Mud and guts aplenty as hundreds dive into Northumberland's Mestival

Muddy young finishers at Mestival with Hesleyside in the background - picture by Kate Marsden
Muddy young finishers at Mestival with Hesleyside in the background - picture by Kate Marsden

There was plenty of Northumberland mud and guts on display at the second annual celebration of getting dirty yesterday.

Hundreds of people spent the day wading through mud and water on the historic Hesleyside estate in the Northumberland National Park near Bellingham.

The start of one wave of juniors - picture by Kate Marsden

The start of one wave of juniors - picture by Kate Marsden

Waves of adults and children tackled 10K, 5K and 2K mud obstacle courses during Mestival, a one-day family-friendly festival at 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.

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.

Tackling the first hay bale obstacle - picture by Kate Marsden

Tackling the first hay bale obstacle - picture by Kate Marsden

Steve said: “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 said: “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.”

For more information about Mestival, visit www.mestival.co.uk, follow @runmestival on Twitter, or find the event on Facebook. To find out more about Hesleyside, visit www.hesleysidehall.co.uk.

Negotiating a tricky obstacle at Mestival - picture by Kate Marsden

Negotiating a tricky obstacle at Mestival - picture by Kate Marsden

Waist deep in the Shoe Swallower at Mestival - picture by Kate Marsden

Waist deep in the Shoe Swallower at Mestival - picture by Kate Marsden

Enjoying an easier section of the Mestival course - picture by Kate Marsden

Enjoying an easier section of the Mestival course - picture by Kate Marsden