As you may have seen from my recent events, I have been getting stuck in to the trail scene.
Building my stamina on rougher terrains and gaining some love for the hills; I decided that I should book a few events in the training diary so that I could see what the trails have to offer this year.
When I saw that Love Trails Festival was coming up, I had to get in on the action. Last year, many of my running friends had visited this running festival and I certainly didn’t want to miss out on it this year!
Packing up for Love Trails Festival, I was super excited to get involved with what was going on at the Gower Peninsula in south Wales. I had a look at the programme prior to arriving, picking out the runs and workshops that I had wanted to get involved with. There were so many activities, it was almost hard to choose what I wanted to do most!
Once I had arrived at the festival by car, I dragged my things over to the camp site nearby.
Unfortunately, due to traffic, I had arrived late for the sunset run which I was GUTTED about, but then realised that I had to set up my tent and get my bearings of the area anyway. There was LOADS to have a look at.
Personal disclaimer – Next year, I will most definitely be arriving on the Thursday so that I can join in on Friday’s activities! Don’t make the same mistake that I did by leaving it a little too late to travel on a Friday, from London. Haha!
Live music/DJ sets are played on all four evenings, so keep an eye out on what you want to dance along to. There are many different music styles, again, something for everyone. The weekend is here to enjoy!
On Saturday, I had signed up to an 18KM run with the ‘We Are Daybreak’ crew (these guys can be found in London too) across the trails and towards the beach. This was my most favourite part of the event as we had quite the adventure!
As we first headed out on our running trip, we came across our first obstacle…
The tide had come in and we had to cross through the new-found river to continue on our run. Some people chose to take their shoes and socks off so that they could step onto the stepping stones through the water to the other side. Others jumped the full length! There were a few people dropping into the water*, but that was the fun of it all!
*For anyone that caught me almost-failing my jump, please share the video as I bet it was fun to watch! It was very refreshing, I can tell you now.
Once we got through the greenery, we waded our way through the tough sandy paths and we got ourselves to the beach. Stomping up to the sand dunes was a fantastic feeling. Seeing the views from here was absolutely INCREDIBLE. Once we hit the top, we were told to try out running down the sand dunes, which was a very scary but also such a breathtaking experience.
After a few hours, we headed back to camp, for a well earned beer… and what better way to start than to join the BEER MILE. This is where a team of four will each have one can of pale ale beer (specifically made for the Love Trails Festival) and down the beverage (until its empty) to then sprint around the centre stage.
This was so much fun and such a laugh, especially if you’re teamed up with new friends. Definitely an ice breaker!
Once the runs and other activities started to wind down, the party was in full swing! This was when I really let my hair down and got to have a boogie with some of my new found friends! During this time, there were people at the campfire at the end of the festival as well as a few coming back from a day at the beach.
Another activity I wish I had done, as you can run (10KM) to the beach or catch a bus that will take you around the Gower Peninsula. I can imagine it being a great experience and many enjoyed their time there!
Waking up on the Sunday, there were many doing the sunrise yoga sessions, or grabbing a coffee at one of the venders there. I chose to have a lie in then get up for the Salomon women’s only 10KM route. A very hilly terrain and there were plenty of wildlife along the way, but I wouldn’t of spent my Sunday any differently!
Once we came back from our run, it was time for more food! The weekend was filled with some really delicious and gluttonous foods that kept us all fuelled up for many a run. I tried to sample all vendors (because, why the hell not?) From lamb burgers, halloumi fries, dirty potatoes and pizza; there was something for everyone! I even got a hummous salad on our final day as I fancied something a bit greener. Proper tasty!
Other sponsors, like TRIBE kept us fuelled with scrumptious snacks and protein smoothies, whilst my friend tried out the flapjacks and cakes. We were pretty spoilt for choice. A firm favourite of many, was the main bar that had pretty much everything that you could think of. Including non-alcoholic beer (not that anyone is reading this will feel my same joy!)
For anyone wanting a little more relaxed approach, the festival also hosted a ‘spa’ area with hot tubs, a sauna and plunge pool. Great for a post-run recovery session too.
Speaking of recovery, there was also chance to grab a massage after all the hard work that had been done throughout the weekend.
Overall, it must have been one of the most fascinating and exhilarating experiences that I have ever had. It was a weekend filled with fun, doing all the things that I love. Long and challenging runs, partying and eating! PLUS there were plenty of talks and workshops throughout the weekend that were really great for extra information on training/recovery and other fitness debates.
It was truly an all rounder, for those that like to live life to their fullest! I will most definitely be visiting again… Thank you Love Trails Festival for inviting me to join you on this escapade. Until next time!
Ticket was #gifted for review.