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'Trail Life' at the Bodri Trail 2020

An exciting atmosphere, beautiful weather, a remarkably varied route, top-quality swag and the whole thing was hosted at a Winery; this was the Bodri Trail 2020.

We all have to have hobbies. Some people like stamps, others like trains, if you are reading this you probably enjoy putting one foot in front of the other, at speed, right up until the moment of exhaustion (and then some). One thing all hobbies have in common is the geekier and more invested you are, the more enjoyable it becomes! When translated into running this means, at least in my eyes, trying out new training techniques, setting new goals, getting new gear and... going to as many races that I can across Hungary!

And that is where the Bodri Trail came into my life. When collating the race calendar it is easy to identify (too many!) stand out events that seem just that little bit special, and the Bodri Trail was at the top of that list! Spoilers: It didn't disappoint. On arrival, the site of the Bodri Winery (you may recognise them as the ones with the cute Puli dog on the bottle!) was looking spectacular.

Nestled in a small valley, it was beautifully lit by a bright crisp morning, showing a complex that is growing with new accommodation which will soon support visitors on their trips to the excellent modern cellar and restaurant. It also worked well as the start/finish and race centre with the trails mere minutes away; toilets were easily accessed, a cafe was open for coffee addicts and there was plenty of space for both stretching outside and staying warm inside. Also, the 'swag' available for the race were of the highest quality, I have yet to remove from my head the cool hat that was in the race pack!

For such a small event the start was refreshingly exciting. No nonsense waiting around. A clear countdown. An enthusiastic cheer bolstered by the thrilling ding-dong of a Cow Bell! Honestly, it was one of the best starts I have experienced here in Hungary and it was able to add that extra thrill sometimes missing from local events. Well done Bodri!

I did the 'L' distance - 35km with 800m+ of elevation. There were shorter routes available, which all came together towards the end so that everyone was finishing together. The starts were staggered in such a way so that this really did feel like a coming together as runners at all levels were achieving their goals as a community (note: there was enough space so this didn't have any negative side effects). The route was varied and for the most part was on well marked trails through hilly woodland. It did include some asphalt at the start/finish and a short section in the middle, but the middle section was worth it as it allowed for a route which touched on some nice villages and two lovely lakes.

The weather was spectacular. Warm for the time of year, but perfect for trail runners. The only downside was a thaw which made some of the tracks challengingly muddy, especially towards the end where clods of dirt threatened to break even the hardiest of athletes.

Success was only a step, or two, or a thousand away. And the reward for completion - except of course the intrinsic satisfaction of finishing another run - was a cool Puli themed medal, lots of very tasty food and some beautiful (I am told, I was driving) wine. There was no sense of rush at the end. People kicked back in the cellar, relaxed and took a moment to savor their achievements.

The 'Trail Life' is a hobby that requires anyone who chooses it to be tough, as demonstrated by everyone who took part in the Bodri Trail at every distance. But that toughness which is needed to take part is greatly outweighed by rewards. Events like the Bodri Trail make this so much easier with their good organisation, well chosen route, cool swag and support for runners of all abilities. This frees up every runner who wants to tackle an unknown, dashing off from the start line into (for many) unknown hills, and come back muddy, but smiling.

Trail Life: T-shits available NOW from all good bookstores.

Thank you Bodri Trail! Here is our picture gallery from the day. Remember to join RCHU on Strava for inspiration, tips and training sessions with other runners like you!

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