Thunder Run 24 2014 – part 4

With 2 laps completed I was on the home stretch. I had several hours before my last lap and it was 100% that I’d get a third and final lap done before the end of the event.

Ray decided theta he’d not complete a 3rd lap and that meant that if we pushed hard, we’d still be able to complete 23 laps if the person running that penultimate lap could finish before 12 o’clock. If the last runner starts their lap before 12, it counts.

There was some discussion about whether Aaron or I do the penultimate lap. Based on the times taken to complete the previous laps, there was more likelihood that I’d run a quicker lap but in order to meet the deadline, I couldn’t blow up on the course. However, with Laura ahead of her schedule and Charlotte running well, there was some leeway.

In order to make sure I completed the 10k lap in time, Chris kindly offered to keep me company and pace me around. As we set off, he kindly let me set the pace. However, it wasn’t long until he was beasting me around!! Lots of great advice was imparted as we negotiated the course. It really helped having the company and although I know I’d have got back to the finish in time, I’d not have completed it in the time I did. 1 hour and 2 minutes. It was my best lap by over 3 minutes. Not bad given the sun was out again.

I think the best bit of that lap was the roars of encouragement from spectators on the last incline before the finish. There was simply no way they’d let you walk up the hill and the roar I got helped me drive up the hill. As I went over the brow of the hill, I knew that the end was just around the corner and I revved my engine and sped up. I wanted to finish in style and ‘pegged it’ to the line. Chris said he struggled to keep up but I think he was being kind and possibly feeling a little slower than usual having completed 45km in 24 hours.

As I handed the baton onto Aaron, I slowed and walked off the course expecting Chris to follow me but instead he ran after Aaron to complete a 5th lap. I half-wished I’d followed him but also am glad I didn’t.

As Aaron and Chris completed the last lap for the team, I started to pack my things and thing about heading home. Some of the LRR participants had started their journey home already and Rolly and his family were enjoying their trip to Alton Towers.

We couldn’t collect our finishers medal until after midday when the event officially finished but that was fine. We were in no real rush to head home as we expected there to be a queue of traffic leaving the camp site.

When Aaron and Chris got back at the end of their lap, it was great to think we’d completed our challenge. It was great to be part of a team and achieve something together even though many of us didn’t know each other that well. It was also great to be surrounded by lots of LRR friends and share their weekend. They’re a great bunch of people, all very encouraging and friendly.

I’d love to do the event again but next year, the event will probably fall on Connor’s birthday weekend which will probably mean I’ll have to miss it. However, the team already have plans for a muddy obstacle course event later this year and, hopefully, Endure 24 next June. I can’t wait!

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