Fri 14 Jul 2023 • Nick Kershaw
Lessons from Love Trails: Celebrating Obsession with Experience Creation in the World of Running Events
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This weekend, we headed to Love Trails Festival, hosted just nearby Impact HQ, on the magnificent Gower Peninsula here in Wales. Since inception, we have been inspired by the team at Love Trails who are driven by our shared passion for obsessively curating events that prioritise the joy of running and the value of human connection.
In a world filled with countless running events, there are a few exceptional organisations that stand out by placing a relentless focus on bringing people together and creating extraordinary experiences. This weekend, we headed to Love Trails Festival, hosted just nearby Impact HQ, on the magnificent Gower Peninsula here in Wales. Since inception, we have been inspired by the team at Love Trails who are driven by our shared passion for obsessively curating events that prioritise the joy of running and the value of human connection. In this blog, we celebrate the immense value of events that go beyond the ordinary, test out new conceptions, and where the shared values of bringing people together and delivering exceptional experiences are at the heart of everything we do.
Shared Values and the Love for Human Connection:
At Impact Marathon Series, and alongside Love Trails Festival, our values align with the belief that running events can be about more than just completing a race. This is not to undermine the joy of competition, and the unbelievable feeling of crossing a finish line - not at all, we love that - but it’s not the heart of what we create at Impact events. We have focused on the celebration the power of human connection, fostering a sense of belonging and community that transcends that Personal Best. Having spent many a night chatting away with the Love Trails founders, we share this belief in the profound impact that can be created by bringing people from diverse backgrounds together.
This feeling was never more pronounced than during the lockdowns. As we battened down the hatches, and went into survival mode - the world media focused on the finances, and there is no doubt all of us in events felt that strain. But underneath the obvious was a different strain: we were not able to do the thing that makes us come alive - our calling in life, if you will - we weren’t able to create those moments for others that makes our jobs, our lives so special. We couldn’t dream up a concept, then look out over a group of people embracing a moment that was once a figment of our own imagination.
Obsessive Attention to Runner Experience:
One of the hallmarks of memorable events is an obsessive attention to every detail of the customer experience. When we walked around the Love Trails site, we could see those elements not just in the construction of the site, but in the selection of partners, food vendors, brand activations - we could see a shared commitment to going above and beyond in delivery, and originality of thought. From pre-event communications to on-site amenities, every touchpoint is carefully crafted to ensure that each individual feels valued, supported, and part of a larger community. We don’t always get it perfect, that’s certainly not what we are trying to say here - but we are obsessive until we get close to that perfection.
Both organisations show that the experience can extend beyond a race in and of itself. We can create an immersive atmosphere where the worries, and troubles of life, dissipate as we are thrown into a bubble where we can just be ourselves. By obsessing over these details, we create an environment where runners can fully embrace the joy of running, forge meaningful connections, and celebrate the shared experience of being part of something greater. This is not easy to do, it takes courage, it risks making mistakes, but when you get it right, it elevates human connections in a way that transcends alternative events.
The Joy of Running Together, Without Time Constraints:
In a world where race timings, qualifying for ever bigger events, and personal best often, rightfully, take centre stage, Love Trails Festival and Impact Marathons celebrate the joy of running without the pressure of achieving a personal best. We believe that running can be a source of empowerment, camaraderie, and personal transformation, regardless of finishing times. By removing strict time constraints, we allow runners to immerse themselves fully in the experience, treasuring every step, and relishing the journey.
Running together becomes a celebration of collective achievement, encouraging participants to support and inspire one another along the way. This inclusive approach fosters a spirit of unity and camaraderie that is at the core of our events. It is not about crossing the finish line first but about creating memories, forming lifelong connections, and experiencing the sheer joy of running as a collective.
Together, we invite runners from all walks of life to experience the transformative power of running in a welcoming and inclusive environment. Together, let's inspire, support, and uplift one another, creating moments that will be cherished long after the finish line is crossed.
Congratulations to the Love Trails team for continuing to innovate and improve when they could simple churn out the same event each year...it drives us all on!
Join us as we celebrate the magic of running, the joy of human connection, and the extraordinary experiences that unfold when we come together as a community