A mile by mile guide to running Leeds Half Marathon

Runners from across Leeds will be gearing up for one of the highlights in the city's sporting calendar this weekend.

By Emma Ryan
Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 11:31 am
Runners put their best foot forward for Leeds Half Marathon.
Runners put their best foot forward for Leeds Half Marathon.

The Run For All Leeds Half Marathon takes place across 13 miles of the city centre and suburbs on Sunday morning and here is a step by step guide on what to expect along the route.

A mixture of thinking shouldnt have had pre race gin last night, to thinking despite training you cannot put one foot in front of the other, why am I doing this and how lovely it is to see so many race supporters.
After weaving your way through a lot of fancy dress runners - look out for a hedgehog this year - find your own race pace as you leave the city centre. Never fail to be surprised by the queue for the first set of toilets.

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Youll have completed Meanwood Road by this point, a mixture of industrial units, shops and residential - and be thinking is this actually the longest road in Leeds. The first water station is just around the corner though.
Anyway this is where you realise Meanwood Road isnt all bad as you will now have slogged up Stonegate Road. Every single Leeds half runner ever talks about this. Aldi is about half way up on the right.
You made to the top and silly as it sounds things start to feel easier. Your body should have found its rhythm now. This stretch feels weird as you are running in the middle of the ring road. I always still look out for cars.
Uphill, up hill, up hill. No wonder they put energy gels and water half way up this climb to Weetwood. Also the signs that say you are nearly at the top - they are lying. This is where many runners start to walk.
Good news, downhill from here. Better news, Jelly Babies. The section weaves through Spen Lane with lots of local support in the name of kids high-fiving you and pensioners stood in the street with tubs of sweets.
After a fast down hill get your breath back, more water and see the route start to turn back home with great views as you drop down Butcher Hill. For me its a psychological marker but the speed bumps feel like mountains.
A speedy downhill to get here. Feels too fast, legs out of control. As the trees completely cover you it is like something from a creepy novel. Watch out for slippery road if wet but good support and more sweets near The Bridge pub.
Just three more miles, less than half an hour running left. The road widens out and get into the zone for the last section. Also one of the most spectacular rewards when you get here as Kirkstall Abbey is waiting.
This is where you look at the watch, look for pace markers and start thinking can I catch them, can I get that time I want? There are toilets and a water stop here and the beginning of what will feel like the longest mile of your life.
You can see the end of Kirkstall Road but it never seems to get closer. This is a mental block. Pass ITV Studios and disappointingly McDonalds, Subway, Starbucks and KFC. When the fireman say one mile left - dont listen.
Every year I forget about the flyover from Kirkstall Road to The Headrow. Is about 150 yards but feels like miles. But when you hit The headrow the crowd and atmosphere gives you extra speed to get to that finish line.