With M Nidderdale Guided Run & Brunch

January. It’s a bit ‘meh’, isn’t it? We all deserve a little treat to get us through the greyness. So I was delighted to be asked to attend a Run and Brunch event last week in beautiful Nidderdale. It was organised by With M, a new company owned by private chef Michaela Hanna, who you may have seen on Masterchef: The Professionals a couple of years ago. Experiences With M offers getaways where people can immerse themselves in their passion for running, cycling or walking whilst also enjoying the fabulous food that is Michaela’s own passion. Trail running and amazing food, what’s not to like? I was there like a shot! The day dawned crisp and clear as I drove over to Pateley Bridge and I couldn’t believe how lucky we were with the weather.

Whilst Michaela takes care of the catering, she calls in the sporting experts to lead the activities. Our running guide for the day was Hannah Rayner, a UK Athletics Coach in Running and Fitness who also runs her own local business, HR Running Coach. A lively group of ten runners assembled, then Hannah took us through a warm-up session. Honestly, how many of us do that every time we go out? It was a good reminder that’s it’s actually quite important.

We then set off down the high street and onto the hills. Runners of all abilities are welcome here so long as they’re comfortable with running 10K – pace isn’t important.

Our route was about five miles long, and pretty much all of the first half was uphill, climbing up to meet the Nidderdale Way Great training! I haven’t really done any big hills since Hardmoors Goathland in November, as I’ve been taking it easy with my dodgy hip, so it felt good to do some hard work.

Every so often we stopped to regroup, and Hannah made sure nobody was left behind. It was great to have a guide; with no need to think about navigation, we could just enjoy the amazing scenery.

The high point of our route was a trig point with fabulous views of Nidderdale. Such a clear and sunny day!

Fortunately what goes up must come down, so the second half of the run went downhill through Guisecliff wood on trail that was interesting but still runnable. Techical downhill is not my strong point, but this was great. We then followed the river back into Pately Bridge. After a group cooldown and stretch, a fantastic feast awaited us! In our absence Michaela had magically created a sumptuous brunch that looked so good it almost seemed a shame to eat it. But not quite… we were all starving!

To start there were various fresh juices, yoghurt, homemade granola and fruit, including some beautiful new season pink Yorkshire rhubarb.

Next up was a fabulous smoked salmon frittata. I’ve tried to make frittata a couple of times with no success, so Michaela kindly offered me some tips on getting it right! Eggs Benedict were also on offer – very luxurious.

I think the brunch highlight for most of us were the pancakes. Gorgeous, fluffy, American-style stacks that were unanimously voted the best ever! I had mine with salted caramel sauce and they were simply divine.

Suitably stuffed on the finest fare, we continued to chat and drink coffee until it was sadly time to leave. To be honest, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning. I’ve also been inspired to try and make some granola, recreate those pancakes and have another go at frittata.

If the thought of fabulous running and food appeals to you (and why would it not?!) With M has more events coming up over the next few months. The next Run & Brunch is on 26th March, and tickets are available here. Don’t worry about going on your own if you fancy it – I didn’t know anyone when I went, but everyone I met was really friendly and chatty – although I should probably have saved the oxygen for climbing hills!

For a more immersive experience, there’s also a full Feasting and Running weekend in early March and a whole week of Feasting and Mountain Biking in April if that’s more your thing. Details on the With M website here. A fantastic time in great company is guaranteed!