THE ORIGINS OF OUR PARTNER WILD RUNNING
For more info go to www.wildrunning.co.uk

Run, Sail, Swim: We’re Not Just Another Trail Running Company
In 2017, we aim to be the UK’s only adventure company to offer a sail-run guided trip, staying on board a Tall Ship, as well as bespoke trail running camps for all levels of ability, a guided run covering Two National Parks in a week, a coast to coast run across Scotland, as well as organising Dartmoor’s first ever trail running festival, Something Wild.

Join Our Wild Running Network
We have our own regular running group, which meets once a week, run a Strava Club and offer a resource of running routes across the South West and UK. This year, we are aiming to build our own shoe recycling network and to support some of our favourite charities.

Bespoke Camps with expert guides
Wild Running offers challenging and inspiring bespoke guided trail running tours with a difference across the UK. Many of our clients are repeat visitors, who may not need a guide but recognise the added value our guides can give. We pride ourselves in using the best guides across the UK, who are not only top level runners themselves, but also knowledgeable and personable people, who will understand what makes you tick.
Some of the places you will go with us: North West Scotland, the Hebrides, Dartmoor and Exmoor, the Lake District.

Support the future
We aim to build on last year’s Junior Wild Running Camps on Dartmoor.
Tool yourself up to go self nav off piste
We recognise that many of you may be new to self navigation events and want you to be confident runners who can dispense with a guide. So we are also offering an NNAS navigation courses for runners, as well as organising a trail running festival Something Wild, a 5km swim in the Dart and co organises the Wild Night Run Series.

We’re in the business of motivation
In 2017, we will be offering corporate motivation weekends with renowned speakers at Bovey Castle Hotel on Dartmoor.

How we arrived here?
The catharsis came in 2008 but it had its origins in 2001.
As a newspaper journalist working in Basingstoke in 2001, Wild Running founder Ceri Rees, was flicking through a copy of Roger Deakin’s Waterlogged in Waterstones, reading about one’s man’s elemental passion for water, when the coin first dropped.
As a junior, he’d been a promising endurance athlete, winning the English Schools Cross country Senior Boy’s title, as well as the National Youths Cross Country Title and was a member of the British Endurance Squad. When he was 18, he won a sports grant to stay and learn from the godfather of endurance running Kipchoge Keino, at his orphanage in Eldoret. Disillusion with injuries forced him to quit competitive running at 21 and he returned to another of his passions-rugby union. He represented Northern RFC, Basingstoke RFC and Paris Vincennes First Team at wing and full back.

Several years later, he went on to become the Bournemouth Daily Echo’s outdoors correspondent, where he befriended and also started training with a Zimbabwean asylum seeker Williard Chinhanhu, a 62 minute half marathon runner.
It took an 800km walk across Spain in 2008, the Camino Santiago, which offered glimpses of changing landscapes with an elemental romantic appeal, for him to finally quit his job as a newspaper journalist. It flashed up the need to do something he loved doing, just like Roger Deakin had. So in 2012, he set up his own business called Wild Running and was given an Unltd social entrepreneurs award.

The aim was simple: to take unemployed people out running on Dartmoor once a week. They provided the transport and picked people up on route. He knew first hand about the benefits of off road running for boosting resilience and wellbeing, as well as improving your running longevity. Ceri had little cartilage left in his knees (a legacy of his years playing rugby) and found road running a challenge. He did not need to gather any scientific evidence to know about these benefits, as he’d already spent a lifetime acquiring the experience.

The spirit of community and camaraderie of the group night runs, has cemented many friendships, since they began. The plan was and still is to replicate this in their wild running camps. Both our Beginner’s Fell Camps in the Lake District and Natural Running Camp on Dartmoor, involves sharing communal meals in a lamp lit camping barn, while our Scotland Camps involve sharing a cottage and listening to talks about the local geology and whisky tasting. The chance to run on a guided route over a munro is central but by no means the only part of the experience. This year, I learnt a lot about hygge when a large Danish group signed up for our Scotland trip. They were excellent company. Without the group, we are just loan wolfs bound for extinction.

The end goal is not to chip away at your 10k time but to enjoy the process of running and hopefully to avoid injuries, in as much as this is possible.

In January 2013, Ceri decided to branch out by organising night races, after spotting a niche, alongside a member of his running group and as it turned out, his second cousin twice removed Ben Tisdall! Their Wild Night Run Series supports several local charities. Wild Running now organises the Something Wild festival and a swim in the River Dart, while also offering NNAS navigation courses for runners. In 2017 they are offering Sail-Run trips on board the tall Ship the Lady Avenel. They also hope to stage their first ultra and plan to work with schools, to provide a running legacy as a fun activity.

Ceri says: “Wild Running satisfies our curiosity for landscapes and reminds us of the impermanence of physical and mental discomfort through running. The aim is to engage in the kind of activities that adult life frowns upon.”
Some clients have suffered from depression, post-traumatic stress, or a potentially life threatening condition such as diabetes. We have also had mental health referrals, from enlightened practitioners who recognise that that there is something therapeutic about spending time outdoors. Since running wires your serotonin tap to your musculature, in ways we are just beginning to understand, it has a positive cognitive function.

