Fear of Thunder

Tamsyn running at Thunder Run 2017

Every year, we travel up to Derbyshire for Thunder Run. It is a 24-hour race that involves doing 10km cross country laps. Above all, it’s a really fun and sociable event.

Setting up camp

We usually travel up on Thursday and stay in a nearby hotel overnight, so that we can set up camp first thing on Friday morning. This year, we set up camp quite early as usual before heading back to the hotel, so that we were able to tuck into a hot breakfast. We then washed and dressed to go into town to have a look around. The weather was forecast to be a bit wet, so when Stu and I saw wellies on sale in a camping store, we decided to buy them. This turned out to be our best decision of the weekend!

M’s first race

In the evening there was a hot chocolate run for children. Just before we headed down there, it started raining. I had assumed that the run would just be 100m or so, or that there would be several races for different age groups. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It was 2k (1k out and back), which made for tough going for my tiny runner:

Baby M running

M did the best that she could, but her legs are a bit short for dealing with the rough grass, so she had to have a bit of help! At the end, she was given a medal and certificate.

Getting ready for Thunder Run

This was the first year that the headline sponsor was Continental, not Adidas, and we wondered whether it would make a difference. We collected our team t-shirts. They were a lovely shade of green and were Adidas ones again. I love the colour, but will admit that the design isn’t the best one that Thunder Run has had.

I was in a team of 6: Stu, Pete, Mark, Nicole, Kim and I. Unfortunately, Rikki and Kate (who had both been in the team in previous years) were unable to make it. We planned out our laps and it worked out that I should get a reasonable break overnight, which I was pleased about as I knew that I would have broken sleep with M.

It was cold and rained heavily on Friday night, so M ended up squeezed into the double sleeping bag with Stu and I, which didn’t make for the most comfortable sleeping conditions. I was so grateful that I had packed a hot water bottle and that we had got into bed before it got really cold.

First lap

The event started at midday. I was the second runner to go, so I started at about 1pm. It was quite wet and I was glad that I had packed appropriate clothing and shoes. I took it steady and finished in just over 1 hour. I was annoyed that I didn’t sneak in under an hour.

My second lap was at about 7pm, so I had plenty of time in between laps to sit down, read, and chat with others. Yet again, Rob was doing the 24 hour event solo, but this time he had a partner in the form of Dave. We were watching out for the two soloists, so that we could cheer them on on each lap.

The course has enough variety to be enjoyable. There are quite a few hills, but there are also some flat open spaces and some technical wooded sections… and of course, the whole course feels different in the dark.

Thunder Run course map

Laps 2 and 3

It started raining quite heavily after my second lap on Saturday evening. Stuart did a double lap and then found that the other team members had decided not to risk running because the course had turned into a mud bath. It then took a while for people to get going again the next day. I showered and started packing up our kit when the opportunity to run again came around. I dithered as I really wanted to run more, but I knew that I had to put Stu and M first, so I turned down the chance. It was a little disappointing as I had hoped to equal or beat last year’s total of 50km.

Tamsyn running at Thunder Run
© Peter Lewis

I’ll be back again next year for more!

Have you ever done a similar event to this? Can you recommend any?

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