by Richie Appleton
Endure 24 is a 24 hour race set in Wasing Park near Reading. The race village features 24 hour catering, entertainment, massage and showers, it opens on Friday morning and closes on Monday lunch time.
The objective is to run as many laps as you can in 24 hours, starting at 12 noon on Saturday, and finishing at 12 on the Sunday (final lap just needs to be started before 12, so total running time can be more than 24 hours).
This was my first 24hr relay challenge with Shrewton running club. First of all the organisation for it was superb which was headed up by Andy Hartfield, No faffing everything was superb.
Shrewton had 8 awesome runners from the club. From the moment we arrived on Friday to pitch our tents, the atmosphere was fantastic which was the theme until we departed on the Sunday afternoon.
Andy Hartfield ran the first lap wearing the club colours with pride, this was also witnessed by Andy’s family who were cheering him on along with the rest of us.
As a team we cycled through the 8 of us, each person doing their lap and passing on to the next. I think we would all admit that we probably ran the first lap far too hard, but it’s really very difficult not to with all the other runners, the pent up energy, the fresh legs, and the sense that your team is waiting for you to finish.
I loved the course. Firstly, 5 miles is a great distance – it is mostly run on a wide trail through a forest, with a couple of short sections that are a bit narrower and zig-zag through the trees.
The first kilometre is an almost constant uphill, just right for getting your muscles warmed up, but more and more difficult (and steep?) as the hours progressed. From here, the course undulates and weaves it way through different patches of forest, with a short sharp uphill around 3k, followed by a good gradual downhill section to 5k.
Then came “THE HILL”. Just as the legs were beginning to get properly tired, the longest steepest drag hit you hard – the vast majority of people were walking this part.
But from here it was all a gradual downhill back to the camping area, past some cheering spectators and then on to the finish line to hand over to your next team mate and get yourself a well-earned rest. At least for a while…
The night run was something else, glow sticks in the trees bobbing lights in the distance and yes the camper van stole the show all lit up like a beacon blasting out music with a few runners having a cheeky dance with Elvis.
The course was in my view excellent but hard going at times especially in the early hours or when it rained.