Now I’m the first to admit that since I broke my arm back in 2015, my confidence on the trails has taken a dip. And the very mountainous North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail in June confirmed the fact that I’m absolutely rubbish at running downhill. So, when I heard about the Love Trails Festival, I bought my ticket to take on these fears and also get away from the City for a weekend of running inspiration.
Love Trails Festival 2017
Set in a beautiful location, just outside the village of Corfe Castle, Devon, this 3-day festival was everything I expected and more. Yes, you had organised runs for all levels from the likes of the Midnight Runners, Wild Trail Runners and Running Adventures (btw, this post is not an attempt to use the word ‘Run’ in like every sentence) but there were also workshops, Yoga, inspirational talks from the likes of James Poole, Elise Downing and Sorrell Walsh. Plus a chance to dance in my jogging bottoms and trainers while the alcohol flowed on a Saturday night. There was also a beer mile which I missed as I was taking a shower. Oh yeah, and me being me, I ended up having a ‘fireside chat’ until 2:30am in the morning, which I don’t get to do that very often anymore. more. But what I loved most of all about this weekend was the chance to take on some of the Jurassic Coast.
An Ultra Running Adventure
I’m a sucker for an Ultra. Even when I know I’m seriously lacking in the fitness department, I’ll gladly put my name down and gleefully skip along to the start, ready to go. The Ultra on offer at Love Trails was a 40-something KM run to the coast and back led by Running Adventures. And, boy, it was hilly. And, cripes, one of my legs cramped up. Simply because I was unprepared and I didn’t take enough salty food with me. Neither did I anticipate how hot it was going to be, so I turned from lightly bronzed to beetroot red. But and here’s the but, it was wonderful to explore this part of the country, and also to shock my system by finding out what level of fitness I’m currently at. Just look at these views, breathtaking huh?
Carry on camping
Another thing I really enjoyed at the festival was the community feel of it all. Everyone was so friendly, a running friend, Faye, offered me a spot in her tent with Camilla, and even brekkie was a get together of the running community. I didn’t officially ‘go’ to the festival with anyone in particular but never felt lonely as there was always someone to chat to and discuss your next adventure. As for washing, there were plenty of warm showers to wash off the sweat and muck from the day’s workout.
A few improvements
You’ve got to remember: Love Trails Festival is still in its infancy so there are some things that could improve the experience, such as more toilets, more food choice (I know they were let down by caterers though), perhaps a shift in terms of the programme to enable everyone to watch the film, and more cider (I nabbed the last can on the Saturday night). Another ask, purely from a selfish point of view, would be for plug sockets to charge my phone. It was also brilliant that they organised a bus for people coming up from London – this saved me a whole heap of hassle. The ride on the way back, though, well…Let’s just say I buckled up, closed my eyes and hoped for the best. Of course, this is not Love Trails fault that the bus driver was clearly insane when he decided to drive on the hard shoulder. I was very grateful to arrive home in one piece.
As for next year, I’ll definitely look into going again. It was well worth the money and I really enjoyed getting away from it all for the weekend. Love Trails Festival enabled me to embrace my love of running again and explore a region I’d never been to before with like-minded running folk.
Go to lovetrailsfestival.co.uk to find out more