Couch to 5K
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Pilton Festival Run

So, having alternately coddled and bullied the bad knee with no speed running at all and a hundred weighted squats a day, and having done a 10k on Monday, albeit on road, I was relatively confident of being up to the Pilton 10k. Felt a bit apprehensive when I woke up but couldn't put my finger on why exactly. In fact with good reason it would later transpire.

Things got off to a less than brilliant start as kids were far from co-operative about getting dressed and eating breakfast and Mrs Rignold was still in bed ten minutes before we were due to leave. Then my daughter stormed off shouting "I don't want to go and watch Daddy lose. It will be embarrassing. He's too old and fat and slow."

I really should have seen the writing on the wall then.

Anyway we managed to set off and got to the site and all seemed well. Got my number and chip and everyone was happy. Beaming Mr Eavis gave us words of encouragement, inaudible despite his loudhailer due to the chuntering masses.

And then we were off. Was quite a fast jostley start and fairly steeply downhill and immediately muddy, being on a working farm. The serious club runners all streaked off like muddy hares. Anyone in a group of more than three people ran at funereal pace all abreast creating terrible bottlejams. I have noticed this being quote a common thing and it puzzles me.

Around the Pyramid stage we went, past the pirate ship and up around the standing stones. It was quite a surreal experience doing the Glastonbury Festival without quarter of a million people and loads of music. It is strange as well how scale changes when you are running. During the Festival it takes hours to get around the site, today we did a double figure of eight sort of, in an hour.

It was very muddy. And very hilly. Very hilly. Constantly hilly. Which did my heart rate no favours at all.

At the 4k marker, the 5k and 10k courses diverged and it all became a lot less crowded. The flipside of this was that from having been around the bottom of the first third of the field, I was suddenly in the rearguard. In the rearguard and puffing along far from strongly. The constant hills were really taking it out of me. After 6k, however I quite suddenly found my legs. One moment I was really suffering, then a lady club runner came alongside me and asked if I was alright (I dread to think what I looked like to elicit this question). I thought about it for a moment and did a quick mental checklist and replied, without gasping that I was fine... and then I was. It was like a lightbulb over head moment. I was indeed fine. And with that that my pace picked up and off I went up the hill to the water station at 7k, which I ran through in my newfound whizziness, down through the woods, which was a truly beautiful bit of trail, to emerge at the 8k marker, staring up at hill all the way to the end. More $@&*ing hill. All the way to the end. 2k of it.

Most of the runners I could see ahead of me were walking. It was Glastonbury's equivalent of Boston's Heartbreak Hill. Even with my newfound strength I barely made it a third of the way before succumbing to a run/walk . I did managed to pass a good 20 more runners in this time though.

Then round the top corner and even pulled out a sprint finish. Lots of cheers and appluase from the finishline crowd which was a massive lift to the spirit. I would have been beaming if I hadn't been grimacing so much

Annoyingly I forgot to switch off my Garmin, being preoccupied with clutching my knees and not falling over. By the time I remembered it was 1:05. I guess I finished about 1:02 or 3 - the chip times have not been published yet. A bit of a bummer as if I hadn't walked on that last hillI would have been under an hour, but no biggie. I was glad to finish and given the terrain and conditions am quite happy with that time.

Sadly, that was where the fun ended. I staggered around for a few minutes looking for my family. It sounds crass in retrospect but as I pushed out my sprint finish I was picturing their excited happy faces in the cheering crowd. I felt proud of the pride they would be feeling seeing me power home.

Well, you know what they say pride comes before...

Eventually I wandered back up to the pavilion in the village where I finally found them. The kids were playing happily. My wife greeted me with frosty silence until we got to the car then a harangue until we got home about how she hates me running, hates my health regime, this race was the last straw and basically... well... this isn't really the place for the rest of it.

So. There we are. My first proper race. Quite a rollercoaster, topographically and emotionally.

Don't have any photos, for obvious reasons.

Wife has gone off to work now. Was thinking of foregoing evening pushups and squats and getting good and drunk instead, but am opting for a hot bath and mug of kefir and an early night instead.

Tomorrow is what Scarlett said it is.

17 Replies

This post made me sad :( please don't stop entering races even if you do have to leave the family behind next time and don't give up the running! I really don't know what else to say, i guess I'm lucky my fiancé has been so supportive of watching me race (but if I ever enter the GNR again I'm on my own, he hated the crowds ;) ) xxx


Oh Rig, your first race, you should be buzzing tonight mate instead of being upset.

