Last weekend (22-23 July) saw 3,000 runners coming to grips with a very wet and muddy 24-hour Conti Thunder Run. The prospect of running for 24 hours in difficult conditions was a daunting one…
Mud, Sweat And Cheers At TR24
The event was held over two days, starting at 12 noon on Saturday and finishing on 12 noon Sunday. Now in its ninth year with Continental Tyres as the headline sponsor, teams of three to five and six to eight, as well as pairs and solo runners aimed to complete as many 10k laps within the time limit.
They faced a tough, off-road course at Catton Park, Walton-on-Trent in Derbyshire, which presented a range of challenges. The hilly, multi-terrain was a test of fitness levels and mental toughness, and 15 hours+ of continuous rain pushed mind and body to their limits.
The event started in fine weather with overwhelming crowd support for the runners as they headed out of the main arena. The support was one of several high points of the event along with the camaraderie between the runners. This community spirit was particularly in evidence for solo runners (who included this correspondent) as a mark of respect for their attempt to keep going non-stop for 24 hours.
Rain from 4pm on Saturday turned the course into terrain more commonly associated with winter cross-country races. Runners slipped and slid through the mire, helping each other to stay upright where possible.
The mud didn’t prevent some fantastic performances with Phil Cape of Stone MM winning the solo male category with 17 laps while Kerry Sutton won the solo female category with 16 laps. Stone MM – Flying Fox team was first overall with 33 laps.
Roll on the 2018 Conti Thunder Run!
Photo courtesy of Rachel Wakefield