Worstead Festival charity weekend gets off to a flying start with annual five-mile run
A charity weekend which attracts hundreds of visitors over its three days got under way this evening with a five-mile run won by a first time entrant.
This year’s Worstead Festival, which continues on Saturday and Sunday, offers plenty of new offerings, including a ride-on miniature railway and an imported inland beach.
But it started as usual with a five-mile race through the north Norfolk village, organised by the North Norfolk Beach Runners.
The race was won by Dominic Blake, 38, from Reepham Runners, who said: “I clocked myself at 26 minutes and 54 seconds, which is about 15 seconds behind my personal best. It was quite muggy but the support was great, with everyone cheering us on.”
All profits from the 29th run will be split evenly between the North Norfolk Beach Runners and the Worstead festival charity. Kirsty Youngman, one of the race organisers, said that 450 runners, aged from 16 to late 70s, took part.
Jon Lowe, from the festival committee, was anticipating another popular weekend.
He said: “The festival’s about the same size as previous years, but there’s more going on.
“We’ve got some new events which are looking really nice, and the weather won’t be too hot, which means people might come here, rather than go to the beach.
“We’ve got a miniature railway we’ve not had before and a beach. People were also given sunflower seeds to grow, so there will be a competition on that. It’s great value for money.”
The festival’s new offerings also include a vintage cafe, evening music and a visit by outdoor adventure specialists.
Each year the festival hands out thousands of pounds to charities and last year it was able to donate £16,000 thanks to its popularity and army of volunteers who organise the event and run it over the three days.
The beach will feature tons of sand donated by local businessman Carl Bird and beach huts constructed by charity About with Friends, which helps create opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
The Barton House Railway will bring its portable miniature ride-on railway and All Bittern Line trains will stop at Worstead over the weekend, with free tractor rides from the station to the festival site throughout the day.
There is free parking, entry is £5, with under 12s free. Gates open at 10am.