Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Claire Marie
Features Writer
4:50 AM 14th August 2021

My 40+ Life

With her 10k done and dusted, our weekend columnist Claire Marie isn’t hanging up her running shoes just yet.

A question: do you work out when you’re on holiday?

Until a few years ago, I saw exercise as a big, stinking chore. I didn't look forward to it, and I certainly didn't do it when I was taking a break from my usual routine. But a year ago, I took my running kit on holiday to Whitby with me and surprised myself by running three times, including a euphoric sprint along the cliff edge next to the Abbey in thick, early morning fog, powered by the sound of the North Sea crashing against the shore. It was a fantastic way to get under the skin of a place I already knew and loved and I carried that magic around with me all day. Thanks to COVID, holidays have been a little thin on the ground since then, but I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy two breaks this summer, both in beautiful Yorkshire. Last month it was a week with my family at the beautiful Greenbank Barns near Richmond, and the scenery and silence was the perfect backdrop for a steady hour-long run. My solo 7k was peaceful, picturesque and scenic and I discovered Ravensworth, a picture postcard hamlet with its own ruins, rose gardens and romantic cottages. I relished the stillness, hearing little more than my own breathing, the gentle plod of my trainers against the rough earth and the whisper of the trees, and again, it was a feeling I carried around with me all day.

This week I’m in Hebden Bridge and I’ve fallen in love with its lush greenery, precariously perched stone cottages and rainy skies. I actually write a lot of my content in my head while I'm running, and based on today’s 5k, I thought I’d share my insights on Hebden from a runners’ perspective:

1. It's perfect for hill training as it sits in a very steep valley, and you have a choice of really challenging trail running or keeping it simple on the many residential streets (of course whatever you choose, the hills are bloody intense)
2. The view really is worth the climb - and you don't have to run very far to get some fantastic ones!
3. It's really, really hard to get lost! It's pretty compact and the beautiful canal and main street run in parallel, so it's dead easy to navigate
4. It's bustling, diverse and friendly, so you get lots of lovely hellos (but it's very busy too)
5. Your pace will be absolutely shite because you'll keep stopping to take photos of people's gardens and the gorgeous views

Inspired? When you're packing for your next break, why not throw your kit in your case and see where your running shoes take you? I guarantee you'll fall in love with your favourite destination even more.