Race Reports 2015
THE THUNDER RUN #allin24
Firstly on behalf of the team what an incredible experience.......
It all started last October I think. Can’t actually remember who first mentioned about doing it. What I do know is that Dawnie managed to get the team in at around 1-30am in the morning after a few attempts ( well done coach ) original team a little different from the one that started on the day, more about that later. As the months passed by there was a few little chats about the event but nothing too serious. Unforeseen circumstances led to our first team change with an injury leading to our second a bit later on, no matter reserves at the ready.
Months passed and a meeting was called to discuss team running order and what provisions everyone had to take....tent, food, chairs, etc. Hopefully everyone briefed and ready to go.
Two weeks to go and a final team change, sadly Mark was unable to run and his reserve Andrea couldn’t make it either so our treasurer Tracy was asked to step in .Clip board to trainers! yeah go on then why not.......
One week to go, everyone stepping up the running, two 10k runs in a day ,one in the evening with a head torch, everything going fine right up until club run on Thursday round the country park, lets just say the rock won ( will say no more )
Run fast approaching it was time to put the official team in to the organizers, after week's rest and a call from Dawn I said I was willing to give it a go Friday soon came round and the team started to arrive at Catton park, the pitch marked out we set up base camp for the weekend, 3 tents a caravan and debut outing of the clubs Gazebo we were all set. Weather conditions one word - Damp! Not biased but Gazebo best looking there and had a few comments on how well it looked.
First brew had and we decided to have a walk over to registration and take a look at the course, not too disheartened by what we saw, so off we popped to pick up t-shirts and free goodies from the sponsors , Adidas.
Friday evening consisted of finding somewhere to eat and, in the end, Frankie and Bennies was chosen ( not a bad choice by the chairman ). Like a good runner the pre run meal consisted of burgers chips, beer and 2 bottles of red wine on return back to base.
We were woken Saturday morning to glorious sunshine and the apprehension of what lay ahead come mid-day. Three other team members arrived at around 8-30, one team member coming straight off a night shift ( respect Wag ) and were shown around base-camp to get settled in.
Team order .... Bob, Tracy, Nigel, Karen, Dave, Rachel , Paul, Kevin.
12 mid-day arrived and Bob was our first runner on course, quick debrief from the organisers and we were off to a large cheer from all round the campsite. Respect to Bob and Tracy as they were the only two who went round without knowledge of the whole course. Feedback was passed on by Bob on his return to the rest of the team.
The next 24 hours consisted of run, shower, eat rest, support, run , shower, ( you know the rest ) biggest surprise to me was how quick your run came round, and there’s me thinking nice 10k and a lovely sit down for a few hours, What do I know ?!
Got to say the best run for me was my 2-30 am run through the woods with head torch, total adrenaline rush and must be done. Next and final run for me was 8 next morning and after a few hours sleep I have to say this one was hard, this is where I would say it starts to be a mental challenge as well as a physical one. My 3 laps done and team going well we worked out that 3 members if they wanted could do another lap, so after a discussion. Bob, Nigel and Karen kindly said 'yes'.
The weather started to turn for the worse around 10 [on Sunday morning] so none-runners and support team started to pack up to get things away nice and dry . After Karen had finished her last lap in the rain -to well deserved cheers by the team - it was off to pick up the medals.
To sum up, course challenging – organization – well done, toilets, showers - cleaned often, individual experience a must.
Special mention to the support crew, Dawn, Steve, Cindy, Mark and Andrea, without you guys we could not have done it, simple as that ... Thanks from the team!
My last words go to the Team, big thanks to you all for making my first experience of the Thunder Run so memorable, bad toe and all.....
Any members thinking of having a go? Don’t think! Just do it - you will love it!
BRC RESULTS: 27 LAPS ....... 36TH PLACE from 229 teams ..... GET IN!
Tracy Shuff reports on the Stafford 20miler......
As the training so far for this year has one little hiatus, and the weather forecast in the week was a balmy warm weekend predicted, naturally anxieties were bubbling a little on the morning of race day... Will I finish without any thing falling off? and most important not wanting to finish last. But I was reassured when I realised that with the support crew outnumbering the number of Biddulph Club runners in the race what could possibly go wrong? [Guy Martin says that just before trying for a world speed record on a daft contraption -Ed]
So the race began on time with very loud and clear instruction to the runners about safety and the course and let’s just say the rain began at the same time. At first it was just drizzle...Peter Kay rain, also known as the stuff that wets you. After a loop of the Uni campus, an almost altercation with a bus driver who just had to make his time (we outnumbered him so he had no choice but to stop and wait) and out onto the road, we were underway. Plans to stay steady were working and with all the hill training we do round here...(gotta love that bypass!) I was soon up the first climb and into the race. On the way up, loud (what could only be described as) gunshots were heard, to the left of us and I agreed with the runner next to me that if they were shooting the last runners in each lap it was excellent motivation to get a wiggle on.
It was soon clear that the race conditions were exactly what I like. Cold, wet and not inspiring scenery. Yes that’s right I am slightly warped. So I found myself a tall chap with a pace that was just right and settled in behind him to watch people passing me as we dropped down into the village of Salt.
Scenery improved a bit here, a chocolate box picture of a thatched pub on one side and cottages on the other. I quietly gave thanks for living where there are hills and ‘powered’ up each little incline. Enjoyment didn’t last long of course and before I knew where I was, the long road and the airplane at the Military base came into view. Long and straight is all that can describe that part of the route and a kernel of a thought that it would have to be done twice more germinating in the back of my mind.
Shaking that off I looked forward to seeing Kevin Bob and Dave at the 8 mile point and a boost from that with some energy fluid. In my head I could hear Kevin saying to the others “Trace will love this weather” and “I wouldn’t run in this stinking rain”. It’s hard to explain to a non runner that inside your head real conversations are taking place while battling with the elements, but it all adds to passing the miles. It turned out later that I was right and that’s exactly what he said! Heading up that climb again was a good place to crack on and see if the perfect pace setter wanted a tow but he didn’t follow me as I pushed on and I seemed to be on my own for a while. (looking back at the photos on Bryan Dales site I may have been closer to him than is polite in running etiquette so may he was glad to see the back of me) Mile 10 to 13 were eased with a little more company, a lovely lady who I discovered was in the year below me at High School and was happy with tips on running up hills, but the weather got worse....if that was possible. Flooding in the road forcing us to play chicken with the traffic or wade ankle deep is not in any training plan I’ve ever read.
Rounding the corner to the University for Lap three met me with three very soggy supporters but Biddulph flags on the road side gave a much needed boost. Added to that as the very fast runners were coming past I was heartened to get my ‘well done’ returned by all but a couple. When you are not that fast it’s nice to know that quicker athletes can take a second to encourage us 40-something plodders
Seeing the scenery for a 3rd and final time I tried to look anywhere I hadn’t before but nothing new was appearing, just colder and soggier looking marshals. I thanked them (third time) and was a glad to know I wouldn’t see them again, quite sure in the knowledge that they felt the same. With about 3 miles to go, tired heavy legs just kept moving of their own accord, taking me on to that ‘strong finish’ (L Knight) and I realised it was all possible, I wasn’t last and it had stopped raining.
The road into the car park/finish had a bank....how unkind....and as I tried one last blast for the finish I realised what Kevin had been trying to tell me....I was at the end and with a time that was well under what I’d hoped for. Hugs all round from the support crew and Rachel (having waded her way round in a brilliantly quick time) and a dash...yeah right....hobble in side to dry off and have a warm drink. All told, a very different experience from the last time I went to the Stafford 20 .... 22years ago to be precise .... but that’s another story.