Published: 08:36, 21 September 2021
| Updated: 10:36, 21 September 2021
After many of us discovered running and nature in the past 18 months, Forestry England is launching an event which combines both.
Forest Runner will come to Bedgebury National Pinetum in Goudhurst with a 5K or 10K on offer for participants.
It follows on from a successful running series held in 2019, and offering people the chance to challenge themselves and enjoy the freedom, fresh air and scenery of a forest.
Entrants to the event on Sunday, September 26, who cross the finish line will receive a goody bag with solid oak trophies to be won.
Forestry England has teamed up with outdoor clothing and footwear brand Merrell to offer prizes, share trail running tips and some Strava challenges.
Simon Sweeney from Merrell UK said: “Our mission is to promote the benefits of time and experiences in the outdoors on mental health along with our charity partner Mind. This series will provide the perfect platform for runners of all abilities to experience some much needed escapism and experience the beautiful locations we have.”
Forest Runner is about more than being first to the finish line - it's about enjoying the journey, say organisers.
With a mix of trails on soft and varied terrain, forest running is also better for your joints - a breath of fresh air for body and mind.
Olympian Steve Cram, director of Events of the North, delivery partners for Forest Runner, said: “As we all strive for a better lifestyle balance, you would struggle to find a more uplifting experience than running through our nation’s stunning forests.”
Money raised by the events will also go back into the local forests so that Forestry England can continue to care for them.
Jo Pappenheim, Bedgebury’s Active Forests co-ordinator, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how many people have been enjoying running at Bedgebury throughout the ups and downs of the past year.
"With Merrell’s support, we are delighted to be launching this new event series to deepen people’s connections with the forest."
Entry to the 5km event costs £20 and the 10km event costs £22.50, plus booking fees. Prices include parking.
Book at forestryengland.uk/forest-runner