OK so this year I have been to Glastonbury (total attendance 177,500), Sonisphere (40,000), Cambridge Folk Festival (10,000) and Y Not (4,000) but none have had such a big run up as Keswick’s Fitz Fest this Saturday (500 expected). Why, well, it’s one of my dreadful puns as Keswick in Cumbria is hosting the Commonwealth Ultradistance and Mountain Running Championship 2009 – with runners from ten Commonwealth nations including Canada, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, India, Scotland, England, Northrn Ireland and Wales competing in some pretty amazing events. There has already been a 24 hour race, and the pictures here are from the ‘uphill only’ race – that’s a race up Skiddaw, at 3053 feet the fourth highest fell (peak) in the Lake District – which took place today (17th Septenber), and a 100KM race tommorrow (Sat 18th) as well as junior and open runs.
The organisers of the event are hoping that mountain and ultra distance running will soon be accepted as sports in the Commonwealth Games themselves and then at the Olympic Games. But this year they became have become an established international event in their own right the and have the honour to be the ‘run up’ to Fitz Fest, Keswick’s own musc fetsival which in 2009 features the talents of Water’s Edge, The Deadbeats, the Phil Lewthwaite Band and Obrigado. The Festival is using the same facilities that the Commonwealth racers have been using over the weekend including the ‘all weather’ marquee – a sensible precaution for events just ten miles from the wettest place in England. Tickets are £6 for adults and under 16s get in for just £2.
Suprise of the night were the Deadbeats who put in a corking show. Now in Keswick there is a guy who works down the chippy who thinks he’s a pop star – and maybe maybe he might just be -the Deadbeats had a great audience reaction – and it would be good to hear some of their own material. Next on were Water’s Edge who played a beautiful set – and as the band are made up of three teachers, there was mass support from the younger elements of the audience – and some of the oldies were pretty keen too. The night ended up with a rabble rousing set from Obrigado and then Fitz Fest 2009 was over – and a bigger and even better festival is planned for 2010. With it’s well established Jazz Festival, new Comedy Festival, Beer Festival, Mountain Festival and the marvellous Theatre By The Lake (which even had a flying visit from Eddie Izzard this year whilst on his marathon perambulation) as well as some top sporting events – Keswick seems to be the place to be!