Endure24 is a 24 hour solo or team relay race run over a 5 mile trail loops on private country estates. It is described as “Glastonbury for runners” and usually takes place in Reading over the second weekend in June. Of course, this year’s event was cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and so a lady from our club (Fiona Brown) decided to arrange a virtual 24-hour race with runners from the club running a leg (or two as a support runner), with everyone donating money to the NHS in support of their efforts during this terrible Pandemic.
I was asked to complete the first leg, which was at midday on the Saturday and was joined by Michelle Hollins for support. I had planned out a route which started at Weir Wood Reservoir and saw us follow the Greenwich Meridian Trail, cross country, to East Grinstead and then joining the Forest Way to make our way back towards Forest Row and the reservoir.
It was a very hot day and having already run 5km with my girlfriend that morning, as well as a mile from my house to meet Michelle, I knew that I was in for a long and tiring day!
Leg 1 – Saturday 13th June, midday
We received great support along the route, with people from the club taking photos and videos and this continued throughout the challenge with messages being shared in our WhatsApp group as well as on the Club’s Facebook page. Once we finished our leg then it was our responsibility to message the next runner as a way of “passing the baton”. This is exactly how the 24-hour relay continued, right up until midday on the Sunday.
After the first leg I jogged home and refuelled. I had promised our neighbour that we would go out for a cycle along the Forest Way that afternoon and so we cycled along to Hartfield and back – no rest for the wicked!
Following the cycle, there was time for me to grab a small snack before I jogged a mile down the road to meet Ian Watkins who was running the 7pm leg.
Leg 8 – Saturday 13th June, 7pm (support leg)
Ian had planned out a beautiful, but rather undulating, cross-country route and despite the run being early in the evening, the humidity remained! Again, we received great support during our run with more pictures and videos of our effort being taken and shared with the group.
We completed 6.03 miles for this leg, before handing over to the next runner. I then jogged the mile home. That was 19 miles of running for the day and about 10 miles on the bike, so I was certainly ready to consume a big dinner!
Miles, miles, miles!
Now, for those of you who read my last blog post, you will note that I had run a 55-mile week leading up to this challenge. I took a screen shot (see above, middle) following my final run of the day which shows the distance that I had covered within that 7-day period – 71.2 miles. I am pleased to say that I took a complete rest day on the Sunday and my legs thanked me.
The next virtual challenge which the Club has planned is a marathon relay, with 3 teams of 26 runners each running 1 mile (the last runner will run 1.2 miles to make up the official marathon distance). Each team has been assigned a captain who must organise the running order – each runner being assigned a time and day to complete their distance. The challenge is set to take place over a 10 day period from 9am on 27th June with teams tasked to cover the distance by 8pm on Monday 6th July. I shall write a blog post once the challenge is complete.