Thank you for testing the water

A few weeks ago, when discussing the idea of a meet the team type event, we tried to guess who might come along. Newcomers to running? Experienced athletes, who normally stick to the tarmac? The curious – wondering what a guided trail run was like? Those with bags of off-road miles under the belt thinking about running in a different part of the country?

The answer was all of the above and more, and we’d like to say thank you to everyone who came along this morning. We had a great time guiding you on the trails around Fence and if you enjoyed it half as much as we did, we’re happy. 

We won’t apologise for starting the morning with a bit of chat and a few questions. To deliver the kind of events people want, we have to understand what makes people nervous about venturing off-road, what their concerns about pace may be and what it is they love about running. So, thank you for all your input. You’ve given us a lot of food for thought. In turn, we hope that we’ve shown those of you new to the off-road environment that there’s an easy way to get out there, in a supportive, social and relaxed format. 

A lot of people mentioned the confidence issue – the fear of getting lost or setting off along a path and finding it a dead-end.  We understand that, and that’s one of the benefits of running in a group. Adding the guided element to a run means there’s no need to worry about route planning and no need to carry a map. We plan routes that mix up the terrain, that pass quaint old bridges and wind through ancient woodland. We like the element of discovery, spotting wildlife – like the heron we saw sweeping lazily across our route – or finding a patch of snowdrops nestled by a wall. At this time of year, we also tend to find the odd patch of mud, but hopefully, your feet have dried out by now.

One or two people, local to the area, said they had no idea where they were running this morning. If it helps, the route followed the course of Pendle Water, passed New Laund Farm and Old Laund Hall, and dipped into Raven’s Clough. The names of the places don’t matter, though. What matters is having fun, and I’m sure we did. We’re planning to carry on with that philosophy, and there’s a lot of trails out there – England and Wales are estimated to have over 140,000 miles of footpath. 

We billed the event as suitable for beginners and as far as we’re concerned, everyone coped with the hills, the squelchy bits and the stiles just fine. As our runs get longer, they do tend to be more challenging, but every route is unique, and some are tougher than others. We throw in lots of variety: fields, tracks, moorland, quiet lanes and footbridges, woodland, hidden steps and snickets, and of course, laughs and nattering all the way round. The miles disappear, and although the legs may feel a tad heavy at the end, we always finish at a great place for refuelling. The Forest Fence was warm and welcoming – thanks, guys – and those of us who stayed for lunch topped a cracking morning with a cracking meal. 

Once again, thanks for coming. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Thanks for your insights and thanks for your company in nature’s gym.    

We hope to see you again soon.

The LTR team

 

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