Braving some very mixed Lakeland weather, the RS Adventure Race training squad put in a great effort over a training weekend over the first weekend of March.
After a long drive up on Friday night, they camped at Rydal Hall near Ambleside, pitching tents in the dark and damp. On Saturday the two main daytime activities: they had a session of mountain biking in Grizedale Forest, completing a demanding single-track mountain bike trail, the North face Trail; then on Windermere they practised their canoe skills, using the boats for solo paddling, tandem paddling and rafted together, paddling and sailing. After cooking their evening meal they headed back out for two hours of night navigation around Grizedale Forest, finding orienteering marker points. This included going off the paths and tracks on compass bearings, through the forest undergrowth.
On Sunday, after striking camp and packing the minibus they walked up Heron Pike, enjoying some unexpected good views on the way up. After a speedy descent, running down certain sections, they were divided into two teams for a final challenge, a competitive run around Rydal Water. Despite all they had previously been through they embraced the challenge with gusto and charged around the lake in very fast times.
The squad were practising for the actual RS Adventure Race, an annual competition between Round Square schools which this year is being held in Scotland. They now have a good taste of the likely demands of the event and will complete final preparations and a little more fitness training over the next few weeks. All the pupils showed great determination, organisation and team spirit and were a delight to be with. They coped very well, particularly given the variable weather and camping at a time of year when not many are under canvas!