This years Settle Harriers Easter Jolly was the biggest yet by far:- 22 Adults 19 children and babies and two dogs!
It was the perfect weekend! The Carlisle Diocese Youth Centre based at St John’s near Keswick was our accommodation: a very spacious, light and well equipped centre in an idyllic situation, perched high on a little mountain road miles from anywhere, with beautiful far reaching views of Blencathra and the evening sunsets.
This year saw an even more diverse range of activities taking place; lots of running as you would guess but also road biking, mountain biking, swimming, scrambling and rock climbing, over night camping, walking…. The weekend was the hottest so far in 2007 with temperatures in the mid twenties for both Saturday and Sunday, which was ideal for lounging around outside and sipping cool beers, but not so ideal for 5-6 hours of running. So to the training, which is what it is all about…. Two eager groups departed on the Saturday morning a group of 3 extra keen girls got dropped off on the flank of Helvellyn on the edge of Thirlmere, and did that mountain and then followed the lovely runnable ridge northwards over the Dodd’s to the Old Coach Road, then across the vale and back home. Next group off – after a rendezvous with Loz, 6 fellas and a dog set off to Honister to do a backwards tour of Ennerdale, not hugely long in distance but a heck of a lot of ascent…! Some beautiful running over some of prettiest Lakeland fells. The mountains where unusually quiet, perhaps the heat had put many off…?
During the afternoon a further assault of Helvellyn was made by a junior and senior Murf and a junior and senior Robinson, the juniors looked a lot fresher than their parents on the return! Others went to chill out at Keswick swimming pool, meanwhile a second girls group did the pretty little circuit of High Rigg. …and so to Oz – he and Hannah eventually returned very late in the afternoon, apparently some confusion regarding a rendezvous at Buttermere….(funny this but when Oz returned so did Tracy’s sun chairs…) The evening saw quite a lot of beer being drunk by the adults – mainly Craig! (provided by the local brewer from Settle) meanwhile a lot of adventure and exploration by the younger ones, it was great to see them playing together and looking after each other.
Sunday morning, another warm morning and two hundred of the fattest sausages where cooked up for breakfast and provided us with fuel. The training aspirations where clearly not so intense this morning, some managed a run while others went scrambling, climbing and exploring, with George doing his first roped climb up a 50′ crag. Some went to the river, which was cold, but not too cold for the little-uns to splash around in for an hour! Most of groups headed home mid afternoon after trying vainly to finish off the remaining food mountain, most went by car, although not Dave H who had Murf in tow on their scenic hilly ride home.
Suggestions welcome for next year, although St Johns will be hard to beat, but a change is always good…
Till next year…