Endure 24 28th – 29th June 2014
We arrived at the camp site at lunchtime on Friday to be met by the Mizuno crew who told us where we were to set up. We set up in glorious sunshine and sat down with a few beers looking forward to a great weekend ahead. The Mizuno reps came over and handed us a goody bag which contained T shirts, Vests, Shorts, socks, Mugs, Pens and even a Mizuno Fan! They also told us we were being invited to a hog roast the next day and were being giving wrist bands which entitled us to complimentary food from the catering tent!
Davina arrived in the evening to set up hers and Meranda’s tents, only to leave again to get home for a good night’s sleep in a proper bed! The rest of us decided to walk the route.
The route started out up a gentle hill to a farm then down into some lovely trail. The ground was firm and dry. Slightly undulating but nothing too challenging. We then headed back to camp to get an early night ourselves.
We awoke bright and early on the day of the event to lovely sunshine and an eagerness to get cracking. We had worked out a “running order” and Pete was to be our lead off man. But as the start was getting closer, so were the clouds and we had a few showers.
At precisely 12:07 the race was off and we watched all the lead off runners head off up the path. The first runners back came in at about 30 minutes and they were very muddy. Apparently the ground was not as firm and dry as it was yesterday and with approximately 65,000 miles being run on it over the next 24 hours it was only going to get worse.
Pete handed over to Nikki, and we employed a system where Pete would now check that Davina was ready for her run in 3rd position and so on. By this time the clouds were back and the rain was coming down. With thunder and lightning for good measure. We had planned an average of 1 hour each lap and had a rough idea of when each person would be running but it soon became apparent that we were ahead of time. But we knew that we would slow down over night. The rain also got heavier and rained consistently for about 2 hours. But it was still warm.
8:00pm came and now everyone was expected to run with a head torch. But the rain had eased at this point and it was a lot brighter but the conditions were still challenging. It is a this point that you try and time your food and sleeping arrangements according to when you think you might be running next. I was due to be running at 11:00PM and then 7:00Am so I decided I would stay up and try to sleep for a few hours later. Unfortunately when I did try to get some sleep we were camped very near the start so the was constant shouting as team mates handed over to each other. I didn’t get a wink of sleep.
But at least I was warm and dry and resting. I got up at 6:00AM to find that Nikki had had to pull out as her hamstring was really painful, so to keep the running order the same Kev had run her leg as well as his own. And this was especially impressive as Kev had been ruled out of this event a few weeks ago because of a burst appendix so he hadn’t been running at all! But Jennifer had been struggling with illness all week and as she is 7 months pregnant she took the safe option and stayed at home so Kev was back in the team.
I set out on my 3rd lap at around 7:00 after having a cup of tea and a buiscit for breakfast. And I felt crap. I had no energy at all. Everything felt stiff and sore. I managed to make it half way round to where the aid station was and I had some water and a few shot bloks. I then ran – walked back and completed my lap but I thought I couldn’t do another. Maybe I am still suffering from the South Downs Marathon last week but I was just empty.
We had a quick check of the running order and we knew that we would be finishing our 3 laps each early so we had a quick check to see who fancied doing another lap. I was out, Nikki was out and Davina was out. Pete said he would do another one and Meranda said she would like to do another too. Steve and the Ange set off on their 3rd laps and I went for a breakfast and a shower.
When I came back Pete was running but unfortunately Davina and Meranda had to leave so Meranda couldn’t do her 4th lap. Pete then decided he would do a double lap. We finished ahead of time and I am a bit gutted that I couldn’t go out for another lap, but we managed 26 laps between us which is 130 miles!
We stayed to the end to applaud all the other runners in especially the solo runners who had a big cheer from us every time they went past. These people are amazing. I was too tired after 3 laps and couldn’t do a 4th lap yet these people continuously go round hour after hour and they are all ages, shapes and sizes.
We would like to thank all at Mizuno for their generosity and for looking after us all weekend, all at run24 for putting on a great event and Scott and Fiona for getting us involved and all their help over the last few weeks.
We definitely hope to be back next year.
Keith Elshaw Bosh Bloggers