By Nick Finney:
According to their website, a Rasselbock is a mystical animal said to inhabit the alpine forests of Bavaria and the Austrian Alps. It looks like the sort of creature Statman Jon might keep as a pet. However, Rasselbock meant the biggest Fartlek Family meet up so far at the inaugural Sherwood Pines run, the first in person event the company has been able to hold.
I was up at 5am to make the 130 mile journey from London up to the Midlands. Fashionably late as usual, I was greeted with the sight of a sea of turquoise t-shirts around the event village. I knew it was going to be something very special at that point, and boy, it truly was.
I’m not a fast runner by any means, but I had become hung up on getting times. When I read of people doing ‘chatty miles’, I couldn’t understand it; how can you run and talk at the same time? I know blokes can’t multitask, but running and talking leaves no room for breathing in my old world.
This event has opened a whole new way of running up to me. You can run, you can walk up the hilly bits, and you can have great conversations with all these wonderful people who appeared in your life as a little square on Instagram, but are now running alongside you. Every now and then you can stop for a cup of tea and a vegan sandwich. Then you go out and run/chat again. Before you know it you have ticked off another lap without really noticing you were running. I went with the intention of getting two laps done because I thought my half marathon days were long gone. I managed to do double and that was purely down to the lovely people who kept me going out there.
There were many superb efforts on the day. @littleslacky675 managed an incredible 11 laps, or 60.06km and he still had two minutes to spare at the end! A special mention to for the awesome foursome of @mattyowls @cotty_2k @marshall_mainly_running and @jp.runsfree who set out to get an ultra and did just that. Every time our little groups crossed they still had time for a chat and a joke even though their bodies were taking a pounding.
There were dozens of fantastic stories from the day and apologies I can’t get them all down here. Over 40 runners managed a distance over and beyond a marathon. It was truly amazing to see it and be a little part of it. Every time one of those turquoise t shirts appeared it made you think ‘We’re bloody brilliant we are!’
Massive thanks must go to Eric and the @Rasselbock.running team which included a few familiar faces in @Kennyyyy_ @Jess_keep_running and that @slowfarah fella. The venue was perfect, the weather was perfect (sure Scott will take responsibility for that one), the set up was perfect and of course, the company was perfect.
I really do feel proud to be a part of this amazing community, our #Fartlekfamily.