There were testing conditions at last weekend's (23/24 July) Conti 24-Hour Thunder Run, with participants producing outstanding displays of running on a tough off-road course in hot weather. The 24-hour relay race has grown in popularity since its inception in 2009, becoming one of the most (if not the most) sought-after 24-hour races in the UK.
This year's event, organised by PVS Events Ltd with Continental Tyres UK as the sponsor, sold out within hours. Viewed as a ‘Glastonbury for runners’, it is known for its camaraderie and party atmosphere, making it a firm favourite with runners of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
The aim is simple: to complete as many 10K laps as possible within 24 hours. There were nine categories for runners to choose from, all of whom had to deal with challenging terrain, changeable weather and sleep deprivation.
Race director Patrick Adams started the race on Saturday at 12 noon, and from then on, it was about number of laps completed until 12 noon on Sunday.
Andy Persson was the solo male winner, completing 19 laps in total, with Helen Duffield crowned solo female winner – completing 16 laps. Kevin O’Holleran and Christof Schwiening were top in the male pairs category with 26 laps. The female pairs category was won by Claire Briggs and Lucy Fox with 21 laps. Nicholas Herbert and Angela Carr won the mixed pairs category with 22 laps.
An impressive 31 laps from Kimberworth Men saw them win the male team of five category, with Dream Team 5F winning the female team of five category (28 laps). ICXC Old Boys were top in the mixed team of five category with 32 laps, and Wonder Runners worked wonders by winning the mixed team of eight category with 36 laps.