Jason and Debbie Miles took part in the Kendal 10K a couple of weeks ago…..
As well as the regular content of the Kendal Mountain Festival – amazing outdoorsy films, amazing talks by amazing outdoorsy people – there’s also an Adidas-sponsored 10k trail run. It’s in Kendal, so it’s far from flat and has the potential to have ‘some weather’.
I was up there to talk to an audience of 900 or so people about 24 hour mountain bike racing and along with Guy Martin, our plans for a particularly big race in 2016. Proper ‘out of our comfort zone’ stuff – riding all day every day, sleeping outside, possible close encounters with bears. Like I said, out of my comfort zone.
The 10k run, in contrast, is well-signed, starts and finishes in the centre of Kendal and while you might see the odd squirrel and a few sheep there’s nothing that’s going to eat you for dinner.
Debbie and I shivered on the start line with about 400 other people – some of them wearing vests – but we soon warmed up once the race started and we headed up the first (and practically the only) climb. It was a 3 mile-long, quite steep slog up a hill just a few feet from the start line so those of us who are far too cool to warm up started to suffer….
Running together, we were both passed by dozens of other warmed-up, stronger or plain optimistic runners but as we continued to climb many of the previously-fast runners started to walk. Or stop altogether.
Eventually we left the road as the course directed us across the moors above Kendal on well-established, rocky trails. The views were breath-taking – it was a cold, clear day and the night before had seen significant snowfall on the high Cumbrian fells in the distance.
Towards the end, we picked up the pace and hammered back into Kendal, along muddy minor roads and then town centre cobbles.
Narrowly avoiding slipping onto my backside, we reached the finish line about an hour after we’d set off.
If you have a chance to go to the Kendal Mountain Festival in 2016, you really should. The whole town was buzzing and there’s something for almost everyone. You don’t have to run 10k – you can just sit around watching films if you want!