EVOSSI EXPLORES LAKE DISTRICT: 24HR RECAP
In July 2019, a question was shared on a mountain top in Chamonix between three friends: Ed, Michaela & Eric. "How can we bring people together and share a weekend of run adventures?"
This is where the idea for 'EVOSSI Explores' was born! With no boundaries, we would harness the community ethos of EVOSSI & venture on adventurous trips around the world with awesome people.
Our first location had to be somewhere beautiful & unique - we all agreed The Lake District had our vote. We mapped out an itinerary, launched the tickets & were excited to see they sold out in just 4hrs! Then on 14th September the weekend arrived & 22 of us set off to the Lakes for an action packed 24hrs. So what happened on EVOSSI Explores Lake District?
SATURDAY MORNING | ARRIVAL
The journey began at London Euston train station at 8am, where the majority of the group met. After a few early morning greets we maneuvered through the busy station & boarded our train. Coffee & snacks in hand we set off on the Virgin train to Oxenholme Station in the Lake District.
Upon arrival, we greeted the rest of the group, including Claire who had come down from Edinburgh, Andrew who'd traveled from Manchester & Alexandra who'd caught an earlier train from London. We jumped into our pre-booked taxis who took us to our accommodation located near Windermere, a large lake in Cumbria's Lake District National Park. We arrived to the hostel at the same time as the car crews; Mohson & team, along with Mark, Gemma & Liam. We ventured inside & did a quick loop around the hostel, taking in the stunning views at the rear of the building.
After a light lunch we headed inside for a welcome talk where Ed, Michaela & Eric briefed the Team for Day 1. The room was bustling & you could tell everyone was eager to head out into the gorgeous surroundings! It was great to see people from all areas of the UK come together, such as Harry from Lancaster & Ollie from St Albans, along with Méabh from Ireland!
Thank you to our sponsors Tribe Nutrition & Osprey - more to come on them later. We introduced Tribe & distributed a number of their delicious bars, ready to keep all the runners fuelled across the weekend. Osprey had kindly given us a number of handheld water pouches to keep us hydrated during our trail runs. We gave them out & the run leaders showcased the new Duro Running Packs.
We then ran through Saturday's route - a challenging 12 mile trail run heading high up into the Cumbrian Mountains. Ed would lead the pack, Ollie would support the middle section, along with Mo keeping people safe at the back. See route below:
SATURDAY AFTERNOON | 12 MILE RUN
We began our run with a dynamic warm up in the hostel car park, before setting off towards Troutbeck where we took a sharp right, joining onto a narrow public footpath.
We crossed an incredibly springy field which was a rich green & climbed over our first stile. After crossing through a Holiday Park we were at the beginning of our epic adventure. The trail widened & nature surrounded us, trees, fields & the odd sheep! We could see the mountains in the distance & reality hit as everyone realised we were heading way up! After 20 minutes we stopped & re-grouped, there was a moment of silence, everyone genuinely in awe of their surroundings. It was quiet & calm, as if we'd stepped into a new dimension with daily work worries & stresses of life evaporating. We were present & unified.
As we found our rhythm, we gradually began our ascent to the peaks, motivated by the enveloping valley ahead of us. Then, we faced our first obstacle: a water crossing, where the majority of the group carefully balanced from rock to rock as they went across. However, Eric didn't have the patience for Onder who had stopped half way to take a photo & scooted around him into the water with no remorse. We roared with laughter!
As the ascent became more technical, Liam introduced upbeat tunes for added motivation. We worked as a team to ascend the trails, taking regular breather breaks & photo opportunities. The run turned into a hike due to the sheer ongoing ascent, however we could see the peak in sight. The metal pole was towering out of the ground & we knew we were edging closer. Chatter quietened as we focused on reaching the peak. Gradually the ground became more even & flat so we finished our run strong up to the windy peak. We'd made it!
It was an incredibly rewarding experience seeing the group reach the peak as a team, sharing laughs & enjoying the stunning valley views. We shared some Tribe energy bars which proved very tasty & took water on board through our Osprey Hydration Vests & handheld water bottles.
The first half of the run was the hardest & we'd completed it. The second half involved both technical ascent & descent as we ran down Troutbeck Tongue. We continued our run, enjoying the views as we flew down the trails - everyone working in sync with the fresh mountain air revitalising us.
SATURDAY EVENING | RAVEN HILL BEER & MAX'S ADVENTURE TALK
After an eventful day, it was time to unwind and enjoy each other's company under the evening sun. We were lucky to have Raven Hill Brewery join us, a young brand with a focus on creating delicious beers for adventurers. Founder Mark told the story Raven Hill & what the brand stands for. We all enjoyed sampling the locally produced beers, filled with natural ingredients named Summit & Cherry. Well earned that's for sure!
Following an interesting talk, it was time to head to Brown Sugar for dinner. Thanks to Michaela who had chosen a brilliant venue with a good atmosphere. We had the whole floor booked out for Team EVOSSI & even our own bar for refreshments. Everyone got chatting & enjoyed a drink before dinner was served. The food was delicious with Ed & Harry opting for the Chinese sticky pork ribs & Immy enjoying the Seafood spaghetti. Spirits were high from the days event. It was time to tuck in!
At 9pm, we introduced ultra runner & EVOSSI Ambassador Max. He told the story of how he transitioned from Rugby Player to Ultra Runner & how he overcame a number of injuries along the way. Max is a great speaker, both entertaining & down to earth yet inspiring, which led onto a constructive Q&A discussion. Piers shared his upcoming Ragnar Relay challenge, whilst Mohson talked about preparations for Amsterdam marathon. The group became closer as we learnt more about each other, sparking new friendships & talks of adventures to come.
SUNDAY EARLY MORNING | A DELICIOUS BREAKFAST
Runners love food. So what better way to start the day with plates full of fresh fruit, toast, cereals & a fry up. We were up for 07:30 & enjoyed breakfast & coffee. We had a briefing & arranged the group into two. 50% were ready for the run & 50% for a hike.
SUNDAY MID MORNING | OUR FINAL TRAIL
Then we were off!
As Michaela & the team set off for their hike they soaked up the beautiful views of Lake Windermere. They spotted a few friendly looking sheep & then realised they were making tracks for Michaela! Run!! She managed to get away. For anyone wondering, the sheep and Michaela are now ok.
Strike a pose! Crew overlooking Lake Windermere
Both the runners & hikers arrived back at the same time sharing high fives & big smiles. What a way to round up a weekend of technical trails, new friendships & inspiration.
EVOSSI Explores Lake District was an epic, action packed 24hrs & we couldn't have asked for a better group. A special thanks to everyone who joined the EVOSSI community & to our sponsors Osprey, Tribe & Raven Hill, along with EVOSSI Ambassador Max for making the trip special. Not forgetting Michaela & Ed for organising the trip & Erics fantastic photography across the weekend.
Want to join us on the next EVOSSI Explores? We're heading to Dorset this November & you're invited!
Coastal Runs, rejuvenating yoga & much more.
The UK's first Adventure Run Retreat. Register your interest for EVOSSI Explores Dorset here. Tickets live 9am, 25 Sept.