One of the best races that I have ever competed in was the Adidas Thunder Run. It is a 24 hour team running race which takes places off-road on trails through woods and up and down some fairly big hills.
One team member must be on the course at all times during the 24hrs. Runners must complete one full 10km lap before changing over with a team mate but may run 2, 3 or more laps at a time before changeover. The team with the most laps completed when the clock stops after 24hrs will win.
When I did it we had a team of 4 and I ran 7 laps, at the end we had two injuries so the two of us had to run the last four laps with very little break. Our strategy was to do just one lap each before changing over, this kept the legs fresh and got us around fairly quickly, however, during the middle of the night it became apparent that this did not give us enough time to sleep, as we had to be ready for the next lap after 2.5 hours (roughly how long it took for 3 laps from our team).
What you need to pack for a 24 hour running race:
When doing a 24 hour race you need certain equipment. We had some good and some bad things. Here’s what I think you need:
- Take two pairs of shoes and five pairs of (good) anti-blister socks. You need to take your socks off after a lap, rather than sit in wet socks (which will increase your chance of blisters). Equally, you will not want to put wet socks back on.
- Food and supplements! This is vital. Anything that you can eat quickly and easily without stomach issues. Don’t forget gels.
- A head torch. Running at night through woods can get pretty dark! You will be grateful of a head torch and a spare just in case.
- Things to keep you warm – especially at night. I ended up in a sleeping bag wearing a hat because of the cold at night.
- A tent – vital if you want to get some sleep.
- Sunglasses and sun cream. You never know, the sun might shine, even in England.
- Watches – everyone should have a watch so you know what time you’re expecting to meet people returning from their run so you can get out on the track without a break. You can get a Garmin 110 GPS watch for under 100 quid at the moment here. Bargain.
- Hydration. Water should be provided at bigger events, but you will need bottles or lungs to carry it in. I absolutely love my Osprey Viper pack – it’s perfect for running and cycling.
You should also be ready to run the distances required. If you’re in a team of 4 or less then you may want to consider running two laps each so that the others can rest, refuel and get ready for their next lap.
This is a great event though, good luck to anyone doing it this year, unfortunately I will be out of the country, otherwise I’d have been there myself.