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Some older material from the early days of Slow Footsteps

Hexhamshire Hobble FFF TTT WWW

This takes place in early December. The start is at the school in Allendale. It can be cold and even snowy so you need a few layers of clothing.

There are toilets at the school and I did not have to queue for the ladies,unusually the gents was busier. There are also toilets in the village.

I went for a short 2 mile walk based on a downloadable Walk around Allendale called “Brides Hill”. This brings you past the old sawmill which is now converted into businesses including the Allendale bakery cafe. This is an excellent stopping off point and I had tea and a cheese scone, plus used the loo there. The return bit of the walk is a very pleasant stroll along the river East Allen. I was back before my runner finished. There were tea and cakes at the race finish at the school, free to runners, £1 for a hot drink and a home made cake to others.

There are other longer walks around Allendale if you prefer more of a challenge.

This is a good race for spectators with good facilities, refreshments and a choice of walks.

Nine Standards Rigg, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria FF 0 WWW

New Year’s Day race

You would be right in thinking that there is not much open in Kirkby Stephen on NYD. However, the race HQ is at a local social club so toilets are available there. I believe the public toilets near the race start were also open.

I would suggest bringing a packed lunch to this and a flask with a hot drink. Although hot drinks and soup are available at the finish, with over 150 runners there is quite a demand and race HQ gets very busy once the race is over.

There is a choice of walks around KS. The one I did is based on a leaflet I had picked up on a previous visit called “Footpaths around KS” and is called the Viaducts Walk. I walked to the village of Hartley ( along the first bit of the race route) and then turned away from the race route to walk over the disused railway viaducts. There are quite a few information boards and maps as you walk which adds interest. I returned to KS by road rather than the suggested field route as with so much rain recently and based on previous experience I thought the fields would be waterlogged. The walk was about 3 miles and I got back to KS just before my runner finished.

A good day out for spectators but take your own lunch.

 Clay bank East, North York Moors  F 0 0

6 January 2013

Priorities first. There are no facilities at all at the car park on Clay Bank. I waited until the race started and then used the woodland just to the south of the car park. At this time of year there wasn’t much tree cover. Although I was quite discreet it certainly wasn’t secluded in any way.

There is no food available so take your own plus a hot drink. You’ll probably want to titrate how much you drink against the lack of toilets.

I’ve been twice to a Clay Bank race and although I’m sure there are walks from here I haven’t found one yet to fit into the timescale of a relatively short race. However, there are superb views from the car park if you just want to sit and read the paper for a bit.

This spot has limited possibilities and if coming as a spectator it is probably best to do it as part of a bigger plan for a day out on the NYM. Alternatively we visited RSPB Saltholme after the race and saw a short eared owl hunting.

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