Sorry to break it to you, but you’ve probably been at least one of these people on the Otley Run

You’re deffo the one that vapes x


I genuinely don’t think any other city, given the opportunity, would think up the Otley Run. Only Leeds, our beloved Leeds, would have a 15-venue, two mile long fancy dress pub crawl not only as a regular occurrence, but as a staple of its local culture (and with a JLS-playing fish and chip shop plonked firmly in the middle). Can you imagine that anywhere else? I can’t. 

If you haven’t been on an Otley Run during your time living in LS6, you will. And if you’re looking for a comprehensive list of the myriad people you’ll meet on this adventure, look no further. Part hike, part bender, part ‘public menace’ – here is everyone you’ll find on an Otley Run. 

The one that made an effort

I’m probably just easily impressed, but I don’t think anything gives me more joy than a well thought out Otley costume. If you’ve recently worn a cracking costume to Taps or Skyrack, just know that I love you very much and you are the backbone of Leeds culture. Bonus points for those inflatable cow costumes, because I could see one of those every single day for the rest of my life and still laugh.

The one that made no effort

I am the queen of low-effort fancy dress. I can scrape together almost any outfit from almost anything in my weird charity shop collection of clothes. I have managed to make a very weak Harry Styles costume stretch to almost every theme so far. When I criticise people who don’t put effort into their Otley Run costumes, please know I don’t have a single leg to stand on.

However, I have to point out that there is literally a fancy-dress shop opposite Headingley Taps. Buy a tutu. A fake moustache. Dig out a blue shirt and be ABBA. Give us, the people of Leeds, some flavour. No one is too cool for the Otley.

I found the entirety of this debatable Harry Styles fit at 6pm. Do with that information what you will.

The one that catcalls you

Please stop doing this. I just want to walk to Sainsbury’s without a weirdo yelling disturbing things at me. Next.

The one that isn’t drinking

I have attempted this once or twice and, in my experience, it goes one of two ways – ending up at seven pints and three jagerbombs, or actually not drinking. If you’ve managed to make it through a sober Otley, you should be given an automatic first and probably a knighthood.

a J20 queen x

The one that very much is drinking

If you haven’t been this person, you will be. Every single Otley Run, someone rises from the ashes to become The Drinker and terrorise us all. This will end in them falling sound asleep on a table in Terrace or getting with someone they live with at Dry Dock. Also, it’s 10pm.

The finesser

Manages to scam free drinks off anyone and everyone they meet, either by being a genuinely very likeable and friendly person or just extremely fit. Annoying, but you have to respect it.

The one who has managed to injure themselves

As we all know, the real challenge of the Otley Run is to get to the end of it in one piece. This one is dedicated to the time I slammed my thumb very hard in a door in Dry Dock and had to maintain a conversation with a stranger while trying not to cry.

The one that likes to be cold

The world needs more lads in princess dresses and girlies in Amazon Mrs Incredible costumes, striding across Otley Road even in the harshest, most brutal depths of Yorkshire winter, armed with only an alcohol blanket, the warmth of their box of chips and a £7 feather boa. A slay if ever I saw one.

The one that goes home early

I know there are things called ‘dissertations’ and ‘essays’. I’m just saying that the Otley Run is a magical place where none of those things exist, and we all live in paradise in a deadline-free world. Have a Jager and get over yourself.

The one that’s in it for the scran

‘Guys, when are we going to Crispy’s?’ ‘I really want a Crispy’s.’ ‘What are you getting at Crispy’s?’, ‘One more, and then we’ll go to Crispy’s, yeah?’. Better watch out for them when coming down the road because they might actually shed a tear at the sight of the disco lights. There’s one of these in all of us. What would an Otley be without chips?

The one that vapes

This is most of Leeds at this point, but I’m just bitter because when I vape I look like a geography teacher and it makes my chest hurt. Anyway, no worse heartbreak than smelling something nice and then realising it’s just Millie and her cloud of mango-flavoured lies.