At the weekend 28 Totton Running Club members (plus some very helpful support crew) travelled to Aldermaston to take part in Endure 24, a 24 hour relay race. We had two teams of 8, two teams of 5 and a pair.
The pair consisted of Sean and Alice. Alice had stepped in at very short notice because Seans original partner Graham got injured a couple of weeks prior and couldn't compete. We then had Tottons Fab 5 (Gemma, Eamonn, Tony, Kylie & Kevin), Totton's Infamous 5 (Diana, Andy, Emma, Aaron & Josie), Totton's Treats (Alison, Ann-Marie, Janet, Sonia, Deb, Gill, Tina & Lara) and Totton's Super 8 (Steve, Dave, David, Rene, Paul, John, Angela & Damian).
The weekend for many started on the Friday night. We all pitched our tents throughout the day then once the evening drew in we settled down with a pasta meal cooked very kindly by Mike. We had planned a visit to the pub but much to Eamonn’s disappointment everyone opted to walk the course instead. This seemed to take forever but we were pleased we had done it. The evening ended with everyone sat in the gazebo playing a game of Chinese whispers! At 11pm it was lights out and the campsite fell silent (with the exception of our noisy neighbours who appeared to get louder and clearly didnt need the sleep!) and we all fell asleep nervous about the next day.
Saturday began with a cooked breakfast, the arrival of the remaining team members and more tent building! At 11.30am we were all ready to go and we headed down to the race village ready for the race to begin at midday and watch our first 5 runners head off. There was a mixture of both excitement and nerves as the start gun went off. The race had started.
The next 24 hours were a blur. The two teams of 5 had around 2.5 - 3 hours between each lap so it was literally a case of run, change clothes, grab something to eat and then head straight back out to be ready for the next lap. The two teams of 8 were gifted a little more time between laps and they were able to get some rest in between. Sean and Alice planned things a little differently and were both doing multiple laps to offer longer rest periods and time to refuel properly. Runners were coming and going from 'the Totton camp' all day and night with teams were all working together to ensure their next runner was ready. The kettles were constantly whistling and the gazebo was never empty with everyone discussing their laps and the mammoth hill at 5k (which we are all convinced got longer and steeper as the 24 hours went on!), checking lap times and arranging someone to wake them if needed.
As midday drew closer teams were working harder to maximise their lap total potential and the excitement of seeing the 'finish' line was shown on everyones faces as they crossed the line and received their medals. Sean unfortunately got injured while stepping aside to let someone pass when out on his 9th lap and had to call it a day during the night. Alice crossed the line at around 11.30am having finished her 11th lap. Tottons treats sent their last runner off at 11.40am and Tottons infamous Five had all retired at around 10am but Josie found a second wind and headed back out for her 7th lap in time for her to cross the line just before midday. Both Tottons Fab 5 and Tottons Super 8 sent their last runners off with moments to spare. John Mursell had 45 minutes and Kylie had 43 minutes to complete their laps. If they both made it then this meant they could both send another runner off. All laps started before midday counted. The next 45 minutes we all waited, we watched the clock, nails were bitten and at 11.55am the sounds of shreiking from Tottons Fab 5 could be heard all round the camp. Kylie hadnt just made it, she had smashed it! 39 minutes and a mere 10 seconds! Gemma headed off on her last and 7th lap, her heart beating from the excitement! John arrived a few seconds later and Dave Murray was sent on his way. Dave managed to catch Gemma and they both completed the lap together. With 100m to go they were joined by the rest of the Totton teams and they all went over the line together. This marked the end of a very memorable and exciting weekend.
Everyone had such a great weekend. The encouragement during those 'I cant do this anymore' moments is amazing and the TRC team spirit that ran through the camp was brilliant. We are already looking forward to next year and would love more of you to join us next time so look out for emails from Angela if you are thinking of joining us!
The weekend however wouldnt have been possible without our support crew! Special thanks go to Angela for managing our teams, arranging training and doing a big food shop with Mike Mills to give us camp supplies (the porridge pot was a complete lifesaver for me at around 3am on Sunday when I got in from my fifth lap), and to Mike for cooking a big pasta meal for us on Friday and preparing a salad for us to help ourselves to on Saturday. And a HUGE thank-you to Sonia’s husband Steve, who sat up all day and night, with only a very brief break in the early hours, to keep track of all four teams and the pair out on the course, and let us know when runners were expected in. It was really quite cold and unpleasant at times, but he was unfailingly there to cheer us in over the finish mat.
The results have now been published and TRC did really well!
Sean & Alice completed 20 laps between them. Unfortunately they are still showing as male pair so their results are incorrect. This should be updated soon.
Totton's Fab 5 came 10th in the mixed 3 - 5 category with 35 laps.
Totton's Infamous 5 came 32nd in the mixed 3 - 5 category with 30 laps.
There were 79 teams in this category, so great placings
Totton's Treats finished 11th out of 31 teams in the ladies' 6 - 8 category with 29 laps
Totton's Super 8 finished 74th out of 159 mixed 6 - 8 category with 31 laps