Naked 5k

Peter Redwood-Smith is our kind of runner. He’s currently well on the way to competing his challenge of running 52 races in 52 weeks and a whole load of those races are quirky ones.
Peter came to our attention at The Great Willy Waddle then we found out that this month alone (September) he’s also already done Rat Race Man Vs Mountain, Weald Country Park 10K, Colchester Zoo Half Marathon, Loch Ness Marathon and The Naturist Foundation Naked Run 5K which he’s kindly agreed to review for us so check that out and a Little bit more about the man himself below.

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Having ran the BH5K (Naked Run) at The Naturist Foundation back in May, I knew what was to come on 16th September at their second race of the year. This race, albeit a little quirky is fantastic for body positivity and confidence. People of all ages, races, shapes and sizes participated.

We as a society feel too much pressure to be ‘picture perfect’ but we’re all unique, we are all individual and we’re all perfectly imperfect just the way we are.

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I started running back in 2017 to battle anxiety and depression whilst raising funds and awareness for charity. Growing up with body confidence issues, not feeling comfortable in my own skin and hating the person I saw in the mirror so whilst this race pushed me out of my comfort zone it was for the better.

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The race consisted of three loops on road/trail. No bib number was required as it was written on your chest and arm in lipstick. All participants receive a certificate for finishing and awards are given out to those placing in the top three for men, women and vet age groups. I placed 27th with a time of 24.58 for the 5K distance.

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This was a well organised event overall, I’m planning to return next year and I encourage others to add this quirky race to their bucket list.
If you want to keep up with Peter’s challenges and support him by sending a donation you can do so on this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/septemberstreakforwwf
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Race The Train 2018

Review by Eileen Naughton

Don’t be fooled by the 90 year old stream train. The train covers 14 miles of hilly Welsh countryside in approximately 1 hour 48 minutes- a time only 10% of the two legged participants can achieve!Now in its 35th year runners line up on the bridge above the station at Tywyn in Gwynedd, West Wales awaiting the whistle to set off to race the train on it’s journey to Abergynolwyn and back while taking in almost every terrain imaginable. This is a true trail race.

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The railway station was one of the inspirations for the Thomas The Tank Engine stories by Rev W Awdry.

As we got going it felt like the whole town had come out to see the race but it wasn’t long before the busy roads were quickly replaced with grassy trails, and then the first of many hills.

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The route winds it’s way through farms and fields never straying too far from the train line. There are lots of marshals and water stops along the way.

Mile 7 signals the start of the fell running. The race literature had warned that the first half was the easiest so the worst was yet to come!

A very narrow track meant you had to be careful not to lose your footing on the steep down hill. It was impossible to overtake at this point but that didn’t seem to stop some people trying to do so as I kept a constant ear out listening for the “choo choos”.

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I knew the train was close and at mile 9 I was running so fast downhill my legs went from under me. I slipped but was quickly pulled up and a fellow participant and I carried on. Every runner was so friendly.
As I ran through some typically scenic Welsh fields I could see the train stopped at stations picking up spectators and as the train comes near the route a great cheer from all the families and children supporting on board can be heard.
Trees and hills hid the train for the final few miles of the journey but I could still hear it in the distance so just kept running hoping I was ahead of it.
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Coming back down into the town, and running the final straight I gave it everything but the train was already at the station. I had finished in a time of 2 hours 15 minutes. I was greeted at the finish line by my friend Martin who had beaten the train by just 20 seconds!

A fantastic medal, goodie bag, t-shirt, wonderful marshals and really well organised race.

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