I’ve done a lot of races over the last few years from 5kms to 24 hour races, but a few have stood out and I wanted to highlight my favourites:
I don’t know if I love or hate this. I’m really proud of my times in the race because I left nothing out on the road, I gave it my all – but it was hard work. I didn’t enjoy the number of people getting in the way at the start, or even the noise of the people lining the route, in fact, by the end I wished the crowd would just go away. The constant noise meant I couldn’t get into my run and the shouts of “go on – not much further” just anger me when I am 5 miles from the end and my legs are burning with cramps. However, on the other hand there is something amazing about starting this race with everybody and I love running through the streets of London – the setting can’t really be beat. It’s not really a ‘race’ for me, it’s an event.
A 24 hour offroad running race. I’ve only entered this as a team – the solo competitors tend to be walking after a few hours and a 12 hour walk after a 12 hour run doesn’t really appeal to me at the moment. There are a few big hills and think carefully about team size – with 4 people if you get an injury or two you can kiss goodbye to any sleep you thought you might get. The atmosphere is great and running through the pitch dark forest at night is a great experience…plus you get a nice t-shirt to be proud of.
This is my favourite race by some way. It’s an offroad, 8 hour, duathlon and it’s set in beautiful countryside up and down big hills. My recommendation is to do it solo, you can enter as a team, but for me it’s all over too quickly because I’m enjoying it so much. If you like offroad racing and want to do something a bit different then this really is it – the cycling sections are challenging but you don’t need a particularly expensive bike; last year I noted bikes ranging from about £200 to £3k. I love Hellrider and hope to fly back from the US specifically to compete next year and I’ll be packing cheese in pitta bread as my 4 hour snack once again!