Fancy an Absolutely Wild Weekend?
September 28, 2020
Now hang on, not that sort of wild weekend! I'm not talking wild nights and debauchery; I'm talking the moors, the sea, fresh air and great food - the wildest thing about the weekend was the wild Dartmoor ponies!
As some of you may know my eldest daughter, Darcy, and her partner, Richard, flew the nest a while ago, which has meant less cooking, cleaning, washing and much more time for me! But this also left a bit of a hole. Not a gaping one by any means, but just a sort of void that I wanted to fill.
So a little while back I decided to fill the void with something I have wanted to do for an age but either never quite found the right time for, or managed to find an excuse to put off.
What was this thing, you ask?
Wild running on Dartmoor! And what an amazing experience it turned out to be. The groups are generally mixed, but this one happened to consist of ten wonderful women all varying in age and ability. We ranged from 18-58 years, and while some were ultra runners, some were, like me, dog runners.
Also like me, this was the first time most of the group had ventured to a new pasture. Understandably, we were all a bit nervous given the current Covid situation, but I am happy to report that social distancing practices were all in place.
Some ladies had a gentle run before dinner on Friday evening, but not me. It took me 7 hours to get there, firstly due to a couple of accidents but mainly due to my consistent ability in managing to get lost! Happens all the time!
After yoga and a bowl of porridge in the morning, we headed up the moors around 11 am for an 8.5 mile run, and some ladies even managed 12 miles I believe. Still, no pressure as natural selection took care of this and we automatically split into two groups. Ceri Rees, Wild Running founder and owner, led one group. An experienced Mountain Marathon runner and mountain leader with in-depth knowledge of UK trails, Ceri has trained with top athletes including Paula Radcliffe, Steve Cram and top Zimbabwean runner Williard Chinhanhu. He also lived with the godfather of Kenyan distance running Kipchoge Keino in 1992 - and now he was training Maxine Laceby! We all have to come down to earth sometimes, Ceri!
The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and boy did we work up a sweat on the hills! But fortunately, we were accompanied by a welcome light wind that cooled us down and rewarded our effort, and boy this was needed as there was definitely some sweating going on (well, there certainly was from me).
The following day we headed off to Hope Cove and ran along the coast to Bolt Head in Salcombe. Again we were in two groups, a 7.5 miler and a 10 miler - no prizes for guessing which one was for me!
A dip in the sea at Hope Cove was a welcome cool off and an excellent end to a weekend I hope soon to be repeating.
I try at least once a year to take myself out of my comfort zone and do something that totally terrifies me, and I can say it certainly makes me feel alive - I can wholeheartedly recommend it to all you Absoluters out there!