Hundreds of people spent Saturday wading through mud and water on a historic North East estate. Waves of adults and children tackled 10K, 5K and 2K mud obstacle courses during Mestival at Hesleyside in Northumberland.
Back for a second year, Mestival was a one-day family friendly festival at Hesleyside Estate, the ancestral home of the Charlton family since 1343. The event grew in 2017 and attracted participants of all ages for the junior and senior runs, with routes that explored the grounds of the estate in Northumberland National Park. The organisers had promised more mud, water and difficult challenges, and those who took part were faced with obstacles such as ‘Pyramud’, ‘The Burrow’, ‘The Shoe Swallower’, ‘Mud Mountain’ and ‘The Hesleyslide’.
Mestival is the brainchild of North East athletics legend Steve Cram, who developed the idea with his son Marcus and Hesleyside’s owners William and Anna Charlton. As well as the mud obstacle runs, participants were able to enjoy locally sourced food and drink and entertainment, with live music all afternoon from a line-up of local acts.
Steve Cram comments: “After a great debut last year, Mestival was even better in 2017. More mud, more water and tougher obstacles added up to proper challenges for our participants, but they all seemed to relish that. The junior Mini Mestival runs proved to be a great addition to the schedule and we even got some sun this year to help everyone dry out a little while watching the live music afterwards!”
William Charlton adds: “Mestival was muddier and more fun than ever! Anna and I were delighted with the success of this year’s event. It was particularly rewarding to hear from seasoned ‘mud runners’ who said that it was one of the best courses they’d done. With a young family, having the option of our children run the Mini Mestival 5K with parents – and in our case grandparents – was a brilliant addition.”