This doesn’t have to involve trekking through isolated wilderness, harsh mountainous terrain or attending boot camps aimed at pushing people to their physical limits in order to reveal something of their inner emotional resources aka Bear Grylls. But it can if you want it to.

Increasingly we have come to define ourselves by what we do in our spare time. The quest for going in search of wild places in people’s leisure time, whether running, climbing, kayaking or adventure racing, shows there is a fundamental yearning to reconnect with nature.

In its essence, wild running can addresses the very basic need for humans to inhabit and know their landscape, therefore offering potential benefits to all ages and walks of life.
Before moving to Devon on the southern edges of Dartmoor National Park about seven years ago, he had mainly lived and worked in large towns and cities: Newcastle, Madrid, Paris, Buenos Aires, Cuzco. Living in a foreign country has the potential to be an alienating experience but for him, there was always one thing that connected them all on a visceral level.

The aim was simple: to take unemployed people out running on Dartmoor once a week. We provided the transport and picked people up on route. I knew first hand about the benefits of off road running for boosting resilience and wellbeing, as well as improving your running longevity. I have little cartilage left in my knees (a legacy of my years playing rugby) and find road running a challenge. I did not need to gather any scientific evidence to know about these benefits, as I’d already spent a lifetime acquiring the experience..

The spirit of community and camaraderie of our group night runs, has cemented many friendships, since we began. The plan was and still is to replicate this in our wild running camps. Both our Beginner’s Fell Camps in the Lake District and Natural Running Camp on Dartmoor, involves sharing communal meals in a lamp lit camping barn, while our Scotland Camps involve sharing a cottage and listening to talks about the local geology and whisky tasting. The chance to run on a guided route over a munro is central but by no means the only part of the experience. This year, I learnt a lot about hygge when a large Danish group signed up for our Scotland trip. They were excellent company. Without the group, we are just loan wolfs bound for extinction.

Unlike most training camps, which frankly seem to me quite dull, ours encourages an outward looking mind set, useful when you are staying in such close proximity! While quite rustic, there are also plenty of creature comforts.

When Wild Running began, hardly anyone was doing this as a business in the south west. Now there are several trail running companies operating here. I’d like to think we were the trailblazers. My company has grown to become something much more inclusive and regular Thursday night attendees are mostly dynamic professionals who want to lose the shackles of their day jobs and home commitments. Many of them are NHS workers new to the area, who want to explore. The end goal is not to chip away at your 10k time but to enjoy the process of running and hopefully to avoid injuries, in as much as this is possible.

We have also had channel swimmers, brickies, GPs, business leaders, mechanics, teachers and even a Duchess.
We also decided to branch out by organising night races, after spotting a niche. Our Wild Night Run Series supports several local charities. We now organise the Something Wild festival and a swim in the River Dart, while also offering NNAS navigation courses for runners.

Wild Running offers guided tours across the south west and camps in Scotland, Dartmoor, the Lake District and (in 2017) Wales. It mixes trail running, which follows well marked footpaths and bridleways, with fell running, which prefers to go off piste.

Wild Running (it could also have been called playful running or natural running) satisfies our curiosity for landscapes and reminds us of the impermanence of physical and mental discomfort. The aim is to engage in the kind of activities that adult life frowns upon.

The message we give to young athletes at our Wild Running Junior Camps, is to take their time and to enjoy competing in a playful way. Sport should not be a means to an end but an end in itself.
Some of our clients have suffered from depression, post-traumatic stress, or a potentially life threatening condition such as diabetes. We have also had mental health referrals, from enlightened practitioners who recognise that that there is something therapeutic about spending time outdoors. Since running wires your serotonin tap to your musculature, in ways we are just beginning to understand, it has a positive cognitive function. This doesn’t have to involve trekking through isolated wilderness, harsh mountainous terrain or attending boot camps aimed at pushing people to their physical limits in order to reveal something of their inner emotional resources aka Bear Grylls. But it can if you want it to.

• Running– We are here to offer you a wonderful swimming experience and an unforgettable trip. On many of our trips you will be swimming in some of the most stunning water in the world. Each tour has a selection of swims, some of which may challenge you and others which will undoubtedly enthrall you.
• Safety – There is simply no safer way for you to swim in open water. With our qualified and experienced guides and sufficient safety escort boats, we will look after you every stroke of the way and work with you on getting the most out of the trip.
• Quality – We stay in good quality accommodation, details of all of which you can find on this website. We realise that at the end of your day, somewhere nice to relax after the adventures of the day is important.
• Satisfaction-We rely heavily on word of mouth and repeat custom for our trips, consequently it is imperative that we give our guests the best experience possible. We believe that our over 13 years of operation and our extensive programme throughout the Northern hemisphere illustrate our success.
• Financial security – We are fully bonded through ABTOT for all of our guests monies wherever they are located in the world. For more information check out ABTOT
• Feedback – At the end of every trip, we provide our guests with a questionnaire that we urge you to fill in. We rely very heavily on our guests’ feedback to maintain and improve the quality of our holidays.
• Accuracy – We do our utmost to make sure that the information provided in our brochures and on our website is accurate. However things can and do change due to circumstances beyond our control.