Little Runner Gal

Running, eating, sleeping and all the bits in between

Race Review: Adidas Thunder Run 2015

on August 10, 2015

“…it’s the busiest day of the summer to be on the roads” confirmed the radio, 5 hours into the supposed 2 and a half hour journey to Catton Park, South Derbyshire. It’s OK though, it was p*ssing it down with rain and I was making the journey to camp in a field with a bunch of people I’d never met, and run in circles at random times of the day and night, so it was totally justified! Pulling up at the UKRunChat camp site I spotted a bunch of smiling faces I recognised from running selfies all huddled under the gazebo, hugging cups of tea. Loads of friendly introductions and it was as if we’d all known each other forever. Pop-up tent quickly nailed down and if was off to the pub! We got chatting about the event while waiting for our final civilised meal of the weekend. As I was at Thunder Run last year, I gave a bit of advice on how it all worked but urged everyone to just have a great time and take it all in. One last trip to a luxury loo and we headed back to the campsite to get as much sleep as possible. My pop-up 2 man (yeah right) was bursting with me and my stuff (essential kit, you understand) but I managed to get a few hours kip wedged in between it all. Lucky for us we had 3 camping kettles, and they were put to the test with the Rocket Fuel coffee that morning! IMG_3919 I was first up for UKRunChat Team Alpha (we have a Team Beta too) so I got kitted up in our smart team vest and we all headed down for the briefing. It was busy with all the teams, pairs and solo runners at the start line, so Annabeth (runner 1 for Team Beta) and I got ourselves tucked into the pack and waited for the start gun. IMG_3921 Lap 1 – Saturday 12 noon

Despite the blue sky, the beautiful cross country course was VERY muddy from the rain the day before. Being lap 1 it was very busy on the single track so we walked a lot of the first couple of miles (through traffic and fear of slipping!) together. Being the same as last year, the route quickly became familiar and I remembered all the lumps, bumps, hills and tree roots! IMG_3912 We saw our team mates just after 2km and worked our way through the campsite, over the fields, up the hills and through the woods, with varying levels of mud along the way. IMG_3920We ran the whole first lap together and crossed the line to handover to Joe & Martin, who quickly took off. We made our way back to camp for a well deserved cuppa! A sit around, some food, a good chat and watching the others come and go to do their laps, we were having a great time. The sun stayed out and the rain stayed away. As more people came back we started to discuss the possibility of running double laps the next time we went out, and a few of us agreed we’d like to do it. Howard (our top of the range camp site support) was coming with me for a recreational run on the first of my double laps.

Lap 2 – Saturday 6:58pm

Howard and I set off in matching purple vests. It was hotter and with much less mud this time. And much fewer people. Deep in conversation, we were passing runners all over the place. He’s clearly a fell runner, powering up the hills. I just about managed to keep up and, as a bonus, wasn’t too out of breath! The familiar course was felt good, but I was starting to regret saying I’d do 2 in a row! It would be fine! At the start/finish line, Howard and I parted ways and I continued on.

Lap 3 – Saturday 7:50pm

Having just done a pretty quick (for a cross country) 10k, my legs felt pretty heavy starting out immediately on the next one, but I managed to keep the pace up until the next incline, which I allowed myself to walk…quickly! The twists and turns of the course were second nature now. Frankie kindly passed me a gel and some water on my way passed camp, which I was really grateful of as dots has started to appear in front of my eyes! They did the trick and I ran on, smiling, chatting and passing people along the way.

Never been so happy to see Joe’s smiling face at the exchange area.

And it was off to camp for a cuppa and an attempt at some sleep. I wasn’t to get a night lap, which was both disappointing and relieving all at once.

Lap 4 – Sunday 7:11am

I managed a decent few hours sleep. God only knows how, as the camp behind us must’ve stayed awake all night. I could have updated their white board for them…I’d heard every conversation about every time and every run!

Anyway! I set off again. My legs took a while to wake up and the people around me were weary, but the spirit was awesome and the run was just what I needed. The weather was still OK and the course was cool and springy.

Less cheers and more of a sedate ambiance, it was nice to come back and have some proper breakfast.

On my return, we worked out that a few people wouldn’t be running again, so I;d get in a 5th lap, at the end of the 24 hours, which was good news for me as I fancies 5 laps!

Lap 5 – Sunday 11:32am

The final lap and I really went for it. The course was quiet as everyone had started to finish, but the support was immense.

Ran had started around 10:30 and the course was now very slippery, so it was a fitting to end the weekend how I had began it!

I ran the whole way and thanked and congratulated everyone. Got quite emotional towards the end due to all of the support of the last km around the camp site.

IMG_3908

The event didn’t disappoint, and the people I was with were truly fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer bunch to share the experience with.

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An awesome medal and finisher’s tee to boot!

Massive thanks to #UKRunChat and Adidas Thunder Run. I can’t recommend this even enough….even for someone that dislikes (it has been downgraded from HATES) camping!!

LRG x

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