Endure 24

 

24 Hours of running fun

Is it any good?

What a weekend it was!! I’ll not tease you with a literal guessing game of a write up, by hiding my summary towards the end, I’ll simply state that Endure 24 was possibly my favourite running weekend ever, full stop. More fun filled miles than I have ever had before. Would I go again? Hell yes! Would I do things differently? Hell yes! I made every rookie mistake known to the running world. Would I run as a pair? Yes. Would I run in the same pair/ Yes…. But next time I’d love to try going Hans Solo.

Quick tips I wish I’d known

  1. Take plenty of running changes of outfit, I changed about every 6 hours as I was dripping with sweat, and putting fresh clothes on really helped
  2. Take plenty of trainers for different types of conditions
  3. We went to cook all our meals but halfway through the race abandoned the cooking and ate from the event tent
  4. Next time I’d run solo or in a big team, running as a pair is tough 

Training

Some 12 months ago I decided to take my running to a different place and signed up for my first couple of Ultras after completing the recent Longhorn Marathon (my 10th marathon), I trained conventionally as a marathoner up to the Longhorn then started doing back to back weekend long runs. Which finally culminated in Running the 40 mile Dukeries challenge, and then I found myself at Endure 24, the 24 hour running event that took place at Wasing Park (near Reading) in June 2018.

The detail and the boring bits…. The weekend

It’s quite a big event in total there are 250 solo runners (these sell out normally on the first day of the application)

And up to 3300 places for pairs, and teams of 3,4,5, 6. 7 and 8 (except pairs, places are available normally up to the actual event)

I travelled as a group of four: Jane (solo entrant), Nic and myself (running as a pair) and an injured runner Dom who would have been another solo runner (but offered his services to marshal for Endure and crew for the 3 of us)

NOTE: if you do fancy marshalling, it comes in minimum of 6-hour stints, you get a £50 M&S voucher, free hot drink, a free T shirt and a hot meal voucher / or entry into next year’s race

The 3 of us were all Endure virgins… come to think of it we were all 24 hour running event virgins! The longest race between us had been the Dukeries 40 mile up until this race.

We arrived about 4PM on the Friday and headed to the solo / pair camping area, which is right on the start line ( this is a godsend for solo and pair runners as the campsite is enormous and would add many more miles to what was to all ready going to be a long weekend).

After we set up we went for an explore, we had the perfect spot just 50M to the start/finish line and 50M to the rear was perfect for cheering on runners returning out of the forest which helped working out the swap over timings

The runners of the group then went to register (you can also register on the Saturday morning) and we decided to have a walk around the route so the runners had some idea of what they were in for…

   

 

The course

It’s an 8km / 5 mile loop that starts in the main open field, which in turn changes to tarmac, rough ground, forest fire track, knurled grass, and final trippy woodland narrow technical bits and pot hole-y grass. If it’s dry then road shoes are ok but the flint lined tracks did hurt my feet after hours of pounding, if it rains, you’d have to use trail shoes (so I’d take both).

There is a drink (water) station at about 2.5 miles which has water, electrolyte drinks and this year shot blocks gels

The run starts at 12PM on Saturday and finishes at 12PM on the Sunday. You can run as many loops as you like and if you start a loop just before 12PM on the Sunday you can carry on and finish it. In a pair or a team, you can only have one person on the track at any one time, but you can run multiple loops if you wish before handing over to the rest of your team. The handover area for pairs is great, however it’s really cramped for the team handover areas.