Endure 24 – June 2016

What’s all this about Endure 24? I hear you ask. So here’s a brief resume …

You enter a team of runners who take it in turns to run a 5 mile route through fields and woods before handing over a wrist band to the next runner. You don’t have to keep a strict rotation – a runner can do 2 laps or more before handing over the band nor do you always have to have someone on the course – the team can take as long a break as they wish. The aim is to do as many laps as you can in the 24 hour period. Obviously, the more you have in your team, the more rest you can have between changeovers – the serious teams have a maximum of 8, so they can do more laps without getting so tired.

Rob Taylor, Anna Mason, Sue Baker, Alex Penny, Justin Wetters, Laura Penny, Chris Usher, Ellen Curtis, Claire Seckington and Steve Thomson

Rob Taylor, Anna Mason, Sue Baker, Alex Penny, Justin Wetters, Laura Penny, Chris Usher, Ellen Curtis, Claire Seckington and Steve Thomson

This year we entered a team of 4 and two teams of 3 – meaning rest periods were about two hours. Hence we decided that during the hours of darkness, we would do 2 laps each before handing over.. By early morning virtually everyone had had enough, not being able to refuel adequately (you can’t run on a full stomach!), having had little sleep and with it threatening to rain heavily we decided to pack up and go home! On my 7th lap at 9am I spoke to a guy in a team of 8 who was setting out on only his 4th run – call that endurance? No it’s more like a holiday! The REAL heroes are the solo runners who rack up over 25 laps – that’s what Endure 24 is all about – so now you know. ‘Chris U’

This is Laura’s brief report …

Well we did it!! Endure 24 done for another year – although not quite as enjoyable as last year due to dropping down to a team of only 3 this year for 2 of our teams! It meant only getting about 1 & 1/2 hours rest between running each 5 mile lap!! Well done everyone representing Buckingham & Stowe, & Winslow running clubs, thanks for your company. Who’s up for next year?

And here’s what Alex had to say AFTER the event …

Teeny bit disappointed not to reach my 50 mile target but after pulling out with injury at 25 last year, 40 miles (plus a parkrun at Newbury!) has to go down as a success😀

First 5 laps were paced fairly sensibly and very consistently (all at 38 minutes) and I felt good but the humidity was to eventually do me in. It was like running in a sauna!! I didn’t drink enough early on and really struggled to take any food on board. In hindsight, 2 pepperamis, a scotch egg and a packet of crisps is probably not quite enough fuel for a 24 hour event but I just couldn’t stomach anything 😬

By the time of my first night leg I was suffering some pretty painful stomach cramps. I felt dizzy and was sick a few times but was actually still running ok, getting round in 45 minutes.

Just before 4am it was time for my double lap. I missed out on the night double last year so was actually weirdly looking forward to this bit. As soon as I got running the stomach pains came back and it turned into a real slog. I bumped into the amazing Kat Miller, Jools Smith walked a bit with them. Was sooo glad of the company 😀

The second leg of my double was a bit better knowing I was past halfway. I dug in and made myself run all the flats and downs, allowing myself to walk the (seemingly growing!) hills.

I handed over to Steve went for a bit of kip, at this point still determined to complete 2 more laps and get to 50 miles. Laura called it a day at 35 miles, a fantastic effort considering she felt really ill on Friday and was doubtful to run at all.

Steve returned just before 8am. I was feeling pretty ropey by this point, 2 nights of diddly sleep, not enough food and 100000% humidity had broken me. I just couldn’t face the prospect of facing that course any more. I had nothing to prove and nothing to gain by carrying on so that was it. As a team we covered 115 miles in 21 hours. Not a bad effort 😀

I’m full of admiration for the solo runners. Such mental reserves it takes to endlessly tackle that challenging loop. Honestly don’t know how they do it! As for me, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: ULTRAS SUCK!!! I’m sticking to marathons 😛

The team spirit in our group was fantastic and everyone did themselves proud. Thanks all. I’m glad it’s done and glad I’ve done it but if you hear me suggest entering again next year you have full permission to punch me in the face 😊