On 11th September 2019 I had the privilege of joining the #runhappy team from across Europe at the #brooksbestfest. The Brooks Best Fest was a meet up about celebrating all personal bests. It is not every day you meet a brand whose purpose is not about being the best, its about getting the best out of you. That’s what we learned at the event. We had an action packed trip of fun and happiness, and it was a great group to share these experiences with. I knew it would be a special trip having taken part in Superhuman Academy last year, and knowing that Brooks Vision is that a Run can “Change a day, a life, the world.”
We arrived in style, having arrived at Split we had to take a speedboat to #brooksisland. The weather was beautiful, and it was clear from the outset that this was going to be a special trip.
Our accommodation for the few days was a mix of luxury Glamping style tents and lodges. With our Limited Edition Ghost 12 waiting for us as we arrived.
We didn’t have a lot of time on the first day as my flight was one of the last to arrive. So we had a quick change and headed straight to the bar. Here we were welcomed by the Mayor of Brooks Island.
We had a lovely BBQ to relax and settle on the Island, where we got to catch up with old friends. But the start of the challenges began with a card. 2 sets of cards were given out, and we had to find our pair, as this would be our partner for the Best Fest Run, to Run with New Friends.
Our first challenge was to Run more miles before sunrise. This is the week 2 challenge for the 6 week #brooksbestfest. There is no way I’m going to be able to fit this in without some friendly motivation, so I made sure I was up with the rest of the team fo a 6:00 meet to run before sunrise.
We then had time to shower and change, have breakfast and get ready to start the day. We started Brooks Best Fest by hearing from Jim about the balance of running and child care. We all have different ways of fitting in our training. Whether that is to get up and run before sunrise, to run one song further, run with new friends… whatever you do to get out there, it’s not about being the best, it’s about being the best you can be.
This set us up nicely for the day. We broke into 3 groups ready for the 3 workshops, the first for my team was a photography workshop. We had a masterclass in photography and spent a bit of time trying to take some decent shots. James (@morningcoffeerun) managed to get couple of fantastic shots.
We then moved on to Running in Reverse. Now when I had heard of this challenge I had assumed we would be trying to run our usual route in reverse. But no, it was a literal run in reverse / backwards. Brooks had brought us the world champion at backwards running, to give us a workshop in running backwards. It was a bit of a laugh, don’t think I will be taking it up any time soon though.
Our final workshop of the day was our Drone workshop. It was nice talking about it then doing some group shots. Im looking forward to seeing the results.
After our workshops we had the most amazing picnic in gorgeous weather, with a beautiful backdrop. A good opportunity for a team UK photo. Such happy memories of our Run Happy team.
We had a little bit of free time before our run, so there was only one thing I wanted to do. A group of us went to the bar and spent some time in the water. More fun, and laughter.
It was then time for our main event. The Brooks Best Fest Run. We paired up, and there were a few last minute changes of partners. I ran with Ricarda from Germany, and took on the various challenges along the course with her. We finished as a group with pizza.
This was the end of the challenges, and when the partying began. The sunset drinks wasn’t for 90 minutes, but there was beer and prosecco with our pizza, and the two merged into one.
A quick change and we made our way to watch the sunset. Here there was more prosecco and beer, and we were a little close to the water, so only one thing was going to happen.
The UK Run Happy team led from the front and spent an awful lot of time in the water. After watching the sunrise during a run, this was the best way to watch it set.
After a day of fun and adventure we had one final hurrah at the pool party. Team UK got there early to reserve a couple of tables together, and the fun began
Lovely food and company was just for starters, but with a party that went on until 03:00, there was a lot of drinking and dancing. After getting up to run at sunrise it meant wee were awake for at least 22 hours, maybe longer.
Having a party around the pool, and having my birthday at the stroke of midnight gave my lovely team some very obvious ideas. Lets just say my clothes are still wet, and I spent the final 3 hours of the party with a towel wrapped around me.
So much dancing, so many highlights, so many happy memories. With all the dancing (jumping up and down like fools) it felt like a big workout waking up next day.
This was such an adventure, and I cant imagine a better group of people to have shared the experience with. I am so grateful to Brooks for having me along for this trip. Friendships had already been formed before this trip, but they have grown even stronger. Each of us are on a different journey, and at different stages. We all run to be happy (see Run Happy blog), and share the values of Brooks. To be the best we can be, enjoying every step of the way. Because afterall, running is pretty simple, it’s right foot, left foot right foot, left foot…