Leeds Country Way in a Day – Andy Burns, Les Kitching and Gerry Waterton

Written by Andy Burns – 1993

Do you fancy a drink or Leeds Country Way in a “WANNER”?

Most of the people named were Kippax Harriers at the time. The “3 Heroes” still are and the others remain very active.

The challenge was laid down when one member of the Kippax Harriers mentioned “Do you fancy a drink for my birthday, but first of all let’s go for a run?” But where to go for a pre drink run? After a little discussion it was decided. The Leeds Country Way would be completed in it’s entirety in one go.

The date was 3rd August 1993. The Occasion was Les Kitching’s 46th Birthday. Some celebration!!!

At 6.30am on Saturday the 3rdAugust, Les Kitching (46) , Gerry “Whiz” Waterton (40+) and Andy “flying scotch-man” Burns (50+) took off with a little help from – Eric “blaster” Burnell (50+) and Geoff “nat” Anderson (55+) on the first leg to Stanley .

The going was quite easy except for the approach to the River Aire where the weeds were 5 foot tall! The running time for “Leg 1” was approx 1.52.00. At the end of the Leg we were met by Christine Osborne, Lynn Duffty Linda Kitching and Grace Burns (our support team). Here we got changed into dry clothes, and took on some fuel and fluids. No rub-downs required at this stage.

After a stop of 20mins and liberal application of sun tan cream all five left on to leg 2 with a cheer. By this time the temperature rising and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This seemed a long leg and Eric had to make navigation corrections as we approached Dewsbury road. Again the going was easy except after crossing the M1 were the weeds had overgrown the path. We were met at the end of Leg 2 by Rod and Fay Parkin. This stop pleased all five runners as they had table and chairs fluids, jam butties, cakes and more! Eric and Geoff finished their run here.

Another change of clothes and a stop of 24 mins here. Running time now 4.40.00

The “3 Heroes” to continue their quest onto Leg 3 to Thornbury Barracks.

The temperature has risen to over 20°C and this leg seemed even longer. Although the sun had now gone, it was very humid and lots of fluids were the order of the day. (Les was now carrying 1 litre of water ). We appear to be crossing more golf courses than anything else, and get strange looks (but no water) from the golfers. We arrived at Thornbury Barracks, cheery if slightly tired (40miles done now). At the end of Leg 3 ,it was Linda Kitching, and Grace Burns who supplied the drinks , food ,and change of clothes , except Gerry (does this man ever sweat? ).

After a 15min stop, we were on our way to tackle Leg 4, running time now 7.15.00.

Les had decided to take his mobile phone “in case we got into difficulties” the only difficulty was when he attempted to use it, he found it was not an Orange phone but Banana one ,(a banana had burst in his bum bag and was all over the phone ) it still worked, but he only uses it for sticky calls.

Near the end of Leg 4, Golden Acre Park, we met Don Waring at Pinfold Lane, who informed us that he had already run part of the leg. Seemingly he had run back up the course (reading the map backwards). Well done Don

Linda found Joan Waring , in the car park waiting for Don to come in with the “3 Heroes”, also waiting were Rod, Fay, Lynn, Christine, Eric and Barbara.

Fay and Grace had already set out to run to Garforth . (They were suppose to be the hares) the “Heroes” now be “the Hounds”

Arrival at GoldenAcre was way over estimated time (now10 hours ) and we were almost out of water. After a 20 minute stop, another change of kit and 3or 4 cups of tea, jam butties, cakes, and bananas we set off on Leg 5. We were joined by Rod (who ran half the leg then returned back for his car) and Lynn who ran with us all the way to Garforth.

When Fay and Grace arrived at the end of Leg 5 in Thorner they were advised by Linda and Christine that the “3 Heroes” were a bit behind schedule.

Meanwhile the “3 Heroes” plus Lynn Arrived at Thorner (end of leg 5) beginning to show signs of wear and tear. Les was almost out of water again! running time now 12.20

After the final change of clothing, more tea, bananas, jam butties and cakes and a 20min stop we all set off on the final leg.We all did a lot of walking talking and drinking, Les reckons he could drink a lake!

Back at Garforth Julia Waterton ,Eric and Barbara are in the car park to welcome us in. We were all happy to see them, and after a shower, drink and food we all got chatting. We did enjoy it but unfortunately Les was a bit dehydrated and left early to have a bath (or maybe drink it). He said he’ll be wiser “next time” and drink lots more water (more than 1 litre a leg will take some supping!)

Overall running time 14:35:00 running time 13:05:00

Les, Gerry and Andy would like to thank the following without whom it would have been impossible to complete the event.

Geoff Anderson and Eric Burnell for the encouragement during leg 1 and 2. Rod Parkin and Lynn Duffy for the ear bashing encouragement during leg 5 and 6. Linda Kitching for her support at every checkpoint. Christine Osborne for her support at most checkpoints. Fay Parkin and Grace Burns for their support at the checkpoints, and giving us something to chase over the final legs.

A personal thanks to Les who suggested the day out but next year Les, lets all go for a quiet drink in Garforth and then for a Chinese  🙂 

Final comments from Les below:

I was so dehydrated I lost 16lbs in weight and was sick at Thorner.

But what great people to spend a day running with.

My next birthday I think we did an 85 mile off road bike ride down to Barnsley, Selby, had problems that day too. But thats another story.