The Thunder Run is a 24
hour continuous relay race over an off road 10km course. We had 2 mixed
teams of 8 and 5 respectively and both ended up being called the “Xtreme
8” due to the number of last minute changes. Sarah and Larissa took on the
pairs challenge while Ian braved doing it solo. Describing the course as
off road is a bit of an understatement. Shortly after the start the course
turns sharply into the woods on the hillside. It winds around the hills in
three or 4 sections making the most of the available ground and doing a
remarkable job of making sure you are never quite sure where you are in
relation to the start! There are technical sections with tape making a
maze through the trees which is quite surreal when it gets dark. With solo
runners, pairs and teams all sharing the course there was a lot of passing
and being passed going on but rarely without a “well done” and “awesome”
being exchanged. As one of the team of 5 I was surprised at how little
time there was between runs. After my first run I sauntered around and
before I knew it I was having to get ready to go out again. The team work
and support was incredible and a credit to all of the Bedford Harriers
that took part. There were brilliant performances all round.
Final placing is based
upon the number of laps completed and then the time across the line.
Provided you start a lap before the 24 hours is up then you can complete
it. We made a tactical change sending Dean out to ensure that we could
start another lap and Noelle came in with just a couple of minutes to
spare to allow her team to do the same. Results and placings are here; http://www.tr24.co.uk/results.html.
Harriers do Thunder Run
After much juggling about we finally managed to
get two teams, a pair and a solo to take part in the incredible event that
is the Adidas Thunder Run.
This event is a 10km hilly loop relay starting at
noon on Saturday and ending at noon Sunday. You just run it as many times
as you can, simple!
Most of us arrived on Friday and set up camp,
fired up the BBQ and opened a few beers whilst we all got to know each
other and discussed tactics. The site soon filled up with huge numbers of
runners and their families, the atmosphere was electric. (Circa 2500people
All to soon it was Saturday morning and we were
getting ready. A few brave harriers even went to do
a local Park run
At noon in the searing heat the first runners
began the amazing journey. The pairs and solos began at a steady pace and
those in teams charged off into the distance.
Each circuit takes you through the campsite at 2km
and again from 9-10km so there really is no shortage of support. The
crowds were incredible with water pistols, cheers and shouts of
encouragement. As the daylight drew in head torches were deployed and you
could see the bobbing of white lights up in the hills.
Back at base camp the harriers came and went to
change and take on food - chatting excitedly about their laps and the
people they had met along the way.
Around 2am we had a refreshing amount of rain
which really helped cool the tired runners.
As dawn came the campsite awoke with the smell of
bacon and again out came the crowds to cheer us on.
Again and again the runners came and went,
wondering how much further their aching legs would take them. For some
this was the furthest they had ever run.
There are too many people to thank for making this
happen, we even had a couple of runners who really stepped in on the day
Here are the results of the 24 hours of running
Solo - the amazing Ian Sturdgess - 80kilometres
Pairs - Larissa Clarke and Sarah Wanden -140kms
Team of five - Noel Jones, Dean Newman, Richard
Baldock, Fiona Fisher, David Elliott - 270km 10th position overall
Team of 8 - Steve Ball, Rolo Sehdev, Carrie Trail,
Renette Wolvaardt, Noelle Wolvaardt, Dirk Wolvaardt and two wonderful non
Harriers who literally stood in at the 11th hour, Sean Lester and Tess
So that's a total of 773kms of running in 24
Let's do it again next year!!