What makes a great festival? It would have to be great people, good food (for body and mind), music, art, literature, sunshine, fun and Wild Runs with us from a Sweaty Betty Zen Den. You won’t get the latter at any old festival though; for that you’ll have to get yourself to Wilderness Festival next year.
We had a blast last weekend leading mass outdoor warm ups then getting people away from the noise, tents and portaloos and out into the stunning countryside just minutes away. We themed the warm ups each day. Day One was community, the strange little communities that festivals create. Day Two was gratitude; so lucky to run and have fun in the sunshine together. Day Three was The Funk, mainly because George Clinton played the night before and we were all still full of it.
Image: Suzie Sheehy (thanks, Suzie!)
Then the Wild Runs began! We led 400 runners across the 3 days on a figure of eight, starting with 3km in lush green countryside. Then the option was back to the Zen Den or add another 4km through forest trails, part of the festival campsite and ending with a dip in the lake. Another plus to Wilderness – not many festivals boast a lake to jump in after a sweaty morning run…
The Zen Den was amazing, with free yoga (including glitter yoga, which everyone should try at least once in their lives), barre classes, challenges (like how long can you hold a 2-person plank) and talks from inspiring people like the lovely nutrition guru, Madeleine Shaw.
We didn’t just get sweaty though. We went to a life-changing talk by Dr Tamara Russell (she doesn’t know she changed our lives so the link through might spook her a bit!) You know we love a bit of science with our zen and she talked about the neuroscience of mindfulness and meditation, taking it for us from abstract to empirical. Both are valid, of course, but the combo is mind-boggling. We now know what our brains are up to when we meditate, which is precisely the kind of thing we love to understand!
We did more standard festival stuff to, like, saw bands, drank beer and made spoons. Yes, really. Wayne’s Woods spoon carving workshop made us happier than we ever thought spoons could (to be honest, it had never occurred to us before that joy could come in spoon form). Wayne’s Woods – totally recommended!
There wasn’t a dull moment at Wilderness Festival for us. Huge thanks to Sweaty Betty for the chance to lead the Wild Runs. So much healthy fun, so many lovely people. Big thanks too to Wildnerness for being full on amazing. Our most massive thanks have to go to the wonderful people who got up early – at a festival! – to run with us. Thanks, guys – you made it all amazing. What a fantastic weekend it was…
Hope you can all join us in the Zen Den next year 🙂
Fancy a cool run for your team? We lead runs for all kinds of organisations -wild or not, we guarantee to make them fun!
Interested? Drop us a line.
Fancy some wild festival fun yourself?
Early Bird Tickets for Wilderness 2016 are now on sale.
Want some gorgeous running gear?
New Sweaty Betty Run collection now available in store and online.