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Runfestrun - May 2019

Runfestrun weekend May 2019
I was invited to run for my sponsors Innolife at the event this year and I had planned on doing as many of the races as was possible throughout the weekend so Friday afternoon we set out to Bowood house in deepest Wiltshire.. a beautiful setting surrounded my fields and woods and plenty of hills. Bowood house itself wasn’t that much to look at but still a stately home and one I hadn’t seen before.
On arrival everything was clearly marked for the car parks and camping areas and towards the entrance to the event itself.. checked in at the gates and were given our weekend wristbands and off we headed into the arena where everything was being held..
Plenty of stalls and attractions around the place and even a bit of a fairground for the kids who were in abundance .. not usually what you see in a race situation in most places but they were having fun ad enjoying the sunshine. the main stage just to the side of the house and the huge picturesque lake within view.. the finish line to one side ..all looked great.. found the startline and proceeded to check out the toilet arrangements before the warm up for the first race.
The 5k was about to start, the throng of runners headed towards the start line and almost instantly we were set off to a huge roar... well timed entrance for us today lol
The 5k was the warm up race for the weekend and we got to try out the terrain before the half marathon the next morning. It was a brutal course for me, as a road runner I’m not used to the constantly changing surfaces of a trail race.. I hate trail but prepared to to give it a go this weekend.. some pretty serious downhill just after the initial start..always love ten downhills as it gives me a chance to lengthen my stride and get a bit of ground out of the way.. but then obviously what goes down..inevitably goes up too.. I hate hills since my it band issues so I have to protect my knees now, so the hills were walked up at a steady pace though. The last few hundred meters was all on grass .. I hate grass running, I have to concentrate too much and then to a final hill finish along the front of the stage and through the crowds of supporters.. it’s a good little course but tough on me.. I wasn’t intending on getting good times this weekend as I wanted it to serve as my marathon training so I didn’t bother giving it anything more than a training run pace,but managed a sprint finish.
After the obligatory medal and freebies were handed out we entered into the arena area to wait for the headliners of tonight Razorlight, who always manage to put on a good show when I’ve seen them in the past.. tonight wasn’t disappointing at all..they rocked the arena floor and the kids were loving it.
What a great start to the weekend
Saturday and the half marathon ... what can I say.. I wasn’t prepared at all for this, my sixth half marathon this year and my first real off road race. It band issues for a few months meant I was going to have to be cautious on this race.. it consisted of the 5k route x 2 and an 11k lap also .. so three times up that bloody great hill to the finish line ... my knees were not happy. Once again the kids en route we’re having a ball, some of those kids were amazing out there in the sun .. another thing I hate running in the sun.. I was praying for some light rain at least lol
No real issues running the half marathon today ad surprisingly NOT my worst time, but I had protected my knees on the hills. As I finished the half the next 5k race was doing their warm up in the arena before heading over to the start line.. I think I had about ten minutes spare before I headed off yet again to do the 5k route .. same route as last nights 5k but the sun was by now getting hotter and hotter and once again I paced it slower than y normal race pace due to the surprises on the 5k at all
Next race was the 2.5k .. great little route..still the hills but was getting kind of used to the stop starting and walking by now, plenty of atmosphere at the events so far and no hassle from anyone .. possibly one of the most relaxed days running I’ve had so far. Towards the hill finish my knee was beginning to show a bit of wear and tear but once gain I mustered up a sprint finish.. my vest was on and off all day today with the heat .. my photos will be horrendous if we ever get them lol
It was now getting hotter and hotter as we had a slight break to the next race..the 10k .. it was so hot I decided to sit this one out and myself and my mate Ian sat in the shade under a Tree close to the lake and watched the 10k runners as they passed by us to the finish line. I got too hot and went to dip my feet in the lake.. that water was bloody cold but it reinvigorated my tired feet no end.
Next race I think was the club relay which we hadn’t entered so we chilled some more before heading back to the car for some well earned food we had brought along with us before heading back down for the last race of the day which was a road race thankfully.. just a 3k but those miles were adding up and my feet knew it. Got off to a shitty start in the 3k with knee pains keeping me from constant running the whole thing but I kept the walking down to bare minimum just to keep the pain at bay ... however the last part of the race.. can’t remember at which point it as except that I was chatting to two fellow lonely goats when I had a burst of energy and left them behind me to a cracking finish, again with a sprint towards the line, I had done y first twenty miles in a day and I was proud of what I had achieved ... havnt felt so good about my running for a while since my pb in London last weekend lol
But now I know I can do a twenty mile run in one day I’m happy with myself and my marathon training can go onwards without too much injury to myself... hopefully.
We all headed back to the arena for a do set by faithless .. Jesus she can mix tunes really well... always good to watch and bop around too..if u have The energy.
Then into Olly Murs set .. a bit more poppy and well suited for the family audience and all the kids I’m sure knew he was ... he really entertained us all and put on a great show for us all. The crowds were thicker than last night and everyone seemed to love what he was doing on stage..well done Olly
Saturdays main day events and entertainment were a huge success for me and I’m sure everyone else there at runfestrun.
Sunday, last day last race , last 5k .. I almost didn’t go, when I woke up I could barely walk downstairs and make a drink or even attempt to cook breakfast.. I jumped in the shower hoping it would sufficiently wake me up and it seemed to work. Got there in plenty of time..the sun was again shining brightly at one point but it went cloudy .. perfect running weather ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
Now, I can’t say I enjoyed this final race but I did it.. there was more jeffing today and there were a lot of kids as it was more a fun run with named themed teams and stuff but it was once again a good race with great atmosphere from everyone. Everyone of the adult runners was chatting about how far they’d done the day before and how knackered they were... it all made for some great entertainment out there of a Sunday morning in the countryside.
Once again I mustered up a sprint finish.. don’t ask me how but one of the presenters was ahead of me on the hill, so I made a dash for it to get ahead of him just under the stage area lol .. don’t think he was amused.
The afternoon went into hillbilly mode with Scottish country dancing and all sorts of stuff for the kids before it rained out all. It got heavier at one point and we made our exit from the festival.
Thanking my sponsors Innolife on the way out for involving us this weekend and allowing us to promote them with our running shirts..when mine was actually on lol
Running is a great motivator to keep fit and healthy and from what I saw this weekend it’s for the whole family.. I have never seen such warmth and excite,ent in so many peoples faces as I have seen at this festival.. I’ve done a lot of music festivals where it’s hard core music fans that just get legless and cause havoc at festivals, but this was a totally different ball game so to speak.
Well done to the organisers for putting this together .. sure there were teething problems as there are in anything, but nothing major, nothing catastrophic... unless you’re a born moaner lol
Would I do it all again ?
You bet I would .... fantastic weekend of entertainment and’s just what’s needed every summer.

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