So its been a good few weeks since I wrote anything, nothing much of note has taken place, running miles have been kept low as after a quick calculation I found I only need to run 13miles per week to make 1000miles this year.
Runs have been short and often with a short run around Beacon Hill country park, the stage for a quick half marathon event in 2 weeks time. This is a great little park with a shocking gradual climb up to the trig point which I will have to run around twice but despite that there some cracking little track sections full of large wooden sculptures. the park was busy with large numbers of runners and I wonder how many will return for the half marathon.
This week has been one tinged with sadness but also something to look forward to. Alpkit bigshake out has become our annual family festival, the event has been going for a number of years and it is the only one we thoroughly enjoyed. We arrived friday and the tent was erected quickly with help of my brother, homemade chilli was warmed before we watched some early evening music, I briefly introduced myself to Alek (barefoot) during the music and was introduced to Dan also who was an Alpkit volunteer and we agreed to a run at 10am the next morning.
Saturday I met up with Alek and Dan and we set off along the Monsal trail. There was no planed distance more a location and with Alek leading we zipped off the Monsal trail, through woods, over slippy rock and slimy mud. There was some great trails taking in caves and narrow single track, we passed a large ravine and helloed echos sounded as we exchanged pleasantries with the people below.
We followed the river for short bursts, attempting to stay up right as the mud became slicker, a number of times one of us nearly came afoul of the mud
We stopped on two occasion and enjoyed the delights of the ice cream van, before the two children decided to race each other through tunnels as I played the tortoise.
We soon returned to camp having discovered that with the erm navigation we had clocked up a 1000ft of elevation and Alek played his ultra tune of beyounce much to the bemused looks of others.
On my return, once showered I got to watch the kids throw axes and some dangerous throwing objects names Angels and then my partner play at Nordic walking, unfortunately the instructor disappeared with them so I was only able to catch their return and the red faces.
I took in some free documentaries and marvelled at the crazy free climbers and then caught some talks later in the day, music and a bit too much merriment were taken which resulted in a missed half day sunday as I suffered a world ending hangover.
It’s a great little family friendly festival and one we cant wait to return to. Running saturday with the guys just reminds me of why I love running and the community it is attached to. Friends are made quickly and everyone is welcome. I got to see some fantastic areas I have never seen before and look forward to a promised ultra tour organised by Alek next year.
On other news the run deep magazine was finally published and my photos have appeared therein. Its great seeing your stuff in full color print and one im very proud of. Id love to make it a regular thing so if any folk out there want a free article them ask away (wink wink).