Leeds Mind smash £20,000 fundraising target

The extract below is taken from a personal account of Tom Gilroy who participated in this year’s Great Northern Mud Run. Raising the Team, from Garforth with Love, he took part to raise money for Leeds Mind, one of Total Warriors official partner charities for 2019. 

Back in 2015, four of my mates and I decided to have a go at Total Warrior. I don’t know what started it or, if we just did it for a craic but we absolutely loved it (apart from the hill climbs, nobody can enjoy that).

Every year after that we tried to resurrect interest but there was always a reason for not doing it. We are at that age where there’s a christening, wedding or kids party every weekend. I’m sure many other 30 somethings can relate. This year, the date fell on an empty weekend. The kids were all partied out, nobody was tying the knot and there was nothing else stood in the way. The planet’s had aligned and it looked as though lady luck had smiled on us. We bit the bullet and the original famous five signed up. The stage was set, we were gonna make them hill climbs our bitch (didn’t quite turn out like that but hey ho). Once we’d talked about it, interest with our other friends started to grow and the numbers started to rise.

Unfortunately, around the same time, a tragedy struck the local community. A beautiful young woman, a mother of two beautiful girls and a caring, compassionate soul was struggling with her mental health. She tragically took her own life. This had a massive effect on the local, close-knit community. 

From Garforth with Love

It was then decided that we would run the Total Warrior course for Charity. One of the team suggested running for Leeds Mind, a local mental health charity. Everyone agreed that it was a worthy cause and so we had to think of a team name. From Garforth with love was the name decided. It has a slightly James Bond-esque ring to it but also portrays a sense of love within the local community.

Once word spread about the reason behind doing the Total Warrior, the thing grew legs. People started signing up in droves; we went from one to two people a day to having a dozen signing up on some days. In the end we ended up with a team of ninety-three. A massive achievement which is only going to grow year on year. We had every different type of person running. We had some PT’s, some marathon runners, some overweight and underfit, some like bean poles and some like barrels, some on their late teens and some with a bus pass, some who skip leg day (you know who you are) and some who could’ve run through the climbing walls. Nobody though who could do them bastard hill climbs.

United we Stand

Our fastest runner did it in 1:16 and some were coming in at 3 hours plus, the main thing was though that everyone finished it and the encouragement for those coming in after the first lot had finished was amazing to watch. These people may never have met before this day and because they were part of the team, they were cheering them on like they were kin. I’ve never been so proud of such a bunch of people in my life. The comradery was something to behold.

The course itself was brilliant, apart from the hill climbs. Everyone got stuck in, chin deep in mud, leaping over fire, diving in ice. It had a proper man v the elements feel to it and you become almost primal. There were people running who questioned whether or not they would be able to do it but

When I looked in their eyes on the way around the course, there was a fire burning behind them. A steely determination on some faces the likes of which I’d never seen before. This course was not going to beat any member of this team. And for all the other 92 members of the team, I’m proud to call them team mates, nay brothers and sisters. We’ve been through something which most people will never experience in their lives. And we did it together, for a great cause. A common, uniting factor amongst strangers. Something which will bond the team together for eternity. We did it, and we did it together.

We did and we’ve done a lot of fundraising around the event. We started out with a target of £2000. Thanks to some very generous folk, we’ve upped the target to £12000 and we’re on track to beat that. A substantial sum of money which will help Charli and the team at Leeds Mind make a difference. We’ve also started the team up for next year, to try and get more runners in early. We’re setting up a junior team for the kids and, some would say stupidly, we’ve started a team of runners up to do the Ultra. So, on the recruitment front it looks like we’re on track to beat the ninety-three from this year.

With regards to thanking folk, there are a few people who I’d like to single out. Firstly, Charli from Leeds Mind without whom the team would have been mismatched and not have had some uniting reason or uniform to run in. I’d also like to thank Miranda from Total Warrior without whom we would have had a mare trying to organise this many people into one wave. I’d also like to thank Roddy from The Crusader for allowing us use of the pub and garden for the fundraising day. I’d also like to thank everyone who donated something for the raffles and auctions for the fundraising, without you, the total would be far less. Finally, to all the ninety-three who ran. I thank you all. You should all be proud. Without you, there would have been no team.

So, on that note, we’ve got a year to train to beat our times next year. I’m having them hill climbs I tell ya.


