Yesterday 6 full and 2 honorary squirrels joined forces to run as many laps of the 4 miles Heartswood Forest/Nomansland Common course as they could in 12 hours.
On a beautiful sunny morning James Drew and Paula Holm got things off to a fantastic start, alternating laps, 2 each, both running extremely strong laps in about 27/28 minutes. They both then nipped home to get on with family duties and Linda Aird took her first turn again running very strongly to complete her lap in about 34 mins. I followed Linda and then nipped home to take Willow the Wondercob (that's what he calls himself anyway) for a little hacklet and put him to bed while my sister, Miranda Summers-Pritchard took over followed by Lindsay Cook, Gary Cook, Sue Foot, Lindsay again then Linda, Miranda, Gary, me (back from horse duty) and Sue all running our second laps and then Linda and Gary running third laps.
We had been in the lead from the start but with our lead varying from nearly 30 mins to just over 5 mins depending on what runners we and our closest rival were running when but by now we were also a lap up so victory was pretty much assured. The goal now was how many laps could we squeeze in...
There were now just over 2 hours left on the clock which meant that to squeeze 4 more laps in we all had to run 30 minute laps. Luckily Paula returned just in time and ran another scorching sub-30 min lap, James then also reappeared and took over from Paula and ran another sub-30. 65 minutes left on the clock. My turn - before starting I left it to the others to decide whether one of them was up for trying to squeeze that one more lap in once I had finished. Not knowing whether anyone would be waiting for me or not and expecting to run about 31/32 I somehow produced a lap PB of the 16 laps I have in total run here over 3 years and slipped under 30 minutes for the first time - and James was ready and waiting to take over from me!
With 36 minutes to run his last lap he didn't need to hurry but still ran sub-30 and we were the victors with 22 laps - 3 laps clear of our nearest rivals!
Meanwhile Gary, Paula, Miranda and I, not wanting to miss the opportunity of trying out our headtorches, did a final, easy lap of honour in the dark!
This was again a fab day out, many, many thanks to Linda, Gary, Lindsay, Miranda, Paula, James and Sue for making it possible. Race HQ is like a mini camp site with team tents popped up all over the place and runners relaxing and having a chat between laps. There is tea, coffee, bacon sandwiches and snacks throughout the day and beer and pizza at the end. There is a great atmosphere, plenty of support for runners, a lovely undulating course, cheery marshalls and it is really well organised, friendly and local. Highly recommended - how about 2 teams next year?!
PS St Albans Striders Team of 4 Men managed 30 laps. That's 120 miles in 12 hours. Or for each runner, 10 miles an hour for 30 miles.
I totally agree that it is a fantastic event. Congratulations to our team on a brilliant performance. Well done Jo on your lap PB (done in the dark!) and for your hard work in putting it all together! 😀
Thanks so much for organising us Jo!
It was such a fantastic day (well morning and evening!) - thank you for letting me be part of the team! St Albans Striders put on such a fab event and the atmosphere was fantastic! Endless pastries, coffee, cake, malt loaf, dates and then beer and pizza! And a medal, t-shirt AND trophy! Thank you for coordinating us all and for your tactical planning!
Absolutely agree with everyone - a fantastic event and a thoroughly enjoyable day - many thanks to Jo for all the organising, and to the other members of the team for such a brilliant effort!:smile:
well done everyone. sounds like a great event that ill defiantly try and do this next year.
Many thanks to Jo and all the runners (it was a hot day and fair play to those who ran in the full heat.. not sure I could). it was a great event with a friendly welcoming vibe.
The effort those solo and team runners put in was quite something to see.
There are a few moments of the day that I will not forget for a while...
One was seeing Paula weaving through the other runners at about twice their speed and blasting up the hill to the handover point (awesome).
Dave of the ‘chas & dave’ pair being white with salt at the end!
The last was the Marshal point at the far corner who put a smile on the runners faces by stringing up loads of coloured Christmas lights and having sound system in the wood! during my last lap (on my own in the dark with only my head torch) to come down the hill to ‘Ace of Spades’ from Motörhead and a proper grotto... brilliant
Credit to St Albans Striders for hosting a great event!
well done you all!! what a team!