We are a small, friendly running club based at Garforth Leisure Centre, just off Ninelands Lane, Garforth, Leeds. We run twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, meeting at 7.15pm in the leisure centre lobby, and running at 7.30pm. Most runs are around 5 to 7 miles, with some groups going out further.
The club was formed in 1983 by a bunch of enthusiastic runners who wanted to train together. It’s a very friendly club, with a lot of new members joining over the last few years. We keep members motivated by club competitions, encouraging each other and sharing successes. We have annual prizes and also a ‘runner of the month’ prize for improved/outstanding performances or contributions to the club.
We are also well-known for organising the very popular Leeds Country Way relay in September each year – a 6 leg, 64 mile race around the countryside surrounding Leeds, which we have been organising since 1991.
In addition to the Leeds Country Way race, the club has its own club social and handicap races too. We take part as a club in many organised events eg Peco (a series of local Cross Country races), 10ks, half marathons and marathons.
People often ask us about the symbol of the rat on our club logo. One of our founder members, Les Kitching who still runs with us, explains its origin: when the club first started, someone suggested using ‘three blind mice, see how they run’ but not everyone liked this idea. Then the club used to organise a race around Garforth called The Rat Race, and so we became the Kippax Harriers rats!
We are affiliated to England Athletics. This gives you discounts at many road races, charity runs etc. Members can sometimes get discounts with other local businesses too eg Up and Running. Each year the club is entitled to apply for a London marathon place, so members who don’t get into the marathon, still have a chance of getting a place.