Endure 24 is a running event of epic proportions, a place to truly push those boundaries, the Glastonbury of runnning events. The premise is simple, run as many miles as you can in 24 hours on your own or as part of a team. Each year they add runners to the Mizuno Endure24 100 Mile Club, any runner covering 20 laps of more solo will recieve a special Endure24 100 Mile Club t-shirt. They don’t give many away but its a great target to aim for.
The most I’ve ever run to date was 50 miles at the Ox 50 last month, which itself was further than anything I’d ever run before by almost 20 miles. 50 miles is a long way! 20 miles is a long way! Could 100 miles in 24 hours be possible? According to some quick calculations it could be done by maintaining an average pace around the 14 minute mile mark for the duration of the event. Could I do it? Highly unlikely, but always nice to have a long term goal in the back of your mind. A target to aim for and a game plan to work against.
The Endure24 route is an undulating mixed terrain trail loop. It is five miles long making it easy to calculate the distance you’ve covered and how many laps you want or need to do. Although the distance is 5 miles it’s marked out in kilometres for some reason. Out on route there is the Vdub Vibes camper at 4km blasting out the tunes and dishing out shots of energy drinks. There is an aid station at 5k providing water and shot bloks. The route is very clear and well marked out and marshalled.
So, the training, well, erm, what have I been doing for training, getting long runs in and back to back runs, double run days and all of that other good endurance stuff. Yeah, I’ve not done any of that really. I’ve basically been running a marathon a month since September 2016 and ticking along doing 20-30 miles a week in between. Long runs pretty much non-existent, much like tapering! I hadn’t planned to do this, it just sort of happened and I’ve been rolling with it.
My weeks basically shape up like this
- Monday – rest day
- Tuesday – speed work (5 miles fast)
- Wednesday – hills (5-6 miles social)
- Thursday – hills (5-6 miles)
- Friday – rest day
- Saturday – parkrun day (5k fast)
- Sunday – hills (8-10 miles social)
Three weeks of that then chuck a marathon in for good measure, which usually means I drop the Wednesday and Thursday runs, and change Sunday to 26.2 (or longer). That’s it, that’s my training plan in a nutshell. Pretty rubbish really.
These are my ‘long runs’
- 24.09.2016 401 Challenge marathon 390 – 27 miles
- 01.10.2016 401 Challenge marathon 397 – 30 miles
- 27.11.2016 Winter Festive Frolic 27.6 miles (5:21:43)
- 18.12.2016 Portsmouth Coastal marathon (4:58:07)
- 08:01.2017 Resolution run – 26.4 miles (5:16:50)
- 05.03.2017 Malta Marathon (4:47:58)
- 26.03.2017 Queen Elizabeth Spring marathon (5:29:44)
- 30.04.2017 Wickham Whistler – 26.4 miles (5:30:42)
- 05.05.2017 The Ox 50 – 51.5 miles (12:14:26)
This year a group of us from my running club, the Portsmouth Joggers, were all heading up together to take part. PJC had a total of 9 runners taking on the 24 hour challenge solo as well as a pair taking it on as a team. Our 11 hardy runners amassed an amazing total of 665 miles during the 24 hour period running the 5 mile looped course through sunshine, rain and darkness.
- Pauline Dorn 10 laps – 50 miles
- Del Roberts 11 laps – 55 miles
- Hannah Little 11 laps – 55 miles
- Jenny Campbell 12 laps – 60 miles
- George Taylor 13 laps – 65 miles
- Michelle Cuming 13 laps – 65 miles
- Andy Little 14 laps – 70 miles
- Paul Jeffrey 14 laps – 70 miles
- Kirsten Walton 15 laps – 75 miles
- Jonny & Simon Langley 10 laps each – 50 miles. 100 miles total
The runners were supported at base camp (and at various places around the course) by a fantastic crew, Tom and Liz Worman, Clare Fleming, Paula Taylor, Stacey Parry and Angela Langley, not forgetting team mascots Mollydog and Bertie. These guys totally looked after all of us. I had hot food cooked for me, coffee supplied and all my needs looked after at the end of each lap. I certainly couldn’t have pushed as far as I did without them.
It was quite simply a fantastic weekend of fun and running within the PJC family with people pushing their personal limits and putting their endurance and mental fortitude to the test. I am really looking forward to us doing it bigger and better next year and can’t thank everyone involved enough for the support and encouragement day and night. Although we were predominantly running solo we were most definitely a team.
I managed to grind out a total of 14 laps, 70 miles, in 18 hours 35 minutes and 59 seconds before calling it a day. This secured me 46th position in the male solo category out of 118 entrants. Not that it counts for much but I was 1st place out of those that completed 14 laps. I still had 5 hours or so left to push further but by that point I’d had enough, my feet were getting really sore and fatigue had really kicked in. Even though I’d love to have run 100 miles I basically talked myself out of it on that 14th lap and convinced myself that stopping was the right thing to do.
Those 14 laps were a mix of sundrenched running through the woods and being soaked to the bone in the early hours of the morning as it rained fairly solidly through the dark small hours. Head torch running is always fun, when it’s raining it gives you a strange ‘hyperdrive’ perspective on the world, at least it does when you’ve been running for 12 hours and your mind is in a weird place!
At the end of the race, after a massage and some impromptu downtime I handed back my chip, collected my medal and treated myself to a nice big double 99 flake ice cream. It is the best way to finish things off, a nice cold ice cream, the go to fuel of endurance athletes!
Next year that special 100 mile tshirt will be mine.