#SundayStories with Run Fest Founder, Michele

I was introduced to Kim in 2011 when a friend asked me to train for a sprint triathlon with her. At the time I didn’t own a bike, I hadn’t swam for years and I couldn’t run down the road!

I met Kim feeling a bit startled with what lay ahead and through a beginners tri workshop and some 1:1 support I went on to complete three triathlons that year!  Since then I have joined early morning boot camps, ran races with Team Energised and more recently I am part of their online monthly Confidence Fit Club which I love!  Kim is also coaching and keeping me grounded mentally as I prepare for my first marathon (probably with the same startled expression as when I first met her in 2011!)


So lots of people ask what is Run Fest? And why are you involved?


I’m Michele and I’m the creator of Run Fest! Run Fest was intended to be a one off charity event to raise funds for our Son who is travelling to Nepal later in the year with the Young Explorers (Scouts).   


At the inaugural event we had 12 speakers, 2 stages and 140 in the audience! It was such a great evening and I received such fantastic feedback I knew I wanted to put on more:

‘I just wanted to say what a fantastic evening you organised. I came away inspired by so many of your speakers’.


So I have created Run Fest: The Series. My intention is to bring together inspirational speakers to share their passion and inspire others.


What I loved about the first event was the fact that it was normal people sharing their incredible stories, including Kim as one of the main stage speakers, sharing her running adventures all over the World!! These people who don’t consider themselves super-athletes but achieve super things are just like you and I. They have jobs, families, commitments but they are driven to follow their passion:

‘I enjoyed the variety of speakers and the fact they were everyday people sharing their experiences’


Their stories inspired so many of the attendees. Whether it was downloading a Couch 2 5K app or taking on a challenge they had been putting off, members of the audience left buzzing with what is possible.


And I think that is what resonates with me. What is possible if we just follow our passion? What happens when we step outside of our comfort zone and try something new, different, something someone told us we shouldn’t or couldn’t achieve?


I feel really fortunate. Through Run Fest I am getting to meet some extraordinary people. People like Jodie Dowse who is currently taking part in the Mother of All Challenges with Alex Jones from BBC The One Show. Raising funds for Sports Relief and awareness for post natal depression, Jodie is taking part in a 5 day challenge that she will be coming to tell us all about in April.

Inspired by her story and bravery we will be donating 10% of ticket sales to Sports Relief from April’s event.


Through the events I hope to create a social space for like-minded people to share their stories and using social media to build a community of followers who support and share each other’s stories and promote awareness of wider issues. I see Run Fest events as a platform to raise awareness, to support others whether in business, charity or individuals through the sharing of stories and bringing people together.


The underpinning theme for April’s event is how to improve Mental Health through running. Two of our speakers will be sharing their experiences of using running as a form of recovery or a way to manage their anxieties.


We all run for a variety of reasons, but the way it makes us feel (often once its finished!!) and the way it can bring us together is incredible. For years I thought I wasn’t good enough to run with a club but having the support of others when I’m feeling tired or the miles seem too long is helping me train for my first marathon later this Spring.


Our next event is Fri 13th April, tickets £7 in advance www.eventbrite.co.uk/run-fest-the-series-april-2018-tickets

Please like the facebook page www.facebook.com/RunFestBristol


Link to Sports Relief Mother of All Challenges: www.sportrelief.com/mother-of-all-challenges


Namaste Nepal Scout website namastenepal.org.uk