ENJOYING THE FELLS AT THE KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL


by Paul Halford |

#RUN1000MILES AMBASSADOR PAUL HALFORD HAS BEEN PACKING IN SOME MILES AT THE KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL AND RECOMMENDS A WEEKEND TRIP TO BOOST YOUR RUNNING

ENJOYING THE FELLS AT THE KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL

In need of a change of scenery in my #Run1000Miles campaign, last weekend I headed to the Lake District for the Kendal Mountain Festival.

Aside from the Adidas TERREX 10km Trail Run, the weekend’s programme was packed full of talks and films catering for the interests of those into outdoor adventure. It’s well worth a visit, although - and I’m obviously biased - I was expecting a bit more running related-content given it’s the most popular sporting activity in the country. That said, there’s enough going on to keep trail runners occupied at the oldest festival of its type in the UK.

With festival HQ in the temporary tent including stalls from top outdoor brands, the action is all within walking distance. Films included the premier of Last Women Standing from Summit Fever Media, an enthralling account of Nicky Spinks’ attempt at this year’s Barkley Marathons.

Day one for me took place with publishers Cicerone, who held a trail and fell running day, although this was not officially part of the festival. One of the talks offered an insight into the kit needed to stay safe on the fells and the prolific record-breaker Nicky was later a special guest, imparting tips on how to prepare for a fell round.

Lining up for the 10km on Saturday as a guest of Adidas, we were set off by the brand’s ambassador Tom Evans for a memorable trek around the hills above Kendal. I’m not usually one for doing races for enjoyment, but despite the tough incline for much of the first half, the kilometres - 10.6 of them to be precise - flew by. The course is full of changes and views over the southern Lakes.

ENJOYING THE FELLS AT THE KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL

Due to a busy schedule, my only chance to get out onto the fells properly was on the Sunday morning. However, remembering the safety tips from the Friday, I threw out all thoughts of Scafell Pike and the Fairfield Round. The visibility and weather forecast was poor, so instead I opted for Loughrigg Fell, which - despite the relatively low peaks around 350m - offers amazing views of Lake Windermere and Grasmere. As I gazed up to see the cloud level well below the 873 high Fairfield tip, I knew I had made the right choice. When you’re as inexperienced as I am in the mountains, it’s not worth the risk of getting lost when the beautiful vistas are hidden anyway.

For that reason, the summer easily wins for me when planning a Lake District trip, but a change of backdrop in your training is always welcome and one way of keeping motivated when chasing 1000 miles in a year.

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