I feel so sad for you reading this. It means so much to you to have the support of your family and those close to you, you must be gutted.

Congratulations , you should be very proud of yourself and Im so sorry it ended the way it did.

Hope things are better for you tomorrow xxx


OK, so you have taken part in the run despite injury, despite the hilly and muddy course, you've done it in a really good time, that's fantastic and you should be very proud of that. It's a real shame about the family not joining in with the spirit of the occasion but you are doing this for you, right ? My OH has no interest whatsoever in my running, I don't care. Now the running is getting a bit easier it is becoming a private pleasure, a bit like secretly eating a box of chocolates !! I hope all is well in your house tomorrow....but keep and happiness go hand in hand.


Well done that man.....and ....oh dear!

Mme Truffe always said that she would never run, as she had never enjoyed it at school and referred to my running as my "health kick". Over a year later she is a confirmed runner and cannot imagine life without running any more than I can. I never tried to persuade her and rarely talked about it.....she persuaded herself that it might be worth trying. I can't offer any advice, only hope and sympathy. My (grown up) kids discussed my mid life crisis, but decided that it was a pretty good one to have and my son now often runs with me when at home.

Things can change. Don't ram it down their throats and I am sure they will all grow to be proud of your healthy lifestyle and, hopefully, join you.

Good luck. Keep running, keep smiling.


Brilliant post IT, you always know exactly what to say and the way to say it.

So yes Rig, everything what Mr T said too :-) xxx


As an old man - who has been there and done that - seen it all and now has the time to tell you about it!! :)

It sounds to me that (perhaps) your families angst about your running is not necessarily that they don't want you to do it -- but don't want you to involve them???

I think there are varying degrees of "I don't mind if you do it - but don't ask me to do it too ( that's my wife :) " to "I don't mind if you do it but I don't want to have anything to do with it - just go away and do it yourself " to finally "I don't want you to do it at all". I think you need to find out just where exactly your wife's "I hate you running" fits into the scale". So far , I am aware of a wife who wanted to remain in bed and a child who did not want to get embarrassed (as they do) waiting an hour (maybe in the cold- probably standing around ?)

Sorry to get too personal - but what are friends for. Maybe you need to do similar to what golfers do - go golfing without the family.


Thanks all.

I'm trying not to over think it at the moment.

I wouldn't leave my children waiting around in the cold for an hour though. They had a great time rocking the skate park and had to be persuaded to leave. But I take your point.

If I do go ahead with next weekend's HM I will go it alone though. One way or another.


Firstly can I say you did so well in that race, hills and mud I take my hat off to you. Regarding the support of your family, just keep running and doing all your healthy eating stuff! When I decided to give up working in sales and my wages were dramatically cut to become a primary school teacher my partner HATED the idea. 2 years later I became a teacher and worked at a very challenging school he supported me, due to circumstances (moving to chile) I gave this up and so glad I did. I won't ever be a full time primary school teacher again. However, I still like teaching so we have agreed that I will only ever do supply. What I am saying is you and your family will find a way and there might be compromising but ultimately you will find a way. Just don't give it up and be proud.


Oh dear m'dear! A tale of 2 halves, as they say. Firstly, many many congratulations on running a superb time on, what sounds like, a really really challenging course. All that hard work and effort paid off magnificently. You should be so proud of what you achieved. As for your domestic upset, well all I can suggest is that you try to talk to MrsR about exactly why she hates your running so much. I'm guessing it probably has something to do with the amount of time you devote to your fitness regime. If you explain how much running means to you and be prepared to listen to her reasons for hating it then, hopefully, you will be able to negotiate your way out of this impasse. Marriage is all about negotiation and give and take in the end. Good luck m'dea. Hope you can sort everything out :)

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Congratulations on finishing what sounds like a challenging 10k. It's not the same I know, but we are all proud of you.

Maybe though, it's a life choice you need to enjoy on your own. My husband sometimes gets a bit intense with his running and healthy eating, and at times I feel like saying there is more to life, and that's with me running too. For a non-runner, it's incomprehensible what pleasure we get out of it, and to them it's (if I dare say it) boring.

Come on here instead to tell us all about it and let Mrs R and the kids stay home next time.


