> Allen Banks Sunday Training Run - Dexter (photos: Rob)

The power of the internet knows no bounds. It was like an illicit Rave notice. People appeared from everywhere!

If we include Pat, who for once was not lumbered with photographic duties, 21 people turned out. I’ve run Kielder Borderers with less. Rather too many to list here by name, but there were 10 of us from NFR, + Chris Sanderson’s companion + Pat, 7 from Tynedale Harriers and 2 from Blackhill Bounders. All told 20 runners, and Pat enjoying the walks. Oh, and Lucy, Jess and Casper, who with twice as many legs as the rest of us, seemed to have far more than twice the energy levels!

It was very appropriate that we had so many from both NFR and Tynedale Harriers, because Angus Tait, who’s funeral it is tomorrow, was a founder member of both clubs. The route took in some of Angus’ favourite training areas and so we paused for a minute’s silence in his memory at the top of Jacob’s ladder near Cupola Bridge, a stiff climb Angus first introduced me to some 15 years or so ago.

Our route started at Allen Banks car park, and wound its way up and down a few hills taking in the Summer House, Plankey Mill, Staward Peel, Jacob’s Ladder and turned at Cupola Bridge. We returned initially by the same route, and stopped for a group photo at Staward Peel viewpoint and then took in the East side of the valley up around the Lily Pond, with views of Ridley Hall and Hadrian’s Wall beyond and finished over the wobbly suspension bridge back to car park. All told 2 hr 14 mins, including the photo stops and general re-grouping and chatting.

We were blessed with a lovely crisp sunny early spring morning and everyone seemed to enjoy the route. Various GPS technologies on the day recorded distances of between 9.9 miles and 11 miles, with 630 metres (c 2,000 ft) of ascent. We felt that we had earned a treat after that, and so those that had time available stopped at the Langley Station Garden cafe for tea and cakes. Or in Bernard’s case, 2 scones with jam & cream. Yes 2!

I was delighted with the turnout and thanks to all who made the effort to travel over.


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