*** Now postponed – see new post ***
After the success of the Autumn handicap we are now able to launch the Virtual Winter handicap which can be completed at any time from now until 31st March. The handicap is part of the Valley Striders Grand Prix series. This time it will be the trail route- a circuit of approximately 5 miles around Eccup reservoir and the fields going out towards the Harewood estate. This route can be particularly muddy at this time of year.
For anyone who hasn’t run this route before, here is a description. It may be an idea to do a recce before you race the route, if you are unfamiliar with it. The route starts at the bottom of Goodrick Lane near the gatehouse. At the bottom of Goodrick Lane turn right and walk until you see a garage door. The start is level with the left hand side of this door as you look at it. Turn to face the house with the gateway to the towpath behind you. START by running back towards the house, taking a right turn after the house down a short footpath until you see a gate.
Go through the gate following the path ahead (short-cutting the corner) and run along the edge of the field with the trees and reservoir to your right. At the end of the field, turn right over a stile (Dales Way, Leeds/Ilkley Link arrow) and down a narrow stony path to a second stile. Follow the path across the field and over the stile onto Eccup Moor Road.
Turn right up the road, ignoring any turnings until you reach the public bridleway sign on your left just before the farm. Turn left onto this path which starts off as tarmac, then concrete and eventually becomes a rough track.
Continue along the footpath with hedgerows and fields to both sides, then trees as it curves to the left (Leeds Country Way sign). There is a 50 metre section where you run between overhanging trees which can be quite muddy if it has been wet. Very soon afterwards the path curves to the right (Bridleway sign) coming out into a field (hedge on your right) Run along the side of the field before turning left down the side of the field (hedge still on your right.
Follow the path straight on into another more open field (hedge now on your left). At the end of the field there is a gap between two hedges. As soon as you’ve gone through the gap, Turn right and follow the path (hedge on your right) to a T junction. Turn right up the stony track. Follow this track all the way back to Eccup Moor Road. Go through the gate and turn left passing the waterworks.
A short way after the waterworks, turn right, up a short hill towards the reservoir dam. Run along the dam until you reach the gatehouse at the end of the reservoir towpath. Turn right at the gate before the house and onto the towpath. After about 800 metres you’ll see a drainage channel on your left, from here you have just 1000 metres to go! Continue along the towpath to the end. The finish point is the end of the drainage channel marked by a greenish metal fence post on your left.
As usual, you need to let me know your time, which can be recorded manually, on Strava or with a running watch. If we have records of recent pre lockdown 5k races that you have done, then we will be able to calculate a handicap for you. If your name is not on the list below, you can send me an estimated or actual 5k time (eg a parkrun) and we can estimate a handicap time for you. Your handicap time will be added to your race time and the runner with the lowest total will be the winner. If your 5k time is estimated, you cannot win the trophy.
Good luck everyone, have fun and stay safe.
List of names for whom we already have handicap “start” times: Adam Parton, Aileen Loftus, Alan Hutchinson, Alex Nancolas, Alex Watson-Usher, Alfie Jones, Alfie Tyrrell, Alison Price, Alistair Preston, Alun Davies, Amanda Spencer, Andrew Bell, Andrew Bennett, Andy Mace, Andy Settle, Andy Wicks, Angeline Dresser, Anna Hobbs, Anna Milburn, Annabel Lim, Anne Jones, Becky Murray, Bethan Bond, Bethany Lovell, BK Bhachu, Bob Jackson, Brian Tyrrell, Caroline Tolan, Charlotte Atkinson, Chloe Hudson, Chris Sawyer, Christine Huckerby, Clive Bandy, Dan Fisher, Dan Murray, Dan Price, Daniel Grant, Daryl Hibberd, Dave Jones, Dave Middlemas, David Herdsman, David Merritt, David Song, Dinesh Kaulgud, Drew Taylor, Ellen Adcock, Emma Rose, Emma Wallace, Faith Bowman, Gary Mann, Ged Coll, Gemma Merritt, Graham Jones, Graham Pawley, Griff Lippiatt, Gwil Thomas, Hannah Corne, Hayley Nancolas, Heather Pawley, Holly Button, Huw Lippiatt, Iain Currie, Ian Lenihan, Ian Rosser, Ian Sanderson, James Tarran, Jamie Walker, Jane Fontana, Jean Hussey, Jeremy Ladyman, Jerry Watson, Jihanna Bonilla-Allard, Jillian Sabourn, Joanne Dammone, Joe Hanney, Joel Giddings, John Batchelor, John Hobbs, John Hussey, John Shanks, John Wallace, Jon Pownall, Jonathan Ball, Jonathan Macnay, Jonathan Young, Josie Pawley, Josie Rothera, Julie McGurk, Karl Robottom, Ken Fox, Kevin Mcmullan, Leila Kara, Leroy Sutton, Lisa Jones, Liz Adams, Liz Ball, Liz Reddington, Louise Castle, Louise Jennings, Malcolm Coles, Mark Burdon, Mark Farrell, Martin Sutcliffe, Matt Sedgley, Matthew Hallam, Meryll Cripps, Michael Hall, Mick Loftus, Mick Tinker, Mike Powell, Mike Robins, Myra Jones, Neil Hall, Neil Sedgley, Nicola Hartley, Pascale Fotherby, Paul Fotherby, Paul Mackreth, Paul Sanderson, Paul Smith, Paul White, Pip Trevorrow, Pro Ganguly, Rachel Bentley, Rachel Davidson, Rav Panesar, Rebecca Bibby, Rich Clough, Richard Adcock, Richard Balshaw, Richard Irvine, Richard Walker, Rob Hamilton, Rob Marsh, Robert Howard, Ronan Loftus, Ross Bibby, Roy Huggins, Ruth Warren, Sally Merchant-Edge, Sam Davison, Samantha Harris, Samantha Walker, Sarah Diamond, Sarah Graham, Sarah Mann, Sarah Shanks, Sarah Smith, Sean Cook, Sean Fitzgerald, Sofia Robottom, Steph Gledhill, Sue Carr, Sue Sunderland, Suweta Khurana, Suzie Shenderey, Tahir Akhtar, Tally Diamond, Tim Straughan, Tim Towler, Tom Brown, Tom Button, Tom Thomas, Tom Venning, Tony Mills, Vernon Long, Vicki Johnstone, William Nabozny,