Twelve of us have just returned from the annual Running Circles Peak District Weekend which took place on 15th -17th September 2023. Although the weather was a little murky, we managed to have a great time, with lots of laughter and fun - and a decent bit of exercise too!
We stayed at the very accommodating Merman Farm in Tideswell, and spent the Friday evening eating and drinking and preparing for what was to come.
On Saturday morning, we were up and ready to leave at 8.30am - almost! Getting 12 ladies out of the door with all their paraphernalia proved tricky - but we jumped in our cars to make our way for the 5 mile journey to the beautiful village of Castleton.
I'm extremely proud to say that Castleton, in the Hope Valley, is where I was born and raised. Even through I moved away at the age of 18, I still call it home. We took the opportunity for an excited wee at my parents house before heading off in our two groups.
The planned routes provided a walking section through Castleton village and up the 'broken road' to Mam Tor Car Park or a more challenging running option up Cave Dale, to meet at the same place.
Here, sausage sandwiches and a hot drink was in order before walking up to the summit together.
At this point, the weather was blustery and the view was non-existent, but we soldiered on to get our group photo!
From the top, we split into two groups once more, the walkers taking the same route, but at a hiking pace, and the runners gallivanting and bounding over the Great Ridge towards Hollins Cross, up Back Tor then on to Losehill.
We passed the many walkers, shouting our joyful 'hellos' along the way, we took our jackets off as we warmed, then put them back on as we got caught in the wind coming over the valley from Edale! We chatted, we laughed, we took photos and we supported each other along the way. The ups were challenging, the downhills were fast! The sheep watched as we giggled our way down into Hope, and before we knew it, we had looped back into Castleton.
Tired but happy, we announced our arrival back at my parents for a well-deserved cup of tea and a biscuit.
We chatted about our routes and what we saw on our 9 mile adventure, we felt proud of what we had achieved. Mam Tor has an elevation of 1,696ft so the climb, with further steep sections along the way so even the downhills took toll on the legs.
Back at the house, we showered and changed and proceeded to eat all the snacks before heading to The Anchor, one of the local pubs. Here, the hearty plates of food were washed down with plenty of drinks and chatter before strolling back home to collapse into bed.
A deep slumber later, and the intention of heading out for a walk before breakfast was abolished. Instead coffee, breakfast and a team tidy up meant we were all on our way back to reality by 10am.
A weekend well spent; making memories and having adventures with friends.
There is already talk of the third retreat to be planned in 2024 - so get on the waiting list, if this sounds like fun.
Until next time.