Last week a group of us tackled the challenge of running (and walking) the Cleveland Way a long distance path beginning in the quaint village of Helmsley across the North York Moors to the coast and down to Filey. This was a real reminder that there is no need to leave the shores of GB for beautiful scenery and weather!
The first 3 days of our journey were through woodland and across moors which were bathed in purple heather with spectacular views that stretched over the plains of the vale of York. Showers in the distance seemed to circle but never reach us. Some highlights were the panoramas from Sutton Bank,the Captain cook monument and the beauty spot of Roseberry topping which rises from the flat like a swirl of cream on the top of an ice cream sundae.
It wasn’t until the end of day 3 when we reached the east coast at the coastal resort of Saltburn. A traditional seaside town with a funicular to take you up to the top of the cliff and a pier where I discovered the mysterious knitted artwork left by unknown atrtists also known as yarn bombing. Paddling in the sea among the surfers and swimmers was the closest I was going to get to an ice bath to soothe my tired legs.
The coastal stretch of our journey took us to hidden gems such as the traditional fishing village of Staithes and the high views from Ravenscar where we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Ravenscar Tea rooms. Hidden, tranquil bays nestled in alongside the larger resorts at Whitby, Scarborough and finally the finish in Filey.
My tips for tackling a long distance challenge:
Snacking and drinking little and often was really important through out the day to maintain energy levels. I particular enjoy this recipe for flapjacks. http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/honey-and-peanut-butter-booster-bars
Breaking the distance in to managable chunks. For us it was sometimes a few miles at a time then a water and snack break, then another few miles and a photo stop, or lunch.
Tackle your challenge with friends. They are able to offer company, encouragement and are also there to celebrate your successes and achievements.