It was pre-season training with a difference in July when the intrepid 10 from Bristol Society decided to tackle the Brecon Beacons.
After an extended journey down the M4 with the school holiday traffic, Kieran, James, Josh, Adam, Ben W, Clare, Steve and Ben G were joined by Francesca Hayman and Adam Wookey to take on the first of what will hopefully become a yearly preseason training kick-off.
Arriving at the campsite in Pencelli, Steve quickly put the team to work with what can only be described as a fairly serious game of walking rugby. Having arrived two thirds of the way through, I can only say that some of the questioning of the referee was more reminiscent of being on a football pitch!
However, all was forgiven when Steve sparked up the barbecue and a beverage or two was consumed. As evening turned into night, another hidden talent emerged with Kieran playing the guitar, accompanied by Steve and James on vocals (one of them fair more in tune than the other).
With the heavens opening overnight and proving a stern test for the tents, the serious part of the weekend then started on Saturday morning. Commencing with a two-mile warm-up run along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, the troops were then put through a series of sprint exercises to test speed endurance, stamina and concentration under physical fatigue. This included a pretty serious game of noughts and crosses, which James and his team found particularly difficult, losing as they did 10-1.
After a warm down run back to the camp along the canal, preparations were made for the three-hour trek in the Beacons. All made great progress up towards the peak of Bryn, including the picnic lunch towards the top. Luckily the worst of the weather held off and we were able to enjoy the more gentle pastime of cricket on return to the campsite. Let's just say, none of us took inspiration from England's World Cup win, especially Kieran who had never played cricket before and subjected the batsmen to some somewhat suspicious bowling!
The team were then joined by Oli Carey in the local village pub for food and a cheeky beer, before returning to camp for another round of singing and stories.
Sunday was a more gentile affair, with some light stretching and gentle running before the tents were expertly packed away and all said their goodbyes.
I am sure all who attended would agree that it was not only a great team-building event, but also a fantastic way to kick off pre-season training - we look forward to doing it all again next year.
Photos are available to view here.