January is when many of us yearn for Spring and Summer sunshine and the chance to enjoy the restorative effects of the Lake District’s wide-open spaces.

Our thoughts this month revolve around Health and wellbeing - and we can’t help but look forward eagerly to an exciting new event coming to Holker Hall and Gardens in August.

The Wild GOAT Festival will bring families together in the great outdoors for an action-packed weekend of running, cycling, music, food and fun!

One of the people behind it is former world record holder and 1500 metre World Champion Steve Cram – now a high-profile BBC Athletics commentator.

We caught up with him at Holker Hall to discuss the Lake District, The Wild GOAT Festival and his top tips on keeping fit…

Steve Cram at Holker Hall, talking about the Wild Goat Festival 2023

In his running heyday, Steve Cram was known as the “Jarrow Arrow” – a mark of his speed and a reference to his home town in the North East.

But it was the North West, and in particular, the Lake District, which held a big attraction in his younger years.

Play clipWatch Steve talk about his love of the Lake District, Cumbria.

“I’ve had a strong connection to the whole of the Lake District for my whole life,” he says.

“I can remember coming here with my Mum and Dad on a reasonably regular basis…it was a bit of a trip in those days but that’s when I first realised what the Lake District had to offer.

“We are here a lot, we’ve got a lot of friends here, I love the place!”

And that love of the Lake District is one of the reasons he’s bringing the Wild GOAT Festival to the magnificent grounds of Holker Hall at Cark near Grange over Sands.

We’re in one of the Hall’s stunning rooms to talk more about the festival and its benefits to health and wellbeing.

“I think we just want to help people have a great time finding out about what it is they like about getting healthy and fit - and doing that with their family and in an inspiring and entertaining environment,” explains Steve.

Watch Steve talking about health and wellbeing at the Wild Goat Festival 2023

He says the festival is designed to appeal to people of all ages and abilities.

“We will have some quite technical runs and trails for riding. But we are going to have some real beginner stuff, real fun stuff.

“We have a thing called Families on Track which is a thing we’ve put together with Paula Radcliffe which has been really successful over the last three or four years where families do a running relay together.”

So, for anyone, of any ability, looking to improve their health and wellbeing through exercise – what are Steve’s top tips?

Steve offers advice on how to become healthy through exercise and enjoy fitness.

“Routine is really important,” he says. “Once you get a routine it’s so much easier - a bit like going to work!

“And the more you can involve someone else in the exercise the better.  That’s why park runs are so good. You can’t just go oh, I’ll have a lie in today – because you’ll miss it. It’s at a certain time and there will be other people there and if you don’t turn up someone is going to get on the phone and say where are you!?”

Steve adds: “If it’s taken 20 years for you to get out of shape – don’t expect to get in shape in three months. Give yourself time, walking to begin with, don’t think you can go and run ten miles from the beginning. Because all that will do is put you off!”

The Olympic silver medalist says everyone can exercise as long as they take it at a pace that suits them. And everyone can come along to the Wild GOAT Festival.

“Come with the family, come on your own, come with a friend or whatever it might be,” he says. “Just come and have a really enjoyable weekended in fantastic surroundings. We’d love to see you!”

The Wild GOAT Festival at Holker Hall and Gardens takes place from August 11 – 13.
To find out more about the Wild Goat Festival 2023 head to www.wildgoatfestival.com


View the full interview with Steve Cram.




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