This weekend was the Adidas TR24, a 24 hour running event around a 10km loop of the Derbyshire countryside. The route takes you through woods and fields but stays close to the sprawling campsite which means supporters are never far away. Some people talked about the route being hilly but nothing that trail runners wouldn’t be expecting and it is certainly all runnable, should you not be running lap after lap J
There is plenty of support on offer, lots of toilets, showers and water as well. There is also a food tent (although vegan options are largely left to jacket potato with veggie chili or beans), chip van and a few stalls selling running goods. They also had a screen set up this year for the Olympics. Wishing I hadn’t set up the tent so close to the speakers though…
My wife and I had been planning on running it in relays taking one lap on and one lap off through the night but after a traffic accident I had to declare myself out and she opted to run it solo, legend that she is 🙂 This left me in the role of support crew and well placed to enjoy the event and get a feel for what running for 24 hours might entail…
- Food – Make sure it is very varied. I prepared lots of different vegan dishes to keep us going over the weekend, but the meal before was probably the most crucial as it was difficult to feel much of an appetite while running, or on brief stops. Pasta in a spicy sauce went down well, as did salted nuts. The quinoa was good but I may have made too much… It may also have easier to pack it in to ready to eat portions. In future more liquid calories may be the way to go.
- Drink – Water. Lots of water. Chia seed drink was lovely but it needs to be kept cold. I should have made it up fresh there rather than making a bottle in advance. It fermented in the car on the way home and I am still picking seeds of the kitchen ceiling…
- Sleep – Grab it while you can and make sure the tent is as comfortable as possible. Take some time before you set up to make sure you are not too close to any walk ways or speakers – thanks PA guy 🙂
- Mental- My wife hit her target of 100km with two hours to spare! Very impressive on her first ever ultra, especially one she had not prepared to run solo until the last minute. This led to an interesting question – would it have been better to have set a target of ‘100km’ or ‘as far as I can run’? Would she have kept on going past 100km if she had not set that target? She felt that she wouldn’t have done, and without setting that target first she would have stopped after 60km, believing that to be as far as she could go. The target drove her on.
- Support – Without wishing to blow my own trumpet… I would hate to run this thing without any support as I saw some people do. There are people around and food and drink on offer but without someone to talk to and put food in my hand I’m not sure I would fare so well.
- Recovery – she was back running a couple of days later and recovered a lot quicker than after her last marathon. Could a well planned vegan diet be responsible? Your thoughts and experiences welcome
So, would I run it next year… I would love to. But rather than as a mixed pair I think it would make more sense to both run it as solo runners and be there to support each other. Solo runners can leave the course as and when they want to for food or a rest break whereas pairs and teams should have someone on the course at all times. Running it solo would also take the pressure off in terms of finishing your own lap quickly so as not to hold up your partner.
See you next year TR24 J