It rained for about 70% of the time we were in Grasmere. Heavy rain. The kind of rain that makes bearded heroes build arks for pairs of animals. That much rain. But, such was the providence in our favour, that rain all happened outside of running time. It was as if the rain stopped when we slipped on the trail shoes and headtorches. Respect to Mother Nature.
The Pyllon Experience 2. The PXP2 in short-hand. A gathering of incredible humans where the only talent needed is a willingness to care, share and be open. Yes, it is badged as a running retreat but is much more than that.
Paul Giblin, Pyllon founder and coach, is the brainchild behind PXP. He uses a loyal and willing crew of volunteers to support him and to set the event up. They are friends. Running family. My friends too. My running family too.
The PXP last year was a step into the unknown. Being responsible for 18 people is a big ask. Feeding them and keeping them entertained is exhausting but somehow exhilarating. Sharing the trails with like-minded individuals, all bar none who are great human beings, is a gift you cannot buy. Doubling it this year and taking it to the Lakes wasn’t anywhere near as daunting as year 1. And it was doubly rewarding.
What was the craic then?
Friday afternoon sees runners arrive. The plan is a headtorch run around a waterfall. A social sojourn under the stars. That’s after check-in, chat and hilarity. The run was just enough to build an appetite for the greatest Vegan burgers known to man. Ever! It was clear right away the mood was good and the crowd would be open to the weekend’s aims.
On Saturday the day was packed with runs, eating, mobility, eating, quiz, eating, talks, pretzels, eating, coaching, eating and more talks. Then supper.
The run groups split into 3. This was a massive learning from 2018. It de-stresses everyone, most importantly the runners. There would be climbs, trails and mud. That was a given.
We were served dinner Saturday night. Nice and relaxing for the Pyllon team. The beancake was amazing. The sweet potato curry was avoided due to the fear of the following morning’s impact.
On Sunday you could either beast the hills or burn up the flat in the structured sessions to see out the weekend. I was on the flat and Graham and Matt and we all decided to “race” without telling each other. All trying to look that cool way when the intervals were over. I am still wiping snotters from my chin and the hamstring is only just now easing up. Bravado!
The running culmination is the now traditional ALLEZ ALLEZ hill sprint. The Monarch of the Mountain crowned and the shouts gradually getting so loud they awoke the denizens of the nearby hotel. It is brilliant, fun and just downright brutal.
Back to the hostel and Paul gave a quite beautiful talk. Thought provoking and resonate. And it is that which brings me back to the blog today. Own your story he told us. Followed up by a prompt on goals. So here we are.
I love writing. I just don’t do it enough. It’s more than that though. Two things I took from the weekend personally were around gratitude and doing more of what I love.
I am grateful for having being able to share the weekend with a bunch of top people. I got reacquainted with old friends, put names to faces and established new friendships. That’s a sweet outcome eh?
As for goals and what I love. I am going to write on here at least once a fortnight. You can hold me to that. It’s an outlet and a vocation. I’d be grateful if you could help me own my story, do what I love and keep to my goals. Thanks!