Team Run Leeds Endures 24 Hours
On Saturday a team of 8 Run Leeds runners from across the city came together in Bramham Park to experience ‘Endure24’ – a 24 hour endurance running event – billed as the “Glastonbury for runners” and the first of its kind in north England.
Runners entered the event as a solo, pair or team to run an 8 kilometre loop as many times as possible over a 24 hour period. Each entry category came with a different set of challenges. For example the solo runners had the task of overcoming the physical and mental challenge of moving for an entire day. As a large team of 8 our biggest test was to coordinate the scheduling of runner transitions. This demanded a high level of organisation and awareness to pull it off.
Different members of the Run Leeds team took on the role of organiser; knocking tents and making sure team mates were awake and ready to go throughout the night was a highlight. Before adjusting to night running we had eased into a rhythm of regular runner changeovers; anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Speaking to a lot of runners I get the sense that the visual environment can make or break an event. Heading into Endure24 I had questioned how the repetition of a loop could become draining, even on the prestigious grounds of Bramham Park. It was this expectation that got flipped on its head.
Due to my place in the running roster I took to the trail at dawn, in the day, at dusk and in the dead of night – where we were treated to a ribbon of ‘noctilucent clouds’ – a rare sight! The transition from day to night and back again made running the same route a strange and exciting experience; you were never truly settled and familiar with your surroundings.
Night clouds or noctilucent clouds are tenuouscloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere. They are visible in a deep twilight. They are made of ice crystals. Noctilucent roughly means night shining in Latin.
In the early hours of the morning fatigue and sleep deprivation naturally set in. For those hero’s running solo it would have been 16+ hours on their feet. I was inspired to push on as I passed many walking a section of the course. After all, I was running safe in the knowledge I was going to pass the baton onto a team mate.
As a self-confessed social runner, I love how Endure24 brought together the opposite poles of the running world, in the form of the short and ultra-distance. To those challenging their body and minds to do something extraordinary I feel immense respect and admiration. I’d confidently say that this was reciprocated to people like me experiencing endurance running for the first time. And this can only be a good thing!
‘Team Run Leeds’ brought together 6 athletes from the Farsley Flyers, Bramley Breezers, Mandela Runners and Leeds Girls Can for Endure24. Some are still getting a hang of this running malarkey and a few are settled into it. Despite this difference every single one of them exceeded their personal expectations with times and distances surpassed again and again.
We completed 32 full laps and 160 miles in just under 25 hours. Charlee even pulled a Hollywood move at the end, sprinting over the finishing line with seconds to spare to ensure Josh started a final lap before the 24:00 deadline.
Endure24 delivered a memorable experience the 8 of us won’t be forgetting anytime soon. For any runner in need of a new challenge then this event needs to be on your calendar for 2018 – early bird tickets open today!