Harriers Annual Trip to the Lakes 2013 by Fran Jeffrey.

The running club has an annual trip to the Lakes were we basically take over the Bridge Hotel in Buttermere and drink the place dry.
Sarah and I arrived in time to have a drop of soup before the 3pm Friday run, a gentle trot around the Lake. Surprising how many people were already here!
Gathering for the Friday afternoon Lake run

We had to crack on at the far end of the lake as the local farmers were bringing the sheep down off the mountains and they were coming for us en-mass!
After this it was shower/beer/food/beer/beer/sleep.

Saturday is pretty full on! 
Up before 7 for a pre-breakfast run, again around the Lake. The lake was as still as glass and the frost looked amazing in the pre-dawn light. No herds of sheep this morning, but we did have to watch out for ice. A couple of members had brought their dogs and somehow I accidentally kidnapped Sam the collie! He was happy to run with me instead of his mum and was as good as gold. Returning him was another matter! I had been expecting his mum to catch up with us any moment, but she never did. Turns out Lorraine had gone for a run, but about 15mins after us. Needless to say, the story got more and more exaggerated every time it was told, much to every ones amusement!

Next on the agenda was the walk! We car shared up to Honister Slate mine and proceeded to walk up onto Dale Head, along to Hindscarth and Robinson, descending via High Snockrigg and back into Buttermere. The walk was lovely, snow on the tops – I even did a burpee on top of Dale Head for my We Love a Challenge buddies on FB. No-one got lost, or injured. It was cold and a bit misty on the tops but it didn’t detract from the walk. These walks are good as you get a chance to chat with different people all the time.
My bloody knee decided it was still going to hurt and I wondered if I would be able to do the night run later?

Becky and Nicky climbing up to Dale HeadCarol, Sarah Goacher, Sarah Glover and Hilary at Dale Head summit
 Becky and Nicky climbing up Dale Head.        Carol, Sarah Goacher, Sarah Glover and Hilary at Dale Head summit. 

Group shot on Dale Head summit
  Group shot on Dale Head summit.

Change of clothes/food/tea.
I ran up and down the hotel stairs and my knee felt fine so I joined the runners on the night run. A new record of 16, six of whom were ‘Honister Virgins’. We took it steady and everyone made it! Thankfully it wasn’t too icy. 
The downhill to the carpark is very steep and I hobbled down on my sore knee. I wasn’t last though as two of the guys had just run out of steam on the way up and had walked down.
We got into the cars which we’d left at the slate mine earlier in the day and drove straight to the bar!!

Beer/shower/beer/food/beer/beer etc.
The ‘hardcore gang’ stayed up til midnight again, chatting and drinking. We gave our tummy muscles a good work out with the amount raucus laughter we did.
Another early, hungover start on Sunday! Felt a tiny bit queasy as we set out to run along the road to Rannerdale then a stiff climb on boggy grass. Everyone was knackered by now, but it’s a beautiful run. We waited at the col for everyone to catch up before starting the fast descent! It’s on grass and bloody steep! I was a little cautious of my knee, but had a good run down, then into the trees for my favourite bit! Along a high river bank, twisting and turning through trees and bouncing over roots and rocks all the time dropping down towards the village for whoops and hearty handshakes! Then a few straight into the stream for an ice bath! One of the guys going for total submersion! I gave my knee a good icing! 

Sunday morning, climbing up in RannerdaleRocky ridge paths
   Sunday morning, climbing up in Rannerdale                Rocky ridge paths

Brett and Gavin cool down in the stream

  Brett and Gavin cool down in the stream


In the space of that 40 minute run, I’d gone from feeling like death warmed up to on top of the world!
Sadly now though, it was time to check out :( 
Some people stayed on to go for a walk along Crummock water to the pub for lunch. Sarah and I took a little amble around Buttermere to get a few last photo’s before the long ride home.
Exhausted but happy, we’re already looking forward to next year!

The lake looking picturesque 1The lake looking picturesque 2

Buttermere looking picturesque


p.s. some stats for the runs for those that like that kind of thing (all ascents are approximate!)
Buttermere Lake Circuit = 4.31 miles, 420 feet.
Dale Head Hike = 5.32 miles, 2100 feet.
Honister Headtorcher = 4.95 miles, 1500 feet.
Rannerdale Run = 3.35 mile, 750 feet.

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