Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A busy weekend at the Kendal Mountain Festival and Fell Runners Association Annual Dinner

It started on Friday evening with me talking at the Endurance session of the Kendal Mountain Festival (KMF). Having never been to the KMF  before I was amazed how big it was with 1000’s of people around and the Endurance Session at the Town hall full with around 300 people present. First on were the Beeline Britain team who completed an amazing journey in a straight line from Lands End to John O’Groats. The film of their trip “As the Crow Flies” by Ian Burton won the People choice award at the festival and some great clips were shown. Alistair Lee’s film of my Wainwrights run was then shown and I did a Q&A session that seemed to go well.  There was even a collection organised for the MS charities I am raising money for – so thank you for everyone who donated a total of £473 (I have also denoted my appearance fee to these charities).

I went along to the brewery and chatted with a few people but I felt shattered so went for an early night.
I was up early and ran some hill intervals up to Kendal Castle to settle my nerves. First, was an interview with Radio Cumbria then quickly back to the leisure centre for my next talk. This was the Berghaus session and I was on after Leo Holding and Sir Chris Bonnington. Leo talked about the recent death of his climbing partner Sean ‘Stanley’ Leary. Chris then talked about his climb up the Old Man of Hoy with Leo following the recent death of his wife. It was emotional stuff brilliantly presented by these two professionals. To say I was nervous following these two was an understatement. I find it hard public speaking at the best of times but in front of 700 people at the end of such an emotional session was difficult. However, with Shane Ohly doing a great job of introducing me and helping with the Q&A at the end again it seemed to go well. 

After chatting to a few people it was time to leave and head south to Telford. It was a real shame not to have seen more films or talks but I was attending the Fell Runners Association annual dinner and was collecting the Long Distance Award for my Wainwrights run. It was a great night with my club (Borrowdale Fell Runners) ,as usual, collecting lots of trophies. But I struggled to stay with the pace and went to bed early (1am), thinking I was tired due to the stress of the talks. But over the last two days I have been a bit ill with a nasty virus, so it was not surprising I was tired. 

All these presentations about my Wainwrights run have been great and I have a few more to do. But I am looking forward to less of them and more time with my family and hopefully get back to doing some more running.

Photo credit – Stuart Holmes