings.
Above all have fun doing it. I am told the beaters will be out before race day so it will be a joy to run and probably not so difficult to navigate.
“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.”
Acts 27:20 NIVUK