I spoke personally this year at Runfest about my obsession with photographing the running scene. I loved sharing my history in the scene, why I love documenting it and the reasons why we should all share it as much as possible.
I kinda floated in and out of the talks and workshops due to the talks being fairly generic and somewhat dated (nutrition, how to run etc etc) but in fairness, i’ve seen many many talks on these topics and they never resonate with me. What was fantastic to see was the passion and mix of the attendees. Most of which were different faces to last years so a great sign that the event is still attracting new blood. The location and date had also moved to Cuba Street which meant accommodation was available- and also the places to eat were aplenty.
For me personally I absolutely loved meeting and spending time with Barefoot Ted. The minimalist trend has past- that’s for sure. But that aside, barefoot / minimal for me has always been part of of life for a very long time. So to chat personally with Ted about tuning into our bodies and connecting to playful time when running and connecting to the earth was an amazing narrative. The expression of movement and joy, flow and running is a given right as a human. I totally dig this and a major part of why I love documenting and sharing our bodies moving- it is a normal state.
I also loved Matt’s talk on living less epic. In a world obsessed with social media and comparisons of everyone else’s lives against our own I whole heartily agree. We should live less epic and be happy about the basics in life such as being a good parent, eating well, being present and content with what we have NOW.
Catching up with friends and the Wellington running crew to join their weekend track run always makes me happy. Hand on heart this group are the best. Just turn up and run- meet people- no judgements- no bullshit. What else do you want.
Coming away from the event I could not help to think about it’s longevity and experience as a whole. In 2017 the organisers were calling for help to make ends meet and questioning if it will continue past 2017. It would be a real shame for Runfest to disappear from the running landscape being a unique experience for the New Zealand running community. But it does seem to have become static and somewhat dominated by individuals in the trail running scene with the largest voices (an on going issue with the NZ running scene in general TBH).
If any event wants to stand out from the crowd then it needs to offer more than what can be found via a youtube video these days (in this case how to run, what to eat etc.) It also requires an investment in contemporary and on point talent that can be found locally (and help them get to the event) – not always offshore.
Let’s hope Runfest returns for 2018.