By Darren S – Belper Harriers weekend away – Swaledale Sept 2019

Belper Harriers weekend away – Swaledale – Darren S

The weekend of 13-15th September was the annual Belper Harriers club weekend away. This year, the location chosen was Grinton Lodge YHA in Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The bulk of us stayed in the youth hostel itself, however a few last minute attendees bringing tents or camper vans on site or nearby. Some Harriers, through injury or other reasons, chose to bring along the bikes. It all made for a very inclusive weekend!

Friday saw Harriers arriving at various times throughout the day, and begin settling in, unpacking, and finding out if they were going to be sharing a room with a snorer (I was… well either that or somebody was operating a pnumatic drill in the room during the night). Adrian, Paul, and I arrived in the early afternoon, and managed to avoid the temptation of heading straight for the pub. The running gear went on, and out we went. On reflection, it would perhaps have been a sensible idea to plan a route beforehand, I think this became apparent a few hundred metres into the run, upon hearing gunshots. It turns out we were heading towards a pheasant shooting session. Rather than upset a gun toting local (or be mistaken for game) we decided to promptly change direction. Sure, we had to avoid a few cows and sheep – but to my knowledge none of them had guns.

By the evening, most Harriers had arrived, and the first of the evening meals was served in the hostel. And, true to tradition, pretty much everybody forgot what they had ordered. Luckily Clare had pre-empted this and had made a list. By now, we were getting a little thirsty (translation – we really needed a beer) – so a group of us set out to try out the local pubs. With the knowledge that we’d be doing 12+ miles of hilly running the next day, we had a couple of pints and an early night. I am, of course, joking – we staggered back to the hostel after midnight, after sampling more than a few local ales.

On Saturday, it was the main event, the big run. Or for some – ride. First, it was breakfast. A chance to fuel up, and in a few cases sober up, before the activity. The cyclists set off on gravel/mountain bikes, eager to tackle the trails. The runners set off in two groups, similar routes of 10+ miles for the first group, led by Clare, and 15+ for the second, led by David. The pictures below do more justice than words, but it’s safe to say that we all had a great time. Scenic, challenging, social, and dry! And a pub at the end. What more could you want?!

After the evening meals (again, everybody forgot when they ordered, cue Clares magic list), it was of course pub time again. After such an exhausting day it was good to sit with a few beers and chat with the group. But any plans of a late heavy night soon gave way to tiredness for some.

All in all, another fantastic weekend away with the Harriers!

Photos by Darren S, Ruth K, Andy S and Alan B

After the Friday evening run. Not a bullet wound in sight

Which way is the pub..?

Below – the cyclists in action

This could be the front cover of Ruths debut album if she ever breaks into the music world…

Demonstrating our incredible map reading skills

Soothing the well worn feet

Friday night session casualty