What’s Going On?

Well, there were four of us, but not all of them are non-blondes, to be honest. That song is called “What’s Up” not “What’s Going On” anyway, so my rather obvious ruse of adding an external link for this post (because the search engines like it) is looking increasingly tenous. Meanwhile, back at the plot, you may be wondering what the subject of discussion is in this post. It’s Leeds. Not generically the whole of Leeds, but a small microcosm of Leedsiness captured during a weekend running event.

Travelling Up

Kas’s running event was on Sunday, so we were in no great hurry to get to Leeds itself. That was good, because Daughterus Maximus wanted to come too, which meant our trip up required a diversion via Lincoln. That maybe added an hour to the journey. So after some faffing about with routes and stopping for coffee, and the like, we eventually got to Leeds in the middle of the afternoon. We also stopped at Ikea in Sheffield on the way past, because they had an item I needed for Ami’s room and it wasn’t in stock in Milton Keynes.

The logistics also required us to take both cars. Kas was going to proceed northwards after the event, but someone had to drop Ami back in Lincoln, as she doesn’t have a half-term week any more. So I’d planned a couple of days holiday during the half term to get Ami’s bedroom redecorated and refurnished, as well as some caching.

Saturday Evening

We were staying at a Premier Inn close to the centre. It was one of the newer style spangly tower block jobs and was fairly new. The only downside, as with most of their city centre sites, is that they don’t own parking. The parking they advised to use was right next to the building but was pretty awful because it wasn’t really paved. Just hard-packed gravel, full of potholes and loose bits.

Oh well! It is what it is, I suppose.

The girls didn’t fancy doing anything in between arriving and going out for dinner. So I did a small recce-run round the city centre capturing a few Adventure Labs. I think I grabbed 13 or so on a short loop along the river, around the central station and back again.

Dinner was at a popular chain Italian eatery inside a modern shopping/entertainment mall in the middle of town. It was good. We walked there and back in what proved to be the last rain-free period of the weekend.

Sunday Caching

The kids obviously had no intention of getting up and out for Kas’s run, so they stayed in bed while me and Kas had an earlyish breakfast and then headed off for run-land.

Once Kas was settled into the right locations, I set off a bit of caching. She’d expected about 100 minutes between me leaving her and her returning. That was an hour for the run, plus 25 minutes before the start and at least 15 at the end. That set the boundaries for my morning walk.

I’d decided I was only going to Adventure Labs. I’d previously done a couple of caches in central Leeds, plus there was a sufficiently large number of Labs to make anything else seem unnecessary. So Labs only.

As it turned out, I’d made totally the wrong clothing choice. I toyed with fetching a raincoat from the car as we were leaving the hotel but ultimately didn’t. The result was that I got soaked. It started drizzling not long after we left the hotel and gradually got worse as the morning progressed. By the time I finished I was literally dripping wet.

The Route

My walk initially took me north towards the First Direct Arena and then south down the main shopping street of Briggate. The Ad Labs were pretty densely packed, to be honest. That contributed to my decision to cache only these parts. I was interlacing six or seven sets, which required a bit of care, but was still packing them in at one heck of a rate.

At the end of Briggate I turned west past the station and made it all the way up to Park Square and up to the General Infirmary (crossing the running circuit as I went). I reckoned I still had time to meet Kas at the finish line, so I went back and elbowed my way through some crowds just in time to see her big finish. And then I followed her at a distance all the way back through the crowds up to where the bag drop area was. And queued in the rain.

She’d done well in the race. Not a PB but then she wasn’t aiming for one.

Off We Go

When we got back to the hotel we’d got half an hour or so to get out of the hotel room. So Kas got cleaned up and I switched to some vaguely dry clothes.

The kids had spent much of the morning having breakfast, so the decision was made to not stay in Leeds for lunch. We both had a 2-3 hour drive ahead of us and none of us was really hungry. So off we went. We left the hotel in convoy and went our separate ways when we reached the appropriate motorway junction.

I spiced up mine and Ami’s drive back by driving towards Hull so I could drive over the Humber Bridge. I’d never been over it before, and it wasn’t really out of the way to go that way, so why not. And to make things better, the further east we drove the more the sky cleared up. When we crossed the bridge it had stopped raining, and by the time we made it down to Lincoln the sun was out.

Ami was in no rush, so we went for some lunch before I set off home. The drive back took me a couple of hours, as it always does, and I got back home in the early evening having no desire whatsoever to eat anything more. I think I grabbed a beer and watched NFL for a while before giving up. Monday was going to be a bit busy.