Tom Gilroy

Barnsley Juniors raise funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance 

Barnsley under 11’s Football Academy took part in this year’s Total Warrior challenge to raise money for the Charity who came to a Barnsley football volunteer’s aid last September. 

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance attended Oakwell last year, when volunteer, Stephen Croft suffered a cardiac arrest at the side of the football pitch. 

Inspired by the heroic efforts of the emergency services, 18 children from the Barnsley Football Academy took part in this year’s Junior Total Warrior at Bramham Park, Leeds on Saturday 22nd June. The team included two of the player’s sisters and their ages range from nine to 11 years old. 

Jemma Steele, Organiser of the Barnsley FC Total Warrior Challenge and one of the player’s mums, said: “We really wanted to give something back to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance when we saw them land at Oakwell – it’s something that really touched our local community and made us want to do something to help.  When I saw the advert on social media, I knew it was something that the players would enjoy doing.” 

 Katie Collinson, Corporate and Partnerships Manager for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance said: “We are delighted to have the Barnsley under 11s Football Academy as part of our Junior Total Warrior team. 

“It costs £12,000 a day to maintain and run both of Yorkshire’s Air Ambulances and we are grateful for all support we receive.” 


2020 Sunset Challenge entries now open!

2019 witnessed the first Total Warrior Sunset challenge. 350 Warrior set out of the gates at 7.41pm on Friday 22nd June 2019. Their objective; to complete the 27 obstacle, 12KM course before the sun was to set over the stunning grounds of Bramham Park.

Check out the video below:

All aboard the Battle Bus

For the first time, ever we’ll be piloting a Battle Bus Service from Leeds railway station to Bramham Park. This service will be available for Saturday Warriors only.

This will hopefully save you some arguments over designated drivers, along with the hassle and further expense of organising taxis to and from Bramham Park. As an organisation, we’re also aiming to cut down on the events collective carbon footprint

This shuttle service will pick up and drop off at:

  • Leeds Railway Station, Bishopsgate Street, Stand Z1
  • Seacroft, the Green
  • Bramham Park
  • The Belgrave Music Hall (Return Only – Afterparty Location)

The cost for a return trip is £10 (children under 5 travel free)

Places are limited. Tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis. To make sure you’re all on the same bus, we advise you to book as a group. Timings for the service can be seen below and on the bookings website. 

Positive Youth Foundation head for Leeds

We’re often told that it’s the people who make our events special. The participants, the staff, the marshalls and the volunteers. Without any one of these groups, our events could not function. Not least, the volunteers. 

We recently caught up with Cormac Whelan, programmes manager at Positive Youth Foundation. This year they’ll be bringing a small army of 40 volunteers to the Great Northern Mud Run.  These volunteers will also get a crack at this year’s course.  

What is the Postive Youth Foundation?

Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) is a registered youth charity that supports young people to achieve their full potential. Through their bespoke community-based programmes, PYF takes young people beyond engagement and towards sustained positive lifestyle choices. Their programmes look to tackle anti-social behaviour, build resilience, raise aspirations and improve the physical and mental health of young people aged 8-25. Our organisation celebrates and welcomes diversity and difference.

What are your main goals?

  • Support young people towards living fuller and more active lifestyles
  • Reduce the potential of isolation by providing activities that need no prior skill or experience.
  • Ensure routes into all programme are accessible and welcoming.
  • Identify ‘highly targeted’ young people that require additional holistic support
  • Work with local people and local communities to support them to play a more active role in looking after their own health and well-being and that of their family, friends and neighbours.

You were with us in 2018, right?

In 2018 PYF brought 20 young people aged 14 – 20 to Total Warriors Lake District event. Some of the young people were actively volunteering as youth leaders in their local community and others were more “unusual suspects” when it came to volunteering but were curious enough to get involved in Total Warrior. The leadership skills and teamwork that they developed over the 2-day event allowed these youth leaders to return to their local communities with transient energy and a confidence that was projected onto others throughout the local summer programmes.

And this year?

This year PYF will be bringing a group of 40 young people to support the Leeds Total Warrior event. Only 8 of last year’s crew will be returning as we only felt right that this unique experience should be open to more young people part of our programmes. There are more of the “unusual suspects” involved this year with young people coming from a range of engagement programmes. Programmes such as our “Involved” strand which looks to support newly arrived refugee and asylum seekers to actively become part of their local scene, and, our “RAP” strand which has a whole range of different ways to engage with education, training and employment and looks to supports young people to overcome any issues they may face, so they can reach their own goals.

