A North East MP stepped away from the current political turmoil to support the region’s newest festival on Saturday. Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, lined up alongside hundreds of runners to tackle a 10 kilometre muddy obstacle run during the inaugural Mestival, at Hesleyside in Northumberland. The event attracted participants from all over the North East, for sporting events, local food and drink and live music.
Mestival was a one day family friendly festival in the grounds of Hesleyside Hall near Bellingham, the ancestral home of the Charlton family since 1343. The event was organised by Steve Cram’s company Events of the North, in partnership with William and Anna Charlton.
Mestival kicked off with waves of children testing themselves on 2K and 4.5K courses, facing many of the same obstacles that were created for the adults. The 10K competitors also set off in waves throughout the afternoon. With frequent heavy showers, there was plenty of mud to go around for everyone. Obstacles included pyramids of straw bales, a water and mud filled ditch, a water filled tunnel, reed swamp, muddy pit, rope climb, and the Hesleyslide.
In the main Mestival field, local performers entertained visitors with live music throughout the afternoon. After the runners finished, the sun emerged and North East singer-songwriter and Fame Academy star Alastair Griffin brought the first Mestival to a close with a headline evening performance.
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Guy Opperman MP comments:
“I was delighted to support this fantastic new local event at Hesleyside. I may not have been the fittest, but I was certainly the most enthusiastic participant in the 10K obstacle run. It was excellent to see so many people from near and far enjoy Mestival and spend time in this beautiful part of the world.”
Steve Cram adds:
“This was an ambitious event and the first of its type that we have organised. We’re delighted with the response from everyone who took part. There has been a great reaction to the course, which on one hand showcased the best of the wonderful Hesleyside Estate, while on the other made sure that everyone who took part will remember the obstacles that they faced for a long time!”
William Charlton comments:
“We thoroughly enjoyed hosting this challenging, unique and fun event at Hesleyside Estate. It was a great opportunity for us to share Hesleyside’s beautiful parkland, ancient woodlands and scenic moorlands with the wider public. I spend a lot of time around the estate and know it inside out, but running the 10K gave me a very new perspective and it was a thrilling – and exhausting – experience. Anna and I have done a few obstacle runs elsewhere and we knew that with Events of the North we could put together a better course with more challenging and varied obstacles in a more stunning location – we definitely succeeded.”