Sunday, 23 December 2018

Race | National Trust 10k at Hanbury Hall

One of the thing I love about running races is it helps you push distances and commit to running in a way I can sometimes feel less enthusiastic about when it is raining outside or I've had a couple of glasses of wine the night before.

Having developed a nasty cough over Christmas, I wasn't feeling that enthusiastic about getting out for a Sunday morning run. After a google of what races might be happening locally I stumbled across the Trust 10k, an entirely free 10k race organised by the National Trust on National Trust properties around the UK.

We drove over to Hanbury Hall on the Sunday morning in the pouring rain and felt excited to discover what the double distance parkrun event would be like. Parking was free which was nice surprise and the start was beautifully casual. We lined up, a marshal rang a bell and off we went!

If I thought I might be the first to finish I'd be quite worried about the route - the marking isn't great and the course is enjoyably twisty. There also weren't any marshals out on the course which didn't bother me but I've experienced lots of complaints when running parkruns before for not having an incredibly clearly marked course. Yes, I know parkrun is free, and yes I know it's absurd but it does happen a lot!

Out on the course it was three laps of super fun muddy countryside with some fun quirks like small gates you had to squeeze through. It was definitely one to run in trail shoes because it's 90% off road with some small hills too and my road shoes were causing a real hinderance although it was an impressive way to add some strength work in to my run!

We got a nice cheer from some supporters and the two marshals every time we passed the end of the lap which was a nice encouragement and it was such fun running round with the Speedster who was taking it easy and chilling at my pace.

We finished in about an hour and walked back to our hire car grinning ear to ear. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning and a fantastic way to engage with the National Trust.

Pop along to to find your nearest Trust 10k run.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Kit | Top 10 presents for Runners

'Tis the season to panic buy Christmas presents. Around this time of year, we all seem to desperately wander our high streets or panic scroll online looking for the 'perfect' gift our loved ones will know mean you value them.

Well if that loved one in your life is a runner, no need to aimlessly search anymore: I've put together a top 10 presents guide below to help you nail Christmas this year.

Like the Wind is a beautiful, long form journalism style magazine created by runners for runners. They release 4 issues a year so why not sign up your friend for a year of gifts and inspiration.

Photo: @escapingthecity

There is nothing better after a long run than a long soak and Soap Co's products aren't only beautiful, they are also ethically minded. Created in a factory in London with predominantly visually impared workers their products are stamped with who made the product. Bring on the bubbles.

It's not a joke in my household, literally everyone wants good socks for Christmas. And there is nothing better for the runner in your life than stance socks. They're premium, funky, technically fantastic and if you buy any testify, or underwear at the minute online they'll throw in a free stocking.

4. Race entry
Does your loved one repeatedly talk about that race they wish they could do? Incentivise them to train for it by buying them a race entry. 2 years ago my parents bought the Speedster (my husband) an entry to the Ironman distance triathlon Outlaw. Last year I bought him entry to the Reykjavik 10k on NYE and flights. Plus you'll get to eat more mince pies than them once they find out.

I believe ethically mined presents mean much more at this time of year so enter SueMe's ethical undies. Made from 95% beech tree pulp and manufactured to be CO2 neutral they are also crazy comfy and last the distance on long runs. Perfect present for a runner who doesn't want their gift to hurt the planet.

Nothing screams Christmas for me like being curled up in front of a fire with a good book. I particularly like a running book which inspires adventure and makes me pleased to be inside and Richard Askwith's book on his feeble attempts to run the Bob Graham round while charting the history of fell running is a running classic. Pass the chocolates.

With over 5 million people registered for parkrun, it's one of the most inclusive communities within running. Rather than rocking up with a slightly soggy printed barcode treat your Runner to a wristband with their unique barcode number on. If they don't have medical info you can add a little message too: be that loving, encouraging or banterous.

Continuing the ethical thread, I am in love with the new Adidas parley kit, made from plastic fished out of our oceans. The track suits are dreamy: stylish, comfortable, high performance and planet-minded. It's a great option for a premium present.

Photo: @dhamshere

You may think they look and taste like delicious sweets but I promise they are a Columbian sports nutrition product. Perfect sweet treat that does actually fuel your run, not just your box set marathons.

If the Runner in your life is particularly picky why not treat them to a Decathlon giftcard? Huge selection of stores across the country featuring virtually every sport you can think of and all levels of kit to fit any budget.