It was Thunder Run this weekend and I was there. Two years ago, I couldn’t run for a bus, and this weekend I took part in a 24-hour endurance race. Admittedly in the easiest possible category (teams of 6 to 8) but even so, it entailed 30km of hilly trail running, of which 20km were in the dark.
Two things have turned me into a runner: Janathon and parkrun. The former introduced me to the wonders of the online running community, and the latter has kept me running week in, week out even when my mojo is on holiday.
I’ll leave others to tell you about the course in detail (trail, hills, tricky descents and tree roots will almost certainly feature). My abiding memories will be of the people.
When the idea of entering Thunder Run first came up, the plan was to make it an ‘athoner meet-up. As injuries and real-lives got in the way, the links became more and more tenuous, and the final team was as follows:
The race was underway before everyone had been formally introduced and it was over before all seven of us had ever been in the same place at the same time. It was ludicrous and fabulous and I would do it all again, for each and every one of my team mates was fantastic.
Not only but also
As well as the ‘athoners in my team, I also ran into Soozie, Tony parkrunner and David, although I didn’t manage to spot Duncan who was in a team of three and thus out on the course or out like a light for most of the race. From my parkrun life there were the Huddersfield Bunnies (Yorkshire Longest parkrun) and the Cannon Hill mob (Reykjavik) and there were also some Windmilers competing in a team of five who provided welcome support on the course as they overtook and vanished into the distance.
Everywhere I looked, there were familiar faces, and they helped to turn what could have been a daunting weekend into 48 hours of fun.
Will I go back next year? Very possibly. And if I do, I’m taking a bigger tent. Or a winnebago.