Thunder Buddies! Thunder Run 24 – Hotter than Hell and Twice as Hilly

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Thunder Run 24, the now iconic twenty-four hour relay in the Derbyshire countryside took place again this weekend. 2,500 idiots running around in circles of absurd steep hills, exposed ridges and technical trails from midday Saturday to midday Sunday. This year Thunder Run seemed to move location from the Derbyshire countryside to the surface of the sun. The race started in blisteringly hot conditions; many a grumble through the nK&D Warriorsext 24 hours focusing on the strength sapping nature of the heat. It seemed to take particular toll on those foolhardy solo runners; although the solo male winner still clocked up well over one hundred miles.

K&D were represented in fine fashion by the Knowle & Dorridge Warriors. The fresh faces of Dave Monk, Darren John, Richard Drakeley, Paul Winwood and honorary weekend member Kate Marsh were full of beans as the buzzer blared over the campsite setting Darren John off on Lap Number 1.

When he competed as a team of eight last year Darren thought a team of 5 this year would be a perfectly sensible idea…. yeah. About that…

The killer was the lack of rest. It takes 30-45 minutes to shower, change, eat, settle down. Then another 60 minutes to prep the poor trotters, get a drop bag ready to handover, get into the relay pen for handover etc. With only 2-3 hours of actual recovery time. With blistering heat this meant the dreaded cramp!  (when Kate rolled over and looked at me doing a butchered Downward Dog Yoga pose in the tent to stretch out two cramping hamstrings at 3:30am just before a 10km leg I may have began to question the sanity of my hobby of choice… – Darren).

Darren managed the distinguished honour of fastest and slowest team lap. The full honour roll is as follows:

  1. Darren John – 47:28
  2. Kate Marsh – 1:03:01
  3. Dave Monk – 1:02:51
  4. Richard Drakeley – 57:41
  5. Paul Winwood – 1:03:21
  6. Darren John – 56:53
  7. Darren John – 1:00:57
  8. Dave Monk – 1:06:06
  9. Richard Drakeley – 1:00:41
  10. Paul Winwood – 1:09:33
  11. Darren John 1:03:00
  12. Darren John 1:22:22
  13. Kate Marsh – 1:10:26
  14. Dave Monk – 1:07:18
  15. Richard Drakeley – 1:07:09
  16. Paul Winwood – 1:20:41
  17. Darren John – 1:27:41
  18. Dave Monk – 1:11:23
  19. Richard Drakeley – 59:53
  20. Kate Marsh – 1:12:36
  21. Paul Winwood – 1:24:54

Considering the team put a sum total of zero hours specific training for the event I think its fair to say they exceeded all expectations; very little snoring and no beers drank.

As an update as to how everyone has fared since: Darren slept for 17 hours and has been eating pizza since 11am on Monday Morning. Kate managed a walk with the dog this afternoon. Dave had work (LOLZ!). Richard somehow drove to Lands End for a holiday (apparently not a cheeky attempt at Lands End to John O’Groats) and Paul has been missing in action – we presume he’s still in the seat at the catering tent eating full English breakfasts.

I’ve forgotten who brought the recovery/sun chair but what a life saver that was! Dave Monk owns a tent that is actually bigger than Buckingham Palace – named Monkingham Palace of course. We learnt that Paul can sprint pretty quickly when he needs to – particularly when he gets to the relay pen and realises he’s forgotten to attach his timing chip and has left it at base camp, and Richard clearly had more in the tank with a sub-hour last lap! Also never listen to Darren when he say’s “nah, there’s only a couple of hills really” when trying to talk you into a race.

"A Couple of Hills"

“A Couple of Hills”

What a weekend. Special thanks to all the friends of Knowle & Dorridge from Brueton parkrun and the local running communities that cheered us on, kept us yakking at 4 am, shared in the pain, blisters, heatstroke, cans of warm coke and stubbing toes on tree roots in the dark.

Anyone interested in the 24 hour event should be aware that it sells out quick. Sign up is Oct. Best to get provisional teams sorted in Aug/Sept. Then you have until July to chop and change.

Thunder Run Official Site

Same time next year?