From your previous posts, it sounds as if you have 'seen the light' and you have been swept up in the joy of controlling your own health and wellbeing, and perhaps you just need to slow down and let your family catch up a bit - you have completely changed your outlook in less than a year, and it must be a big change for your family too. I'm sure your wife doesn't really want you to give up something you love and which is making you feel so much better, but maybe she just isn't ready to change her life just yet to accommodate your new love?

For my husband, his mid life crisis manifested itself in the form of a Land Rover Defender. I'm learning to share him with a load of oily hairy people and a bank account massively depleted by Britpart because it makes him happy, and I even occasionally accompany him on one of his weekends driving through endless mud or going up and down mountain tracks. Marriage, it turns out, is all about compromise, and he's recently stopped laughing at me going out early mornings to run and has started being impressed at my commitment.

Hope you've kissed and made up now x


Congratulations on completing what sounds like a very tough 10K, in a brilliant time. I thought it was hard getting around the festival, but I'd never imagined running up those hills! I may have to put this one down on next year's wish list, now I know about it. ;-)

As for family, I know many c25kers have found support at home somewhat lacking, which is why it's so great to be able to come and share your experiences with people who understand, here on HealthUnlocked and also the Facebook group. (If you haven't discovered it yet, it's at and you'll find a wealth of support, understanding and a whole range of c25k (and beyond) stories.)

My advice would be not to try and involve your family in your new healthy hobby, but let them discover for themselves, in time. Lots of us have come to running from a background of thinking we hated it, and I can't imagine anyone persuading the 'old me' that running is fun! :-/ Good luck with your half marathon. You sound well prepared and I look forward to hearing about it. :-)


Congratulations on the great time for what sounds like a gruelling route. 10 km on muddy hills in just over an hour that is definitely a great achievement!

Sorry to hear about mrs R's reaction. I had a similar one from my partner when I did a 10k in August. As to the reasons, who knows? Jealousy of the time, fear of losing the new Rignold now that he's all sporty and fit, frustrations over something completely unrelated which just gets taken out on your running. Who knows. But I hope you and she can find a way to mend things.

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I was so afraid I would get a bad reaction when I started C25K that I kept it secret for as long as possible. In fact, when he found out, my husband was quite impressed. Guess I was lucky, but I do try to run at times that don't affect him. Haven't done a race yet....

But whatever happens - don't stop running, even if you have to talk about it outside the family rather than inside.

PS I grew up near Pilton, and none of us ever went to the "Pilton Pop Festival" as it was when it started - we went to Reading. I wonder how long it will take for the "Pilton Festival Run" to turn into the biggest running extravaganza in England???


Hi Ringold - definitely do not give up. You took part and completed and should feel very proud of yourself. If it's of any help - I know I mentioned in another post that I visit my OH's family in Somerton - I'd be more than happy to come cheer you along and even take part with you in a few races.


Massive congrats on your race result --- very impressed am i.

Sorry about the domestic, hopefully it's all blown over now :-)


Hey, I was at Pilton too yesterday! Weren't those hills a bitch?! What about that climb to the church where the water station was? Thought I was going to die! And my beautiful Asics trainers are still soaking wet and covered with lovely Glasto mud! I managed 10K by keeping the tail runner company most of the way round, then pipped ahead for the last 3K with just me and my music for company. Loved playing out some of my favourite festival moments into my earphones whilst running round the (relatively) deserted route by the time I neared the end. It truly is my most favourite place in the world, and I felt very privileged to be there.

For me, running is quite a solitary thing. I did a Park Run for the first time last week, and I did the Race for Life back in June, but that's pretty much it and that was my first timed 10K yesterday. I find it quite difficult to articulate to non-runners (and almost all my family/friends) what it's like; the nerves and self-doubt building up to a race, the highs, lows and humorous moments of the run itself, and how I feel after. When my other half and i walked back from the finish line to the Pavilion I really struggled not to burst into tears, I was suddenly overcome with a tidal wave of emotion and the enormity of what I'd just achieved.

I suppose what I'm getting to is that what you're doing, ie, running, is ultimately a very personal thing. It's great to have forums like this to share experiences, fears and successes with people who truly understand what pounding through those miles feels like. I'm lucky to have support at home, but if I didn't I think I'd be running anyway. I really hope things have settled down at home today. Have you seen the Festival Run website? The times are on there now! And if you scroll down almost to (but not quite) the end, you'll see me :)

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