For more information about the Positive Youth Foundation, click here.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance announced as 2019 Partner Charity

It’s pleasure to announce the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as an official partner charity for the 2019 Great Northern Mud Run

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is an independent charity providing a life saving rapid response emergency service to 5 million people across the whole of Yorkshire. The service is operational seven days a week, 365 days a year. The Charity currently attend an average of 4 incidents every single day. Last year (2018) they attended 1,858 incidents and carried 416 of those to hospital for emergency treatment.

To keep both of Yorkshire’s Air Ambulances maintained and in the air, the YAA needs to raise £12,000 every single day, which is the equivalent of £4.4m a year. The generosity that they receive really is the lifeblood of the Charity.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance currently has 113 people registered to take place in Total Warrior 2019, and help raise vital funds for the charity. To find out how you can donate to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, please visit www.yaa.org.uk

Comfyballs providing the ultimate comfort to Total Warrior

We’re delighted to announce a fresh partnership with Comfy Balls for 2019.

Comfyballs was conceived and designed in Norway with one thing in mind; comfort. Traditional boxer trunks are not designed to keep your equipment sufficiently in place. They wanted to change that, and have developed what they believe are the most comfortable boxer trunks ever made.

Comfyballs trunks are tailored using flat-lock seams and fabrics for superior comfort and breathability, and all models incorporate our own unique PackageFront, designed for ultimate comfort by reducing heat transfer and restricting movement.

Garry Beardwood from Comfyballs UK said “We are extremely delighted to be partners again in this year’s Total Warrior and we look forward to bringing comfort to everyone tackling the punishing obstacles”

Red Venom announced as 2019 compression partner

We’re happy to announce our new Compression Partner for 2019.

Red Venom make some of the finest performance enhancing clothing on the market. To mark this exciting new partnership, Red Venom have kindly given us a 20% discount code for you Warriors* 

What’s all the hype?

Compression clothing is based on decades of both medical use and research. Historically, compression clothing has been used to increase blood flow and circulation, to prevent the formation of blood clots or cases of deep vein thrombosis in inactive patients.

When athletes use specialist compression clothing, the increased blood flow and circulation increase oxygen delivery, maximising muscle performance and recovery rates, reducing the risk of muscle damage.

How do I get my discount?

Head to their website, find the product you want and enter the discount code Warrior20.

*Discount applies for Red Venom compression products only.

Pints all round with Timothy Taylor’s

We’re incredibly excited to have Timothy Taylor’s’ back on board as one of our title sponsors for the 2019 Great Northern Mud Run.

25,000 Warriors and their supporters are expected onsite over the Summer Solstice weekend. Beer tents, live entertainment and real festival vibes will be on offer for all who are there.

Jane Jenkins, head of marketing for Timothy Taylor’s’, said: “Total Warrior and Timothy Taylor’s, both fiercely independent, both based in the heart of Yorkshire, both know how good a well-earned pint feels.

“We’re so proud to be sponsoring Total Warrior again for the second year running, and this time we’ll be bringing even more of our Championship beer with us. Not only will every competitor receive a free bottle of Landlord at the finishing line, we’ll also be running the bar as well, making sure that everyone gets into the festival atmosphere.

“Total Warriors know what it is to work hard and play hard, just like us, so we’ll see you all there; blood, sweat and beers!”

Active Root join as official hydration partner for 2019

We’re happy to announce Active Root as the official hydration partner for 2019. They will be providing their natural ginger sports drink to keep you fuelled and hydrated throughout your Total Warrior challenge. 

Active Root was born from frustration at the gut bombs and erratic spikes in energy caused by synthetic sports nutrition. Instead, Active Root uses natural ingredients and ginger to help you perform to your optimum by soothing your stomach, preventing bloating and exercised induced nausea and providing the optimal natural fuel and hydration to keep you going during your Total Warrior challenge.

Active Root will be the supporting you at the 12k hydration station as well as at the finish to help you recover.

If you’re keen to try Active Root to fuel your training prior to challenge day, then make sure you use the bespoke discount code ‘TOTALROOT’ to get your first Taster Kit containing all 3 flavours for just £5 inc postage, saving 50% on RRP.

Click here for more information.