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Jun. 4, 2012
How to Make the Most of a Weekend in the [English] Country
By Craig Woodman (UK Event Crew Leader)

May 5th and 6th heralded the 2nd annual Endurance Life Festival and having enjoyed the previous one I was well up for some more mucky fun. The first challenge of the weekend is finding the event base. After heading off down a road that soon became a track, I hadn’t seen a vehicle of any description for 20 minutes. With the sat-nav now kaput and just as I thought I’d run out of road, I swung into a large field and was greeted by a hidden festival hideaway. It was crazy to behold; a flurry of tents, flags, camper vans and rugged looking people buzzing around under the impressive backdrop of the giant Tee-pees.

Endurance Life Festival UK 1

Getting set up in the dry was a novelty (much better than the driving rain of last year) and looking out over Mothecombe Bay as the sun set was the perfect way to end the day!

I woke at 6.30am the following morning and was surprised to find a lot of people up and about, busying themselves for the day’s adventures. On the agenda today was adventure racing, a mountain bike trail, the cross-fit challenge, wild food foraging and culminating with the all new Aquatrail race – this consisted of a 10km race divided into sections of swimming and running. I spent the morning chatting away to entrants and doling out the Clif goodies. It was really nice to have the time to talk to a lot of the EL regulars and meet the people behind the athletes.

As the day wore on I snatched the opportunity to head off to the beach and grab my first sea swim of the year. Under the guise of research for the Aquatrail I bravely suited up and dived headlong into the waves. I surfaced gasping for air and with a complete brain-freeze. About 15 mins later I emerged, cold but elated and completely re-energised. Returning to the camp I was frequently stopped by nervous ‘Aquatrailers’ who wanted to know how cold the water was. I bit my lip, rolled my eyes and reassured them that it would be fine. I witnessed the Aquatrail set off from the water’s edge then returned to camp expecting to see the winner return in about an hour. In fact it was closer to two hours before they started to finish. They were all shattered by the experience and a little on the cold side shall we say! Before long though the open fire was lit, the bar open and the evening’s entertainment, the ‘Live More Lectures’, was underway.

Endurance Life Festival UK 2

Day 2 – a 6am start to get ready for the ultra distance trail runners. These guys are out on course for 7 or 8 hours so always swing by the stand to load up on Clif goodies before leaving. As the morning passed and all the trail runners departed the event base was still alive with activity as family and friends enjoyed the entertainment……and the sunshine!

It was fantastic to see people of all ages soaking up the atmosphere in this beautiful spot on the private Flete Estate, about 20 miles from Plymouth. As the light faded everyone flocked to the giant tee-pees for another entertaining evening of inspirational lectures.

New friends made, old friends revisited and two peaceful nights away from my kids sleeping under the night sky – heaven! Hopefully by next year my longstanding groin injury will clear up sufficiently to allow me to get stuck in a bit more and fully embrace the Endurance Life-style.

It was great to spend the afternoon chatting away to friendly people and not have to worry about time.
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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