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Kendal Mountain Festival 2017

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Monday 20th November 2017
Tags  Kendal Mountain Festival   |   Robbie Britton   |   Natalie White   |   Holly Rush   |   Damian Hall   |   Anton Krupicka   |   Sarah Rowell
 
 
It was the Kendal Mountain Festival this weekend. Inspiring speakers galore, plenty of beautiful films, breathtaking photography on display and more Gore-Tex and down jackets than you can shake a stick at. 
 
The speakers were like a who’s who of climbing, mountaineering, cycling, walking, swimming, canoeing, and of course running. The 134 films screened over the 4 days at the festival followed similar subject matter, though they were grouped into themes this year (e.g. ‘journey’, ‘discover’ and ‘snow and ice’). 
 
We were obviously there primarily for the running! The running content really kicked off on the Thursday evening with an inov-8 session featuring Billy Bland, Helene Whitaker and Adam Perry. You can read a full review of this session at jamesmackeddie.com.
 
There was a 10k trail race on the Saturday morning. Plenty of local clubs were out in full force and the route took in some stunning views across the Lakes, finishing right in the centre of Kendal. It was nice to have an event like this mixed in with the sessions. 

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James Appleton and Sarah McCormack on the way to victory in the 10k 

The session we were looking forward to the most was the La Sportiva Mountain Running session featuring Robbie Britton, Natalie White, Damian Hall, Holly Rush, Sarah Rowell and Anton Krupicka. The session started with a discussion about the magazine, Like the Wind, then moved on to an interview with Anton Krupicka. He talked about how he’s really got back into cycling and climbing, since his injuries have kept him from running much. He showed his film with some epic climbing footage. 

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Anton and Holly (left) and Natalie and Robbie (right)

Damian Hall and Holly Rush were interviewed next and we discovered that Damian was once brutally attacked by a hedgehog on a run and Holly, top trail runner, used to be frightened of mud. The things you find out about people at these events. They talked UTMB and CCC and pork pies came up once or twice. 
 
The highlight of this session was Robbie Britton and Natalie White’s film about their recent trip to run the Kom Emine Trail in Bulgaria. It’s a short film, but it packs a lot in! 600+km of running, highs, lows, stunning views, a lot of laughs and a finale that any Hollywood movie would be proud of. Robbie and Natalie talked about their experience on the Kom Emine Trail, plus some of their other mountain races, such as Natalie’s successful Tor des Geants in 2016. 

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The session concluded with a chat with Sarah Rowell, former GB marathon, cross country and mountain runner, now working with UK Athletics and the IAAF, and a highly entertaining Q+A with the whole group. 
 
The Kendal Mountain Festival has grown and grown and there’s so much in it for runners and fans of any outdoor pursuit. It’s definitely worth putting in the diary for next year. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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