Every year since 2012, we Veggie Runners have worked with Space2, an arts and social change charity, to bring the joy and madness of Light Night Leeds Art Runs to the city streets. The runs have grown exponentially, from 30 runners in the first year to over 200 book-up-in-a-heartbeat participants in 2016.
We don’t need to tell you how much fun they are – just take a look at these photos that exude happiness and giggles. There are art installations all over the city centre and we weave between them to make art of our own. At one point, one of the runners heard a spectator say, ‘Ooh look, runners covered in glowsticks… hordes of them!’ We’re not ones to hide our light (night) under a bushell.
We had an artist of our own this year too. Carine Brosse worked with one of the Space2 community groups to create stunning costumes for the family run/walk. It was the first time we’d had a family group and I’ll admit to being nervous in advance about how it might work alongside the 5km run. No need to worry – everyone loves dressing up. Give us face paint and glow sticks and we’re all as giddy at toddlers!
After a slightly mental mass warm up – huge thanks to bongo player Bryn! – the runners went one way, the walkers another. Half an hour later we all met up again in front of the city art gallery (a planning nightmare but, yay, we did it!) We spent a few minutes mesmerised by Spark! drummers – amazing, totally recommended if you ever get chance to see them – then the runners peeled away to see and be the art some more.
It was quite an incredible experience, like that bursting-with-joy feeling little kids get but 200 fold and you’re getting it too! All we need to do now is work out how we can possibly top that next year…
All photos copyright Lizzie Coombes Photography