It’s been almost a year since we caught up with Be Endurance, the team of Ludlow lads who organise the increasingly popular local sporting events such as Storm the Castle and the Ludlow Beer Run.
LGL sat down with Matt Green over a coffee to chat about the past year and the months ahead.
Storm the Castle took place in April this year, were there any particular moments that caught your eye, records broken or new developments?
There were no records broken this year but the event sold out again which is great. We’d like to open up the event to more competitors in the future but we’re mindful not to lose the essence of the race: the personal, hands-on approach which brings people back year after year.
What stood out for us was the introduction of our ‘Most Inspiring and Utterly Motivating Local Athlete’ award. This year we decided to give this award to Sarah Meek who works in one of Ludlow’s best pubs — The Queens. It was inspiring to watch Sarah grow in confidence — from someone who two years ago had done no exercise at all and who confessed to having an unhealthy diet — to taking part in her second Storm event.
We watched her grow in confidence on-line and we loved her authentic approach to fitness, sometimes positive other times brutally honest. Not only did she turn her life around to become a competitor but she also became a motivational leader at Teme Leisure. At the end of the race she did say, “Never again” so watch this space.
My 8-year old kept asking me to book him on to the Junior Storm but when I got around to it, the event was totally sold out. Why do you think this is so popular with the younger runners? Do you have any plans for older children?
The Junior Storm is so popular and always a sell out, it’s fantastic to see so many kids and parents get involved. When we first set out on this journey, our motivation was to inspire the local community into getting fit, to take part in local and national events. The three of us had all been sporty kids at Ludlow School but if you weren’t into sports, there wasn’t a lot to do in Ludlow other than hang around and get into trouble. All three of us went on to embrace our individual sports at a high level and we wanted to give back something to the community. The Junior Storm is thriving but there is a big gap between the ages of 14 years and 30 years, it’s a bell curve in all sporting disciplines across the country.
Our plan is to create a coaching and training programme for this age group and we are hoping to promote this concept to all the local schools. Our goal is to create our own Be Endurance Junior teams to take to events across the UK. We’ve got the coaching experience but funding is always a problem so if there are any local companies out there looking to sponsor…
The Beer Run took place over the weekend of the Ludlow Spring Festival was it a success this year?
We saw a small increase in competitors for this event this year. We also worked in partnership with Marches Food Matters, a charity that works hand in hand with the Ludlow Spring Festival. All profits from the event went towards helping the food bank which supports the local Ludlow area.
We set up the Beer Run as a fun initiative to get more members of the community involved. It’s a departure from our other endurance focused events, and we’ve come under criticism for the beer run not promoting fitness. However, it’s all about balance and it’s a fun event that supports the community and we’re determined to make it fun!
It’s only three weeks until the Ludlow 10, what makes this race different to any other 10km events?
The Ludlow 10 is the most epic event in the country! When we set up Be Endurance, we were so aware of our unique location in Ludlow and our incredible natural surroundings and we’ve made the most of this with the route for this race. It’s amazing to be able to close the entire route — two 5 km loops — and we have had great support from the council and the local residents. The race sets off from Ludlow College and we specifically designed the route so that runners could run down the wide open road of Corve St and enjoy stunning views of the countryside beyond, before they hit The Wall at Dinham and the Lactic Ladder up to Whitcliffe, a part of the route where many people are forced to walk and most are looking down.
We notice the Ludlow 10 has a new name and is now the Brecon Carreg Ludlow 10. Have you had positive support from local business?
Yes, we are delighted that Brecon Carreg have kindly sponsored the Ludlow 10 this year. They came to visit us at the Storm and loved our hands-on approach and we really admire their Save the Mermaids Campaign which raises awareness about plastic waste. We will personally place recycling stations along the race route to encourage runners and spectators to recycle their plastic bottles. We share Brecon Carreg’s aim to give bottles a second life and we are very happy to have their support. The partnership ties in perfectly with their ‘Everyday Adventures’ campaign, which encourages people to live their best lives, get out and about however big or small an activity they want to do. And to do this with a smile!
Local estate agents, Samuel Wood have once again sponsored our ‘Fastest Athlete’ award for Storm the Castle and they will be doing the same this year for the Ludlow 10, it’s great to have their support.
We also have a new sponsor on board: local accountancy firm, Thorne Widgery who this year were the sponsors behind the ‘Most Improved and Utterly Inspiring Local Athlete’ award which we mentioned before. Dan Crowther, Director and Head of their Ludlow office, is also a local Ludlow lad and he caught our attention when we spotted his online marketing pitch: '“We know Ludlow already rocks but with our expertise we hope to make businesses in the town champions”. Dan clearly shared all our values with respect to understanding and giving back to the local community and we are excited to have his support.
And finally, you’ve mentioned the hilly aspect of the Ludlow 10 so is the race only for experienced runners? Can you get involved if you are not at peak fitness? Should I be signing up?!
This race is for everyone. Although it is a serious, timed running race, you can walk or jog it at your own pace. We have athletes taking part every year that really inspire us. People within the community have seen others take part in our events, or joined the Ludlow Runners or the Teme Leisure Triathlon team, and they have been encouraged to believe in themselves. That encouragement is at the core of everything we do. Although you may underestimate yourself and what you believe you can do, we don’t, and we will support you every step of the way.
If you don’t want to take part, you can come and enjoy it as a spectator. The Church Inn and Taste at No.1 put tables out on the street by the Buttercross so you can come and cheer the runners on with a pint of Ludlow Gold or a Gin and Tonic! It’s a great event to watch and the runners always appreciate the support and a cheering crowd.