As in previous years when we’ve done Thunder Run, we drove up to Catton on Thursday, with the intention of setting up camp early on Friday morning. That gave us Thursday afternoon to go for a long walk with M before having dinner with friends.
Setting up camp at Catton Park
We were up early on Friday and headed to the campsite. All of the spots that were close to the start/finish and next to the course were gone, so we decided to go to a flat piece of ground that wasn’t too far from the start… and also conveniently located for water and toilets. It did mean that we didn’t see friends running by, but everyone had a fairly good idea of how long it would take them to run their laps, so we figured that we shouldn’t have to wait too long to hand over the ‘baton’.
We marked a small area for our friends and then put our tent up. M was fascinated by it… but also wanted to be involved, which is less helpful when you’re swinging a heavy mallet.
The others arrive
Pete arrived as we were finishing setting up our tent, so after he’d set up his tent we decided to go out. Stu and I have annual passes to Marwell which give you free entry to a range of other zoos in the UK, so we decided to visit Twycross Zoo. We figured that it would be something that we could all enjoy and would make me feel less guilty about making M spend the weekend with a group of adults.
After we got back, Clare arrived, so Pete helped her to get set up. We then barbecued some food (well, cooked BBQ food on a gas camping stove). Tim, Sarah and Matthew arrived just as we were dishing up.
It was announced that there was some space in the yoga class, so Clare and I signed up and went over to join in the fun.
It’s really hard to do yoga when you can’t see the instructor and can’t hear them very well either. It was a great addition to the weekend, but if there could be a tiny stage for the instructor, that would help.
The hot chocolate run
In the evening, there was a hot chocolate run for under 12s. Last year, M took part, but she had just started walking and the distance, rough terrain and rain made it tough for her, so Stu carried her for almost all of it.
This year, she’s bigger and loves running, so it seemed like the perfect event.
We started at the back as M was one of the smallest ones there. (There was actually a tiny baby in a sling, but as they couldn’t walk at all, I’m not counting them!) The idea was that children would be wearing pyjamas, but there were clearly a few children who were far too competitive for that.
A fun element was the addition of someone wearing an inflatable T-Rex suit. Some of the children loved it, but equally, there were a lot of children who were terrified and crying – oops!
M thought the T-Rex was hilarious. She also ran most of the event, although I picked her up and carried her around a very rutted bit at the end of the course.
M also waved at lots of the supporters who thought she was very cute. She was the last finisher, but at under 2 years old, I reckon she smashed her age group 😉
In the morning, Pete, Tim, Sara, Matthew, Pickle the dog and I set off for Rosliston parkrun. Initially, I intended to drive to Markeaton parkrun but I get ready early enough. I didn’t mind too much as Rosliston parkrun is another event that I’ve not done before.
I started off running with Pete and Tim, but in comparison with them, I am very unfit.
The course is very pretty. It felt like there were a lot of inclines and twisty paths that were quite narrow. I imagine that on a normal day it’s not too congested. An influx of an additional 1-200 Thunder Runners probably makes a huge difference.
Although I fancied running hard, I also had to remind myself that I’m unfit and that I would have a lot of running to do in the next 27 hours, so I didn’t want to push too hard.
In the end, I didn’t get a sub 30 minute time. Maybe one day I’ll come back and beat that!
Thunder Run lap 1
My first lap was hot and hard. In previous years, I’ve been doing a lot more training, whereas this year I’ve not been running much at all. You can see how hard I was trying by how red my face is in the photos!
It took me 1:12:05 to run my first lap.
Thunder Run lap 2
I’ve not written much about the course as it’s the same as in previous years. At night there were some fantastic lights in the woods. There was also a band setting up to play as I ran.
I knew I would be slower running in the dark – it took me 1:17:38.
Thunder Run lap 3
I was tired by the time I ran my third lap, so I was slower again: 1:18:16. I’ve run significantly faster laps in the past, but I was OK with that.
Overall Brontophobics placed 153/215 teams. We had a great time and I hope I can take part in another team event with the same runners.