Posted: 12/08/2014 at 22:45
Race report tr24 (sorry its long)
Race report for Thunder Run;
Last weekend saw my second Thunder Run (TR24), a tough, hilly 24 hour off-road relay race. You can enter this race as either a solo runner, as a pair or as a team (of either 3-5 or 6-8). Last year I was entered in a team of 8 with some friends I met at the runnersworld bootcamp, this year we met back up (in bigger numbers) and ran as several teams of 5.
You can set up camp from friday mid day so we headed down to Catton Park, Derbyshire in the afternoon. We arrived at camp roughly 2.5 hours later. By this time lots of people had pitched their tents and set up camp. Luckily a few of our team members live local so they had arrived at 12 and secured us a fantastic spot near the start/finish and the food stalls.
We quickly pitched our tents and started on the pre race celebrations, this included far too much fizz, cider, cake and other niceties...unfortunately we forgot the BBQ. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits and excited about the endurance event starting the following day. That evening we went to watch the fun run (for the kids), walk around the stalls and mingle with the other runners.
The camp is supposed to be quiet by about 9 so as the sun set (and we got out our head torches) the general buzz and chit chatter became quieter until we were all in bed by midnight, hoping for a refreshing sleep.
I woke up to a quiet camp site at about 7, however it didnt remain quiet for long, quickly more people woke and started getting ready for the briefing at 11:30, followed by the start of the race at 12. Whilst walking around the camp I was surprised to bump into a fellow harrier.
There was a fantastic atmosphere at the start of the race, hundreds of excited runners and people in good spirit were out to cheer on the first runners. From then on it would be 24 hours of running. The rules are quite simple; there has to be one team member on the course at all times (unless your a solo runner or running in pairs) and you must complete the full 10k lap before handing over the baton. The runner/team who does the most laps wins. Every runner has chip timing
For me my first lap was the one of the hardest. I set of just before 13:00, when the sun was at its highest. It was uncomfortably hot. Chris, my husband had decided to run this lap with me. He hadnt entered the race but had come to stay for the weekend (family members, children, dogs etc are all welcome to stay over and dont have to pay, just the runner). I was so relieved that he was running with me as it gave me an excuse to run slightly slower in the unbearable heat. I completed this lap in 1;01:28, my slowest lap of the race. Despite it being my most difficult lap it was also one of my most memorable. The crowds out on the course shouted words of encouragement to myself and chris and children were out with their water pistols attempting to cool us down.
After this lap we decided to have some lunch, a shower and a massage. The showers were warm and were included in with the cost. The people doing the massage were working all weekend, 24 hours a day, raising money for charity. They just asked for a donation.
By the time I had done the above, it was time to get ready for my next lap, this I ran at about 17:30 and managed to complete it in 51:43. It was much cooler by now and much more pleasant. Between 18-19:00 was the conticlimb (a short up hill section that was timed). The winner managed to complete this in 13.8 seconds where as it took me 23 seconds.
After this lap, I just stayed around camp, talking to other runners and supporting people on the course. I would have long until I was running again and this time I was going to attempt