For the 12th consecutive year , Mike and Susan donned their Spider-Man & Spider -lady outfits, and entered the pain-zone , otherwise known as TR24. - the Thunder-run , renamed this year as VR24.
Each year we trek up to Derbyshire and join 11,000 people in a field for a weekend of running, eating and silliness, the centre-piece being a 24 hour race . ..simple format...how far can you run in 24 hours. Commonly referred to as the Glastonbury of Running.
This year was somewhat different, as we had a pack of intrepid squirrels alongside us, using a 5,6km greenway-based route, in a relay format ...,let’s just say that fun, frivolity and cake were all free-flowing, and we even now have 2 new ultra runners in the club who ran their first 50k’s during the event.
For Mike and Susan we each completed 85.2 painful miles !! The plan was to do 50 miles each but we got a little carried away (nothing new there )
For me that takes me to 1004 miles in 12 years doing this event ...hopefully my knees hold out to get me to 2000
But most importantly we devoured our body weights in cake , ice cream, sausages and super-noodles
Our routes took in most of the surrounding villages of Stotfold, Arlesey, henlow and Ickleford, but kept coming back to the greenway to meet up with intrepid squirrels, and most importantly pay many visits to Anna’s Cake-Tent (highly recommend and 5-star review on trip advisor )
No ultra would be complete without .....
1. Susan face-planting on a pavement......personally I think it’s a weight-saving tactic if she removes most of the skin from her knees 😆)
2. Lots of singing ...we managed to ruin Bon Jovi, Culture Club and Queen to name a few...I think we scared all the wildlife
3.random food cravings ...at 1am Susan mentioned Shandy Bass (!!!) so we toured all the late night garages in Hertfordshire (unsuccessfully) in a low-alcohol frenzy
4.multiple fancy dress changes
5. A near withdrawal from injury....at 3am , with Susan’s knees looking like Dracula’s buffet, and mikes tendon looking like Jon Bon Jovi’s over-plucked guitar string, we contemplated withdrawing .....but after a heroic ice bath (never again) , 4 pot noodles and a Rustlers Burger (never again even if the world is ending), we agreed to woman/man-up and get out there again.
6. A Killers disco watching the sunrise on Heartbreak hill
7. Me getting my very first wolf whistle...from a bunch of Irish builders in the 2 Chimneys
8. Serenading Mr Tim Banting, ultra-runner extraordinaire, with Adam (Susan) and the Ants
We also recorded a fake documentary for Sky Sports across the day.....I think Susan deserves an Oscar for nailing multiple characters and voices ...when you see her ask her to do her Amy Winehouse ...it’s legendary
So in these days of no-races , this is proof positive that with great organisation (Anna and Matt should have been in charge of Brexit) that a 100% safe (ignoring Susan’s knees) and a whole load of committment, it’s still possible to have a running adventure with a bunch of brilliant friends.
We really need to take some teams to the real Thunder Run next summer
A fantastic un-official, socially distanced un-event! Thanks to all!
I would certainly be up for another, as I know others would be- let's do it!