Hostels provide the perfect places to relax after a long day on the trails. Just out of YHA Eastbourne I climb onto the behemoth’s back, jogging up to the first of its spiny crests. “Our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs”, as Rudyard Kipling memorably described them, will serve as my route for a 15-mile run from YHA Eastbourne to YHA South Downs, where upon arriving I shall feast on lasagne and promptly fall asleep under a green duvet.
It’s a crystal-clear but cold day as I bound (OK, pant) along the South Downs Way. At Beddingham Hill, YHA South Downs comes into sight. I gingerly descend to the converted farmhouse and barns – it’s a friendly hostel, and I meet two other runners doing the same as me. It makes sense: using hostels as running bases means you can travel light, eating in the restaurants and making the most of the facilities.
So it’s unsurprising that RunYHA, an annual run out of YHA Castleton in the Peak District, has become such a success. “It’s basically like a big trail-running house party,” says hostel manager and organiser Alistair Boyd. “There’s a real mix of first-timers and experienced runners, but they all mix really well. It’s an unmissable event in the YHA calendar.” See right for more details.
May 6-8, 2016 YHA Castleton Losehill Hall, Peak District
Now in its third year, RunYHA is a trail-running event held at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall with the spectacular backdrop of the Peak District. The three-day event includes a night run on the Friday evening, a ‘Skylite’ Half Marathon on the Saturday and a lighter 10km run on the Sunday. There are also films, talks and workshops throughout the weekend, plus live music on Saturday.
Two nights’ bed and breakfast, entry to all three runs and access to all films and talks is £85. The cost for non-running friends, partners and family is £70.