30 April 2020 update: Many thanks for the recent positive comments about this blog, originally published in November 2018. It’s a challenge that seems to have chimed with the kind of running that feels appropriate during Lockdown. So much so that I even got interviewed about it on BBC Radio Leeds today!
My more recent blog Exiled from the Fells mentions a few other things I’ve been doing over these last weeks to keep running varied and interesting. The COVID Trig Point Challenge! group on Facebook is also worth a look. Dave
You have to love a trig point. When out on the hills, they usually mean the end of the climbing, an excuse for a break and the best view. They also tell you definitively where you are – a reassuring navigational presence. Originally functional concrete pillars, they have become icons of the pre-digital age of cartography, and symbolic of the wild places…
But trig points are everywhere, including in the city. And whilst urban trigs may not be quite as glamorous as some of their rural cousins, it’s nice to be reminded of the hills when going about your day-to-day business in town. So, I’ve devised a roughly 9-mile off-road running challenge for us North Leeds-types that links (in a rough triangle, appropriately enough) the 3 trig points spanning the Meanwood Valley – at Scotthall, Tunnel How Hill and Stairfoot Lane. Thus, the Meanwood Valley 3 Trigs Challenge. Why not give it a crack sometime?I’ll try and keep “rules” as such to a minimum:
- Start at any of the 3 trigs, visit the other two in any order and return to your start point.
- Choose your own route, but generally I’m envisaging it would be largely off-road. For example, if starting at Scotthall, you might go via Sugarwell Hill, Woodhouse Ridge and the Meanwood Valley Trail, but the detail is up to you (and part of the fun). If you really want to run straight up Scotthall Road and King Lane I can’t stop you, but the spirit of this challenge is soft ground, avoiding traffic and knowledge of the ins and outs of the Meanwood Valley.
- Another part of the fun is in successfully locating the Tunnel How Hill and Stairfoot Lane trigs, because their location is not immediately obvious. Maybe do a bit of prep to increase the chances of success with this…?
- …Compare with the Scotthall trig, one of the most “visited” in the country. For safety’s sake, you don’t have to cross Scotthall Road to visit the trig itself – the metal pedestrian gate onto the playing field opposite is sufficient.
- And take care at the numerous other road crossings. I take no responsibility should you get killed or injured when undertaking this challenge….
- Perhaps most importantly, I don’t envisage this as a timed “race” as such, not least because the infinite number of route options makes consistent and meaningful timing difficult. I see it more as an exercise in locating and linking the 3 trigs and returning to your start point having enjoyed the circuit.
OK, a list of successful completions to date can be found here and in the Comments section below, with links to routes taken (you can also follow me on Strava to see my various efforts and routes). If you’d like your effort adding, let me know using the Comments or social media, with a suitable link. Any feedback on this idea, route selection etc much appreciated. If sharing, please use the hashtag #MV3TC. Have fun!
Completions so far (@ 19.5.20)
9.1.19. Jon & Jenny
2.12.19. Matt Armstrong
25.3.19. Richard Jones
25.6.19. Jon Pownall
21.3.20. Andy Mace
28.3.20. Mats Vermeeren
11.4.20. Hilary Lane
14.4.20. Martin Sutcliffe
18.4.20. Tony Mills
(please also click on the Comments section below for several more completions).