The 401 Festival of Running 2019 – Nottingham made a successful debut last weekend. Around 1,000 runners, their families and friends enjoyed two days (20-21 July) of races, food and fun.
It was a family affair at the new event from the 401 Challenge Ltd with a 5K, 6.1K, 10K and a Half Marathon for adults and four races for children. For those wanting to go that bit further the addition of the 6.1K to the other three distances meant a marathon in total and the title of Festival Challenge Finisher.
The inspiration behind this event and the 401 Challenge, Ben Smith, was a familiar face, offering support and encouragement – that was appreciated by everyone. The volunteers played their part too, applauding the runners as they completed their chosen race (or races) on a hilly course in very warm conditions.
All races were held on trails at Sherwood Pines Forest Park and included a few climbs to raise heart rates; however, cheerful marshals provided a much-needed boost as did Jaffa cakes! Not forgetting the all-singing, all-dancing water station and their sweets.
There were organic food stalls, pop-up bars, arnica massages and a big screen Film Festival at the Event Village. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed at this well-organised event that catered for every runner irrespective of age or ability.
Ricky Wood of Matlock AC was the men’s winner in the 5K (17:36), 6.1K (24:10), 10K (42:05) and runner-up in the Half Marathon (1:27:31). Natalie Bunce of UKRunChat was the women’s winner in the 5K (19:30), 6.1K (27:10) and Half Marathon (1:35:44).
There was a bespoke medal and Eco Cube for every finisher, many of whom vowed to be back next year.