Spooky thrill of running scared in a Leeds forest

Paul Shack in 'training' for the werewolf run.

Paul Shack in 'training' for the werewolf run.

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You’ve heard of an American werewolf in London.

Now it’s time to prepare for a hoard of record-breaking werewolves in Otley.

More than 100 runners are set to tackle a spooky race through Otley Chevin Forest Park this evening.

There will be no fixed lights along the 5km course, with the only illumination being provided by reflective arrows and the head-torches of the participants.

And, to add an extra frisson of fear to the event, organisers are encouraging as many people as possible to come along dressed as werewolves.

They hope to set an unusual world record for the largest number of werewolves taking on a running race.

The man behind the event, 44-year-old Paul Shack, said: “Our idea is to show people that running doesn’t have to be around a track or pounding the streets, it can be part of a spooky experience like this too.

“I’ve run around the Chevin at night and it certainly gives me the heebie jeebies!”

Co-director Michelle Smith joked: “We just urge people to stay on the paths because we don’t know what lurks in the woods!”

The Old Grammar School Gallery-sponsored event – which, weather permitting, gets under way at 7pm – is open to anyone aged 11 and over, although under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.

To sign up, visit www.chevinchiller.com before midday today.

People who have not registered can just turn up this evening, although they will be asked to make a £2 donation to charity in addition to their entry fee.

Organisers have thanked the events in parks team at Leeds City Council for their support.

Among the prizes for those taking part are signed prints by Commonwealth Games steeplechaser and accomplished artist Racheal Bamford.

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