Let me give you an insight into the world of 24 hour endurance running. It is a strange place, where you actually look forward to eating a small pot of rice pudding at 4 AM in the morning, because that’s the reward you promised yourself for another lap.
So what was Equinox 24 all about? Run round a 10k circuit of fields, hills and grass tracks as many times as you can in 24 hours. It was Groundhog Day on a grand scale! It started at noon on Saturday.
Runners had different strategies, some just ran as many laps as they could, hardly taking a break between them. Those runners generally felt pretty ill by midnight. I adopted a different strategy, after one lap I would have a five or 10 minute break. After a second lap I would have a 20 minute break, and get some food. It seemed to work quite well.
The highlights have to be:
- The camaraderie of all the runners
- The beautiful sunset over the castle (the run is held in the private grounds of Belvoir Castle)
- The amazing sunrise, lifting you out of the night time gloom and creating rolling mists across the lake and fields. A heart achingly beautiful sight to lift the spirits. I never knew how beautiful the sunrise could be after running through the night it was such a relief and so uplifting.
The downsides are:
- You know what’s coming on every lap
- The 4 AM temptation to crawl back into your tent
- The pain in your hips as the terrain beats you, it’s so repetitive
As I came to the finish line, the same finish line I’d run across nine times, this 10th time was my dream of running one hundred K done. I burst into tears, and the event organiser came over and asked me if I was okay. I said of course I’m okay i’ve just run 100 K. He just gave me a massive hug and all the pain disappeared.
I thoroughly recommend this event, but be prepared… It’s rather addictive and you enter the strange world of 24 hour running at your own risk!