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A Running Journey…

Debs and I are married. We’ve tied the knot, a mere five days ago.  Now for the honeymoon, yet nothing was boked. All we knew is that we wanted a running holiday, a journey.  After much debate, seeking of opinions and checking of maps we opted for the little known ‘Dales Highway’.  Approximately 90-miles, starting in Saltaire in the south and finishing in Appleby in the north. The route takes a fairly direct line, south to north through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.  So that’s that, sorted, we’re outta here…

We began on the Wednesday, a little further north and little to the east of the described route.  By doing this we dropped a couple of miles and by all accounts missed out on a very interesting piece of our industrial heritage.  Yet we knew the van was safe.  We had stayed over with some friends and it was Eddie (our host) who got us under way, joining our first days run for a few miles, as we ventured onto Ilkley Moor and to meet the Twelve Apostles.

Ilkley Moor

Debs Running Along Ilkley Moor

The path is well marked, although a map is still a god idea as the area is a maze of footpaths. The route takes you above the town of Ilkley and slowly rises to a high point above the village of Addingham. For some this will be stopover number one, for us it was onwards to Skipton plus a few miles beyond.  From Addingham the route takes you along a straight rising road, that becomes a track. The track becomes a path dropping through woodland and into Skipton.  Tea and cake are the order of the day as the route took us straight through the town centre, which proved to be especially busy due to it being market day – oh what fun we had dodging the locals and tourists. Mind you I was especially taken with the ‘Hat’ stall…

The days tracks and therefore the running had been superb. Clear skies, rising temperatures also ensured a top up for the sun tan. The stand out part of the route had been along the edge path running from Ilkley to above Addingham. Purple heather and green fern, with sections of single track that were a joy to run along.
The only downside to the days running was that the wind that was coming from the north, something that was set to be an increasingly dominate force over the following two days.

We had planed the route based on the guidebook, although we came up with our own stop-over points, running from pub-B&B to pub-B&B.  Our first evenings stop over was a few ‘klicks’ beyond Skipton at the Craven Heifer which had become quickly renamed as the Crazy Cow.

The days running had gone well, despite the heat, something I was definitely enjoying more than Debs.  It was difficult to imagine that after such a gentle start we would experience the extremes of autumn weather and would go from sitting in the sun to an early blast of winter…

Little had happened today. We had settled into the journey easily, knew the plan and were well equipped. All the B&B’s had been pre-booked ensuring worry free running and a known destination and end to each day.  We had a running plan too. With 5-days of running and we had already agreed that we would work together and that if either of us had a low moment then we would walk or take rest, hard ascents would be taken slowly and the last mile of each day would be treated as a warm down.  Sun bathing was allowed, as was stopping for lunch or if the need arose to dive into somewhere warm and dry.  Oh yes, we were going to make a day of it and take a lesson from cycling – after all what was the point in arriving at our destination early afternoon with so much wonderful countryside to explore and see.  So that’s day 1, now for a sneaky beer and a shower…

Day 1: Distance – 27.24kms  Running Time: 4hrs 08 mins  Ascent: 823mts

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About Run Stu

Accelerate Performance and Healthy Run Coaching, Heart rate, Periodisation, Strength & Stability. Business owner @accelerateuk Coach to #TeamAccelerate The open road, fell, moorland and high places. Sunny days, days the wind blows and rain is horizontal - 'You're Alive!' Twitter and Instagram: @RunStuCoach

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