Sedbergh Running Team visited the French Pyrenees during Half Term, on their first overseas tour as a team. A group of 16 pupils, including two members of staff, stayed in Ax-Les-Thermes, 130km south of Toulouse, for one week, training every day and tackling challenges such as the Via Ferrata climb, for fitness and conditioning, and altitude training at 2,800m in Andorra.

Master in Charge of Running Jon Richardson, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for team building, to have the majority of the team for the whole week, and to see their improvement during that time.

When the team was established in 2008, it was on the understanding that it would be a mixed gender team and I might be right in thinking that this was the first Sports tour overseas that was mixed with girls and boys. I think it was brilliant for them, too.”

During the tour, the team ran every day but highlights included the Vertical Kilometre Race, which had taken place as a formal competition for professional runners and often, the best of the best, a little earlier in the year.

In this race, Isobel Page (R) beat the fastest woman’s time by five minutes and Joe Bird (E) was the first boy to the top.

The team also did the Time Trial Race, in which Joe Bird set the second fastest time on the loop, Josie Coulthard was the first girl back and managed to set the U18s record. “Josie even beat me, and Sally Bennett (R) was only 10 seconds behind me,” said Mr. Richardson.

“The whole week was brilliant, a fantastic group of pupils and they enjoyed the full boarding accommodation at the specialist summer and snow holiday B&B run by Gary and Debbie Devines.

“It has prepared them well for the team’s next challenges which include The South Lakeland Trials on 19th November, the Shrewsbury Trials on the 29th November, and then the big competition for us, the King Henry’s Relays in Coventry on the 3rd February.”

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