ON Sunday, May 26, I took part in my first ever running race - the 10km as part of the inaugural Wells Festival of Running.

The event, hosted by local run club Wells City Harriers, has been a tradition in the Somerset city for many years, and involves a 10km, 5km, and a 1.2km race for children.

I first headed to Wells Town Hall to pick up my race number, and then began warming up near the moat outside the stunning Bishop's Palace.Somerset County Gazette: My view of the starting line positioned in Wells Market Square.My view of the starting line positioned in Wells Market Square. (Image: Jamie Grover, Newsquest)

The sun shone down, and before I knew it, we were off, jogging down the High Street which was packed with spectators cheering on the participants.

There was a real buzz about the place, which was only added to by the wonderful weather, and beautiful scenery along the cycle path from Wells to Dulcote - it was a joyous occasion for all involved.

It was especially nice to have race martials positioned around the route, who were all very friendly and encouraging, and seemed genuinely happy and proud to be involved.

As I approached the small village of Dulcote, around 3.5km in, I was spurred on by local families who stood at the ends of their driveways and clapped whilst offering kind words of encouragement. 

My least favourite part of the run - the hill - which I had to climb twice during the two laps of the course.

It really was tough - incredibly steep, long, and just plain difficult - although it was great to see how all the participants were brought together by their shared hatred of this part of the route.

At the top of the hill, I was greeted by a stunning view of Wells, including the iconic cathedral.

Somerset County Gazette: Roads were closed off on the route to keep participants safe.Roads were closed off on the route to keep participants safe. (Image: Jamie Grover, Newsquest)

On my second lap of the circuit, I began to hit a wall at around 7km in, knowing I still had to climb the dreaded hill once more.

I pushed on, and felt particularly motivated by one young man in Dulcote, who had water-gunned the words 'KEEP GOING' into the road.Somerset County Gazette: A much needed post-race reward.A much needed post-race reward. (Image: Jamie Grover, Newsquest)

After making the apex of the hill by (shamefully) walking the steepest portion, I sprinted to the finish, which took myself and other runners along the moat around the Bishop's Palace, finishing just before the Market Square.

In a state of exhaustion, I collected my medal, but my legs would not stop moving until I arrived at the City Arms pub for a well-earned pint.

All-in-all, the Wells Festival of Running was a brilliant day for everyone involved, and it was great to see the positive community spirit of Wells and Dulcote on full display.