As a lone Musketeer I travelled up to the festival on the Friday night where camping was provided on site near to the Birches Valley Visitor Centre - 8miles from M6. The site was filling up on arrival with lots of groups of club runners pitching - facilities were basic, portaloos and showers but the scenery made up for this!
Saturday woke to the sounds of generators inflating the huge McCain Track and Field information 'tent'. This contained lots of tests you could try like recorded sprint start and reflex tests. The site also had a local Sports shop selling running bargains - I got a jacket for Â£10! Lucozade were there handing out drinks, gels and tablets and generally advising on nutrition, face painting for children, sports therapist and food marquee.
At 10 amthere was a one mile charity race which lots of families took part in alongwith the more serious runners. The main race that I took part in was the 10Kthat took a route through the forest along fire breaks, heath land and trackways. It started at 1pm which on a veryhot day was less than ideal but encouraged by the other competitors and thesupport I headed for the start line - timing chip attached.
The race was tough going for me, lots of loose pebbles and to many inclines to love all of them, but really scenic. A water station at the half way mark with music helped to keep me going and the shock of seeing a woman in purple hurtle 5 metres above me - on a zip wire as part of the GoApe course. My time was a PW but I thoroughly enjoyed it and at the finish line Sally Gunnell was there cheering me over! The day rounded off with a pasta party (Â£5) and live music before crawling back to our tents.
The following morning I had to head home but those staying were taking part in a 6 hour 7K team event. Basically teams had to complete as many circuits as they could in the time -it was also open to any mad individuals who wanted to do it solo.
This is thesecond year the running festival has run and the organisers are hoping for it to be bigger and better next year. For an individual entry to the 10k of Â£16 you could camp from Friday evening until midday Monday with your family and friends included! One club Finch had every member of the club there with their families.
Perhaps next year we could try to get some more members along and even perhaps brave the 6Hour Challenge??
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