Sporting stars have swapped their Kettering training track for more mountainous terrain to help them reach peak condition.
Athletes and coaches from the award-winning Kettering Town Harriers Athletics Club headed to the Brecon Beacons in south Wales for a training course with a difference at the Govilon Activity Centre, which is owned by a Northamptonshire charity.
The sporting squad substituted the running track for the likes of fell and dune running, taking on the highest sand dunes in Europe, as part of their intensive itinerary.
They also took part in underground caving during the all-action visit.
The activity centre, run by the Kettering Old Grammar School Foundation, has been visited by thousands of Northamptonshire schoolchildren over the years, but recent investment by the foundation has transformed the former Victorian school building.
The Harriers, making their third visit to Govilon, helped celebrate the completion of the renovation.
Future Team GB hopefuls were among the 17 athletes who took part in the training trip competing in tasks including orienteering, caving, rock climbing and fell running.
The trip was tailored to the needs of the athletics club and the latest visit was made by the largest group of athletes to date.
Shane Smith, head endurance coach of Kettering Town Harriers, said the trip helped the athletes improve their fitness, focus on team bonding and go that extra mile.
He added: “I can honestly say this was the best one yet.
“I am convinced that the annual training camp at Govilon has helped to improve the performance of the squad. We have just enjoyed our best ever track season and were awarded Team of the Year at the Kettering Sports Awards.
“It is always fun, challenging and exhilarating, all the athletes really enjoy what they can’t do here in Northamptonshire – I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
Maggie Mitchell, a governor at the Kettering Old Grammar School Foundation and chair of the Govilon Management Committee, said: “We are delighted the athletes had such a successful visit to the centre and made the most of all the refurbished facilities.
“We hope more sports clubs, organisations and schools will visit the centre and enjoy experiencing everything this unique and exciting environment has to offer.”
For more information go to www.govilon.org.uk or www.kogsf.org.uk