Over the weekend some 27 members, spouses and friends of Notfast Running Club were to be found at Catton Park , Staffordshire.  The sporting event was the, by now famous, Adidas Thunder Run 24 Hour Relay. The object is to field teams of 8 and 5 plus Pairs and Solo runners.

At 12am on Saturday the race commences with much razzle dazzle, as the first wave of competitors set off to run in relay for a whole 24  hours. The course is 10 kilometres long and follows an extremely demanding route, as a result of its cruel hills and descents, but also its often treacherous surfaces . In daylight this difficult course is hard enough but when competitors set off for their night time ‘slots’ the race takes on a whole different dimension . Even with powerful head torches the business of running and negotiating a myriad places where tripping and crashing are only a split second away adds a level of stress to those finding themselves alone in the night.  Some of the most dangerous sections are in what has been dubbed The Zig-Zag Forest where exposed tree roots contrive to make the course virtually un-runable.

Getting any sleep during rest periods is nearly impossible, leaving runners progressively more ‘jet-lagged’…add to this the peculiar effect of tiredness on appetite and you have runners leaving for their stint often malnourished and confused.

In four years this event has grown from 130 competitors to 2400…and why ?…because it is one of the most fantastic running events in the whole country, with an atmosphere that has earned it the title of “The Glastonbury of Running”.  The organisation, camaraderie and sense of occasion was further enhanced by the organisers, Adidas, providing a huge TV screen so that all could see the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and, indeed follow the events through the whole sun-drenched weekend.

A special mention must be made for Kate Fisher and Andy Pritchett who ran as a pair to raise more than £500 for Help for Heroes

Further thanks go to Jill Oakham, Beth and Simon Webster, Colin Green, Anna Fisher, Liz Walton, Lizzie Freer, Nicola Bullock and Theresa Thomas who, as non-runners, performed the vital task of managing the various teams and soloists, ensuring that all runners were given the best opportunity for success.  The managers are indispensable.

Next year is already being talked about !!


Solo runners

Mike Bullock  14 laps  placed  16/92

Jill McIntyre   10 laps  placed  15/25

Mixed Pairs

Kate Fisher and Andy Pritchett  16 laps placed 11/17

Caroline Upton and David Watt 18 laps placed 7/17

Mixed 5s

John Blundy, Jodie Walton, Richard Broughton, Peter Waller and Jo Pendleton  25 laps  placed 28/70

Mixed 8s Team 1

Bob Oakham, Chris Baker, Claire Baker-Moyes, James Harris, Alex Freer, Mary Freer, Simon Martell, Wyn Thomas  25 laps  placed 161/188

Mixed 8s Team 2

Lee Crossland, Mark Jackson, Steve Hodson-Mackey, Darren Wilkinson, Dawn Crossland, Jacqueline Jackson, Leanda Hodson-Mackey, Vikki Wilkinson  22 laps  placed 140/188.

The achievements of the Pairs and Solo Runners at TR24 were truly outstanding.

Mikes total was 140 kilometres…that’s a bit more than 85miles

Jill’s performance gave her 100 k…62 miles

Kate and Andy covered 16 laps …160 kilometres…100miles

David and Caroline, who were 7th out of 17 mixed pairs did 180 k…about 110 miles

These performances were in no small way due to the respective managers, who ensured that the runners ate and slept properly.  I have seen situations where runners are too hungry to eat, too thirsty to drink and too tired to sleep.  This year the distance runners ran with their heads first and their legs second !!

Have a look at this.

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