What is Thunder Run 24?Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Started in 2009 it's a 24hour running event for soloists, pairs, and teams of 3-5 or 6-8. Run as a relay with laps of 10k over an off-road course, one runner per team at a time on the course.
Why? Its brilliant fun! It's not often you get to run in a team and the 24 hour element is a great challenge.
The set upOrganised by Pro-Velo support who have done MTV events for a while. It's well organised and they are learning from each event.
On-site facilitiesThe "village" near the start/finish includes stalls (Buff, Adidas, Hope, Sennheiser in 2011), a large catering tent, a leader board, massage tent (donations for massage), first aid tent,two large tankers of fresh water, shower blocks and flushing toilets. There are portaloos around the campsite. Tempting as it may be to pitch near here it is busy and noisy, the chip mats beeping, generator for the showers and toilets being emptied will disturb any attempts to sleep!
Catering includes drinks, snacks, pasta, baked potatoes, stew, crepes, bacon rolls...lots of choice but at times very busy which means queuing and waiting while they cook more. Take at least some of your own food and drink and facility to boil water.
The showers are good, they have promised more for 2012 to reduce the queues.
The toilets are regularly cleaned and have running water and soap.
The campsite fills up quickly on Friday evening, if you leave it until Saturday to arrive there won't be much space. Send a team member early to mark out space and pitch tents if at all possible.
The courseThe course is open for recce from Friday evening, this can be really useful if you go with someone who has run it before, you can cut bits out and not do the whole 10k.
It's a 10k off-road course on a mixture of grass, wooded trails and gravel tracks. It's undulating and uneven with tree roots and rocks which can be injury causing or trip you up if you're not careful or used to running off-road. It loops around a lot to make up the mileage meaning you will see people on different parts of the course, but it's well marked and marshalled to stop corner cutting! It is narrow in parts but not too tricky to pass people once the first lap is over. There's a water station at half way and each km is marked. Some sections have been given names (eg Fields of Revolt! Tho generally Adidas related.) Off-road running and hill running in training would be useful.
It was very dry and dusty in 2011, road or trail shoes both suitable, but potential to be very muddy if weather has been poor.
The course is chip timed, each runner with their own chip, your lap time starts when the previous team member crosses the mat at the end of their lap.
The first runner is given a wristband as a baton.
Packing list (suggestion only!)
CampingTent (best to have one you can stand in, getting changed with tired legs is difficult enough. Also you will need plenty of space to store your kit, a 3-man tent works well for one person!)
Sleeping bag, mat or airbed, blanket, pillow. Bring an extra blanket, it's surprisingly cold at night, even in 2011 when it was roasting in the day.
Gazebo for shade/shelter for your team
Flag pole/banner/tent decoration if wished
Poles and tape for marking out your team area until everyone arrives.
Torch and spare batteries
RunningTrainers-several pairs for wet/dry, to refresh your feet or to reduce blisters
Running tops, shorts, underwear and socks, sufficient for a fresh change for each lap you plan to do (assuming you're a team runner).
Alternative clothing for different weather.
Number belt or safety pins
Headtorch for night lap-essential. Spare batteries. Extra handtorch can help give more definition to rough ground/roots.
Basically just take as much kit as you can!
FoodIt's a good idea to have drinks and food facilities for each team (or someone to provide if solo), to save queuing at the tents. Hot drinks and pasta snacks would work well.
There is plenty of fresh water available.
Disposable BBQ good for Friday night.
OtherShower gel/shampoo and towel
Glasses/contacts if needed
Flip flops/comfy shoes for between laps and afterwards
Per teamNoticeboard or clipboard and pen to write team plan and record laps.
Make a note of running order, projected changeover time and actual lap time, then you can amend projected time accordingly. Be prepared to modify running order or time as the event progresses.
Laps and between lapsBetween laps change (perhaps into your next set of running gear), stretch, hydrate and eat. Keep moving if you can. Get a massage if something feels tight or hurting. Visit the aid tent if you have an injury, getting strapped up can be helpful.
Work out how you'll know when to be at the changeover pen, eg after runner 1 hands over to runner 2 they wake up runner 3.
Changeover-it can be very difficult to spot your runner as you finish, so agree a sign, shout or specific place. At night it's even worse and the incoming runner can be difficult to identify too, so use a shout or signal. Glow sticks/bracelets might be helpful-we had them on our tents at night for easy spotting too.
Running at nightThis is the fun bit! If you've never run with a head torch before it is worth practising, if only to make sure your torch is bright enough and it stays on your head! If you don't get round to this before the event do a night time recce.
An additional hand torch can be useful for looking ahead and defining the ground.
Take an extra layer while you are waiting for your handover then give it to your teammate when you go out to run.