The Endurun is a 24 hour event that took place at Newcastle Race Course over the weekend. The idea is run as many laps of approximately 10K around Gosforth Park as you can. Five Claremont Road Runners ladies were mad enough to take on this challenge and were daft enough to carry on running through strong winds and torrential rain. The five mad women were Colette Byrne, Elaine Henderson, Julie Dumpleton, Leanne Salem and Nina Jensen. They send this report:
Ok, it may well have been me (Nina) that sent round the info about this race, but Elaine was definitely the one who signed us up. It was sometime around the end of last year and May seemed to be months away. A bit of running, a bit of camping and the weather will be lovely in May……..
May 2nd – 7am – sitting having my breakfast when the forecast came on…..”and here in the north east there will be heavy showers from Saturday evening until around 4pm on Sun”!!!!!!!! What, that’s not what Elaine said the weather would be like, oh well.
9.30am – having arrived at the racecourse and assembled our tent, we thought we’d look around. There was definitely a festival atmosphere bubbling, and we started to feel excited and a bit under prepared as we saw some of the other tents which seemed to have 4 poster beds, their own dining room and kitchens complete with Aga. Even the dogs that accompanied them had their own pop up kennels!!!
Oh I could have brought a camping stove said Julie, I’ve got a windbreak at home said Leanne (she had remembered to bring her pink chair though so that at least she would still be co-ordinated when resting between runs!).
12pm – Colette is the first to go and as those of you who know Colette will know, she’s in it to win!!!! Colette is the Claremont Duracell bunny – she just runs and runs, always with a wave as she passes and a smile on her face. 2 laps later and we are already 20 minutes ahead of schedule thanks to Colette’s speedy 2 laps.
Elaine up next, then me, Julie then Leanne and so we carried on for the next 24 hours……… My Favourite part was the camaraderie of team mates and other competitors (it was very much we’re all in this together) and the Worst was finishing a lap cold and wet and knowing I had to go back out there again in a couple of hours.
Julie thought it was a great adventure of a relay race, marred only by the appalling weather conditions, which meant a constant battle between warming up only to face the wind and rain over and over again! On the plus side, she was personally delighted to overcome her fear of running alone in the dark and despite not being able to find her way out of the car park in the first 500 yards, managing to negotiate the 5.6 miles of wood and trail. The whole team spirit was fantastic and everyone played an important part in keeping each other going! Brilliant fun.
Leannes high from the endurance run was the finish lol.. she ran last at around 5.30pm which she really enjoyed and felt strong.. waiting around and cheering everbody else on was fun to.. but for her next run, which by now was well into the night about 10ish. Pitch black dark and cold, the only light being a head torch! First time running in the dark and it was very strange, scared to say the least she thinks it was her quickest lap, , then again about 4ish on the Sunday morning once again dark, cold and even more scared than before!! The last mile was so long it seemed it was never going to end, when you really wanted it too aswell..it was fun in between the runs with some great company.. unfortunately Leanne felt a bit sick towards the end and ended up leaving at around 8am.. everybody did really well and I am so proud of myself.and of course our team, well done girls.
Next up is a report from Colette….
Having agreed to take part in the run, not knowing anything about it, I absolutely loved it! I was first to go and the first 2 laps were brilliant, I didn’t want to stop! As day became night, I found running in the pitch black absolutely terrifying!!! My imagination ran away with me and I convinced myself there were serial killers hiding out in the bushes!! Night then became day again and I was surprised how alert I was.. think it had something to do with the copious amounts of caffeine I had had!! The morning runs were freezing cold and extremely wet. It was the best feeling finishing a really tough last run then realising the tent had been packed away, thank you Bill, Elaine and Julie!! I would definitely take part in the run again, more so if we had 2 teams which means we could run in pairs as the course felt lonely at times when runners were few and far between. I also hope the course would be made clearer for next year as it was very easy to go off route. However, despite the miserable weather, everyone taking part was really lovely and I met some interesting people along the way. The team spirit was fantastic and I couldn’t have done it without the girls, it was great fun.
And last a few words from Elaine……
As Nina has mentioned it may have been me that signed us up but it was Nina who put the idea in my head. It seemed like a really good idea at the time but the closer it got the more nervous I became. A couple of weeks before we met for a recce run of the course then went for brekkie and discussed our POA…we arranged who was taking what etc and also the order to which we would run in. I didn’t wanna leave my run too late as I thought I would need more time in between runs than the others so I went after Colette leaving a longer break till my next run. Once Colette finished she passed me our timing chip and off I went. Once I got going my nerves all went and after a while I started to relax, then once I’d left the field I sort of got lost, I could either turn left or go straight on, there was no one at all around to follow or ask so I went straight on, kept going then thought, hang on, I don’t remember this on the recce run so I stopped and started looking around, it was then I seen some bloke, dunno if he was involved in the run or not but he said I wasn’t the 1st person to do that and he pointed me in the right direction, back up the field and back on track. I had said I would deffo do 3 laps but if felt ok I would try 4, even if it meant walking/running. After my 3rd lap I felt fine but as daylight approached I started having 2nd thoughts, more so because of the weather, is was still very cold, windy and wet….but Julie said to me I would regret it if I didn’t do it so off came my lovely warm coat and on went my running gear ready for the off when Nina came back off her run. And boy was I pleased I did it, I felt really good about myself for doing 4 laps as I really didn’t think I had it in me. I really enjoyed the whole experience and would definitely do it all again in the hope the weather would be kinder……..I am so pleased we entered it and I think our team, 2 slow 2 win, 2 dumb 2 quit done a fantastic job…….
Finally we would like to thank all our supporters, text and facebook messages too many to mention, and especially Lorna for supplying us with biscuits and sweets and being our swapover spotter even when the heavens opened, Tom and Gill (Tom’s better half), especially Tom who kept us entertained with his producing things out of a hat trick!!!! and Bill who braved the downpours to come and cheer our last lap and also helping pack up the tent in the torrential rain.
We came 13th overall, 4th in our category (out of 8), did 24 laps totalling 134 miles. (Not bad for 5 girls eh.)