Running Escapes UK - REVIEW
I was recently very kindly invited along on a running weekend with the fab team at Running Escapes UK and what a weekend it was. This blog will cover all the fab important review bits along with a few crazy unexpected things that the universe decided to throw our way that weekend! (Don’t ask!)
First things first… Running Escapes UK is a fab new company run by two badass mamas Jo & Kelly - clearly we are off to a fab start already! They really are the loveliest people and after just a weekend together I honestly feel like we’ve been friends for years! Conversation flowed easily and we talked about all sorts of things over the weekend - It was quite literally the girls weekend away that I didn’t even know I needed!
The destination for this running adventure was the Peak District which I must horribly confess I’ve never been to before! My sister in law Jade came along with me to the lovely village of Castleton where we met Jo & Kelly (They even gave us fab Running Escapes goody bags! I love a goody bag!).
What an incredible place Castleton is! So stunningly beautiful with picture perfect old buildings, pubs covered in flowers and wonderful scenery in every direction as far as the eye can see! I definitely need to go back again one day to explore more! We were staying in a Youth Hostel which was perfect for our weekend of running (& eating/drinking lol). If you’re like me, when you picture a youth hostel in your mind you may think of an ancient dormitory style room full of backpacking students with one bathroom to 20 people - it was nothing like this! A glorious converted manor house with comfy cosy rooms and clean as can be! Jade and I had an en-suite twin room which was great! We have bunkbeds which added a to the theme of adventure!
Universe bit… We had a bit of a crazy journey up to the Peak District getting stuck behind an awful accident on the M5 where firemen had to get cars to move and vehicles became abandoned in a zombie apocalypse movie style way! Then we drove through rain/hail where you couldn’t even see the road and we started to think there might be a higher plan keeping us from getting to the YHA … finally 10 miles away we called the girls to let them know we were nearly there only to hit a ‘Road Closed’ sign with no diversion routes in sight… thank heavens for maps on phones and some ninja map reading skills we made it there… and with a little bit of careful sheep-dodging-driving we rolled up to the YHA - hurrah! Cold beverages and a comfy bed await!
SATURDAY - RUN DAY
We kicked of run day in the best possible way… a huge fry up in the YHA! Winner! Then we headed the short distance to Castleton village to meet some of the other runners joining us on our adventure. Jo led us in a great warm up and our lovely run leader Al gave us a briefing - ready steady go!
The run planned for us was 8 miles taking in the glory of Mam Tor and all its views. The trail was varied and some of it quite hilly but all abilities are welcome on these trips and I was happy in my usual position at the back of the pack taking it all in and taking lots of photos. We regular regroups and great run leaders you have no fear of getting lost and are all on the adventure together. The top of Mam Tor was breath-taking, you could see the whole trail we had run so far snaking off into the distance. We were so high up people were parasailing off the top! Jo from Running Escapes met us at the top with drinks and snacks for anyone who needed them (I have now discovered salted caramel TREK bars - omg!!).
Heading back down in a circular route to Castleton the beautiful views continued. Tired and happy we got back to the carpark where the team were waiting to welcome us back with teas and coffees, water and cup cakes - a cake has never tasted so good!
I never thought I’d be the kind of person to go on a running weekend! I really should track down my old PE teacher and tell them all about it! The nerves soon settled and the voice of 16 year old me telling me I couldn’t do it soon quietened down. I think many of us are nervous about coming on this sort of weekend but there’s absolutely no need to be - you could even come on your own as you would be returning home a few days later having made friends for life and having great running adventures, seeing places you’ve never seen before!
After heading back to the YHA for a hot shower and a change of clothes we spent a lovely afternoon in Castleton itself wandering around the quaint little shops, buying fudge and looking at all the lovely things. Had a gorgeous lunch in one of the pubs (It was supposed to be a snack but the portions were wonderfully huge!).
One shop we wandered past had antique knickknacks in the window and other curiosities so we had a look inside to be soon greeted by the wonderfully eccentric shop owner who I’ve no idea how managed to get us singing titanic at the top of our lungs in sailor costume… just when you think things cant get weirder he gets out a microphone! This gentleman was hilarious and one of those people who most certainly makes the world a more interesting place! I do hope Jo and Kelly will be adding a trip to this shop to all future running weekend experience because we left laughing so hard we had to go back for a selfie!
The Run Escapes team had booked us into a fab pub for our evening meal which was wonderful, especially with the past 18 months we have all had it was a welcome return to normality. Food was delicious (I had pizza - yum!) and the company great! Wine and conversation flowed and we stayed to listen to the live act. We had such a good night we ended up staying till closing time - something I haven’t done in a looooong time! (As many of you know I don’t drink anymore)
TIME FOR HOME
Sunday was sadly time to go home, so after another yummy breakfast we were all packed up and ready to say our goodbyes. Friends for life have definitely been made and I cant wait for another Running Escapes adventure - Jo and Kelly really are the perfect hosts! Who knows maybe one day we can do a BAMR weekend takeover - that would be great fun!
There is also the tale of Bev’s lost car key on the Sunday morning but that would be another whole blog so I’ll let you imagine the crazy drama that unfolded with no sign of the key, no official help available and lots of tears only for it to magically turn up 6 hours later in the pub log basket!
I totally recommend anyone going on a Running Escapes UK weekend. No matter what your running ability you’ll have an amazing time and meet brilliant people!
Check out their website here for more info!