Fitness for all
Anyone wanting to give running a go at a Trust place is spoilt for choice. You can run 5km, 10km or learn trail running. You can join a beginners’ group, bring the buggy, the kids or the dogs.
Many Trust places host group runs for beginners or more experienced runners. RunTogether groups, for example, are open to all abilities, with a trained Run Leader motivating and guiding the group. Developed by England Athletics, they are currently held at nine Trust places and are set to expand.
You can also tackle more demanding events such as triathlons. The one at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, includes a run through its landscape garden and a swim in its Georgian lake.
Trail running, or off-road running, is an increasingly popular form of running. At Tyntesfield, Somerset, Mimi Rousell helped to launch Trust10, a national programme of free monthly 10km trail runs at Trust places.
‘They’re informal and welcoming, and anyone can give them a go,’ she explains.
‘Trail running can be a bit daunting for people who aren’t used to it, so we are launching a training programme for anyone who wants advice and support to help them complete their first 10km trail run. A few of the Trust10 places will be the first to trial these in September, with a full launch planned for January.’
The Trust also collaborates with runners in local communities. Mel Bound, for example, is founder of women’s running group This Mum Runs. She has been working with Mimi to offer a ten-week ‘couch to 10k’ course for women which concluded with the group running Tyntesfield’s Trust10
‘We want to remove the barriers to running,’ explains Mel. ‘We run in the early morning, when the grounds are closed to the public.
Before every run at Tyntesfield, we stand and listen for a while – it’s so calm and quiet. By the end of the course, the women find their physical fitness is transformed, but so is their confidence.’
This article first appeared in the autumn 2016 edition of National Trust Magazine.