So it seems that a group of about 40 of our runners ran a distance of the equivalent of running to Greenland over the weekend as they took on the inaugural HR24 endurance event. For the “set up team” the weekend started on Friday when the build of the GBRC village commenced in a field in nearby Weeley. The main tent consisting of a kitchen (which included a kitchen sink!) and dining table was joined by a variety of tents of all shapes and sizes during Friday and Saturday morning. The main event kicked off on midday on Saturday, the course at this point was pretty much unknown as it was on private land and was only marked out a few hours before the event actually started so it was a step into the unknown. It turned out to be a hilly 2.5 mile off road course ran mostly on grass and shale tracks which undulated through a small portion of the North Essex countryside.
We had a total of 6 teams running in the various team events but more of their performances later. Firstly, I want to tell you about the insane otherwise known as the solo runners of which we had 12. None madder it seems than David Greene, David is more usually seen st the club running XC season where his class is for everyone to see. However, I tip my hat to him on this performance running a remarkable 45 laps of the 2.5 mile course in the 24 hours giving him a total distance of 112.5 miles. It wasn’t unusual during my rest times to look up and see Dave running through Bentley base camp on his way to completing another lap, he was relentless and fully deserved his first place in the men’s solo competition.
Janine Simpson didn’t let the ladies down either completing 29 laps for a total of 72.5 miles and 3rd place in the ladies solo competition. I cannot go much further without mentioning the inspirational Keith and Meryl Scrivenger. It was great to see Keith achieve his marathon distance goal completing 27.5 miles and 11 laps of the course. Every lap that I saw him out on the course he was amazingly happy and encouraging obviously in his element, a fantastic achievement that even made me forget that my legs hurt!
[Keith and Meryl Scrivenger on their way to 27.5 miles]
Our other runners completing the solo event were Ben Finken 33 laps and 82.5 miles, Rodger Alexander 30 laps and 75 miles, Gemma Colling 25 laps (62.5 miles), barbara Law 21 laps (52.5 miles), Davina Swindell 21 laps (52.5 miles) Jamie “Bubbles” Neill 17 laps (42.5 miles), Sue Wright 16 laps (40 miles) and Linzi Iddon 12 laps (30 miles). I salute you all – well done.
The team event saw “Running out of Ideas” finishing second overall and first in the male 5 category. the 5 made up of captain Charlie Keitch, Tom Fowler, Paul Hollidge, Malcolm Jarvis and Gary Parker completed 71 laps and a total distance of 177.5 miles. Keitch’s spreadsheet preparation and 4 lap overnight tactics paying dividends with a superb result. Not far behind in 5th overall and 2nd in the male 5 category were “Young and Gifted” comprising team captain Phil Presland, Joe Alexander, Barry Jarvis, Gary Hill and Scott Young who completed a total of 65 laps and 162.5 miles. Presland’s captaincy, thankfully, was far more laid back when asked the plan for night time swap overs the answer was along the lines of “Go to sleep and guess how long they’ll be on the course and set an alarm” suited the team down to the ground, it also didn’t fail!
Taking the female 5 team crown were “Great Bentley Expectations” with a total of 157.5 miles and 63 laps were captain Vicky Presland, Geraldine Springett, Eileen Shadford, Toni Wilson and Lara Townsend. These ladies did a great job and it seemed that Toni overtook me everytime we were out on the course together. Running in “Socks and Sandals” and finishing in 2nd place in the 6 team category were Debs Cubberley, Karen Skene, Alison Clarke, Lesley Fuller, Liz Jones and Julia French, they completed 52 laps for a total of 130 miles.
Captain Paul Carlisle lead his “Franki Planki and the Four Seasons” team to 59 laps and 147.5 miles. Frank Gardiner, Derek Greenham, Anthea Colsell and Anna Lyon completed their line up. The self-titled “Dream Team” turned out in beautifully crafted orange shirts completed 52 laps and 130 miles, their team comprising of Louise Upston, Jack Wicks, John Bush, John Ferdinand, Mark Crittenden and Luke “Its hilly out there” Groves. Top performances from everyone with plenty of people hitting personal goals and teams performing above expectations set before the race – a brilliant weekend.
[HR24 Group Photo]
Rebecca Conran wore her blue vest whilst running with “Team 2gether” and finished 2nd in the mixed 5 race category completing a total of 62 laps and 155 miles.
I can’t move on without mentioning the support team firstly chairman Russ “This food has got to go” Sharp who with his merry band of helpers in the kitchen were always there with food, drink and support whenever it was needed. Special mentions to Milly Presland (who makes a mean salad) and Alison Clarke’s husband Richard who came into his own with a frying pan on Sunday morning. Then over in the gazebo was Steve Black who must have done as many massages as Dave Greene did laps at all times of the day and night, these certainly helped pretty much every runner get back to the course for more laps. Finally, Rodger Alexander and Paul Carlisle for the Friday set up of GBRC village and Phil and Vicky Presland for organising the weekend for us – top work thank you all.
HR24 wasn’t the only insane event that happened this weekend, there was also the Stour Valley Marathon on Sunday which was completed by both Andulu Mark and Helene Tyler. As Meera says “its a tough old race, you should both be very proud” – yes they should! Taking on a slightly different event on Saturday was Rich Moor who went to Norwich for the steeplechase event where he placed 7th overall of the 2 5k lap event but unfortunately also managed to injure his knee which may put paid to his running for a little while.
Lee Clarkson started the weeks races midweek by taking on race 3 of the Maldon handicap 5k series finishing in 22:14 which was a minute slower than his previous run. As can be expected the turnout at the various Parkruns was down on usual numbers this week; there were 6 blue vests at Colchester Castle this week Meera Rajoo-Oakley leading them home in 22:42 followed by James McCullagh (24:57), Chusa Fructuoso (25:17), Emma Wakeling (27:13), Claudia Keitch (28:52) and Lynsey Apps (29:57). Dave Goldsmith stormed to a first place finish at Clacton seafront this weekend (18:38), followed by Matt Jones (21:49) and Kevin James (23:26).
I’m hoping I’ve got everything covered – it was a great weekend and if anyone is unsure about doing an endurance 24 hour event I can only highly recommend it certainly turning out with a club like ours where there is support and smiles everywhere. When the next one is organised take the opportunity and join in you’ll love it.