Sunday, July 31, 2011

Adidas Thunder Run Conclusion

Midnight Hour
So we have switched to running dual laps i.e. 20Km each and it is now dark.   We are still running and we are both in good spirits

Marcus's Petzl RXP light is literally blinding.  But I was very surprised to find that 99.9% of people had powerful lights.   So running at night was not a problem for anyone, but all of us had to watch our step in the twisty and exposed tree root laden course between KM 6-7.  Very treacherous indeed.   I witnessed 4 falls in front of me.

Gel Exhaustion
On prevoius long distance events (say, over 6 hours) Agata and I both noticed that we reached Gel Saturation whereby we transitioned to water.   Not so this time.  Seems that our breaks left us open to continued Gel taking and we had .... run out!  So by early AM I had to make do with Energy Bars, Protein Bars etc which I strapped to my race belt.  

Did I mention how squiggly the course was.  There are many sections of the course where you can see other runners doubling back almost upon yourself.  See the above route map from Agatas last lap  (Her watch was on Swiss time for the observant!)

Romantic Messages
We kept a pen and paper in the car and so began a seies of romantic messages between us.  At handover there was no time to talk so we wrote little notes to each other that would be read in due course when after the handover we arrived back at the car for a nap.  

Terrible Timing
On several occaisions I was late to meet Agata and vice versa  (I ran faster than anticipated, and then had to wait for her to arrive).  This probably cost us about 15 minutes maximum,  no big deal, just frustrating when you finish a lap, say 5 minutes early then have to stand around waiting for a transition!

The Finish

Buff Man on his last lap

 British Spiderman finishes

 Marcus has finished at last, now handover to Agata

 Agata begins her last lap

Agata at Kilometre 9 out of 10 on her last lap

 Agata crosses the finish line and we are done.

We pick up our medals


 Medals for us both

You are not going to believe this.  But in the mixed couples  (man + woman) section we came 3rd!   We never won any sporting competition ever, so maybe we have found our niche.

Thunder Run 2011 main site
The Thunder Run Results


Marcus and Agata, 22 laps, 220Km ran in 24:34 hours

No serious injuries at all, Day after ... only moderate stiffness.  It is a small miracle.   

One tiny problem:  Marcus put Compede plasters underneath his foot arches.  They melted on the run welding my socks to my feet!  So during the race I could not attend to some nails resulting in 2 bruised toe nails!

Thanks are Due

Many thanks to Jeanette, Jenny and Kathy, and Jenny's parents for providing us with support and encouragement on race day.   Thanks to Adidas for sponsoring the event and our medals.  Thanks to all our friends who made this week back in England very welcoming and memorable.

Now time to fly back to Switzerland.  We are quite sleepy

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Adidas Thunder Run Starting

The above diagram represents the 10Km course that we will be looping around whilst we participate in the Adidas 24 hour Thunder Run.

During the last week we have been visiting some close friends treading that fine line between eating, overeating, drinking and exercise.   We hope that on balance we are certainly no fatter than one week ago when we landed back in England.  Time will tell!

The Thunder run is a 24 hour event starting Saturday July 30th noon and finishing Sunday July 31st noon. There are different forms of participation from solo  (you run for 24 hours on your own) to teams of 2  (our choice) right upto teams of 8 (easy life).

This is the first time we ever participated in a relay and we had the following thoughts:

  • We don't have a tent like it seems everybody else.  Instead we bought some Marks and Spencer pillows and a Continental quilt.  We'll use these in a reclined passenger seat of our Citroen DS3 hire car!

  • We thought about using Porridge as an energy fuel between laps so we bought a fantastic stove from Decathlon and some premixed Porridge satchets.

  • A relay is going to be weird.  In sports events when Agata and I meet up we normally stop and chat.  Here we have NOT to chat and hand over the baton to each other and wave goodbye immediately.  Going to be frustrating?


Porridge obviously!

Setting up our Pitch

We had arrived on Friday night to Catton Hall to pickup our race numbers and also to reserve our spot where we wanted to park our car and setup our cooking facilities.

How rude then when on Saturday morning we saw the above [tossers] who had moved our reservation wood and Karrimat left the night before.  We believe we had the last laugh as we managed to find a shady spot under a tree which provided altogether cooler and superior location.


We tried to locate the water facilities, and the shortest distance from our car  (where we would be sleeping) to the

relay change over point  (by Start/Stop).   That was about 3 minutes.

Marcus just before the race start

Race Start

Due to a technical problem  (Marcus user error) this video has no sound.  Apologies :-(

(If Picasa reports this as unavailable try this YouTube upload)

Starting Out: First Lap
Marcus began the race at noon and was swept along by the crowd running the off road 10Km course in an unrealistic 47 minutes.  What was I thinking!

First Lap Video Report

(If Picasa reports this as unavailable try this YouTube upload)

The Course / Terrain
The course was 100 percent off road.  There was 0% tarmac.  Lots of grass covered bumpy earth, and a few bits of gravel  (less than 1Km).  Absolutely the worst type of terrain for Marcus who would even prefer stony mountains since at least you can see the terrain.    Anyway, it is not raining and in fact is actually a bit too hot for me.

Smart Agata
I came back after my third lap to find the amazing Agata had started the cooker and made lots of Porridge.  I don't know how she did it so quickly but I am glad that she did.   As usual she makes me feel like a lucky guy.

19.40 Video Report

(If Picasa reports this as unavailable try this YouTube upload)

One Loop or Two?
We talked to another mixed couple  (i.e. man + woman) and they advised changing after a single lap.  We tried this, but potentially there is a flaw.  Marcus was so slow to get back to the car and lie down that it was practically time to get up again immediately.  Plus the iPhone alarm does not inspire me with confidence.  If I don't get up then we are screwed since Agata is not allowed to leave the race course to come and wake me up.  Oh the stress :-)

After 6 laps total we switched to a 2 lap per person strategy.  Now we each had to run a 20Km segment but got the benefit of close to 2 hours resting time.

Adidas Thunder Run 2011 Event Manual

Friday, July 29, 2011

T-1 Training

Today is Friday and we have just finished an 8Km tapering run, but in North Yorkshire.  
We are guests of my sister Angela who as usual is an excellent and caring host.

Tomorrow (Saturday 30th July) we are participating in the Adidas 24 hour Thunder Run in Catton

Based on the exploits of the last couple of months Marcus thought it might be close to  "A piece of cake", but we think humility should always be the order of the day so time will tell.

Whilst you can do the 24 hour run on your own we have decided to take it easy and do a relay between Agata and I.  Therefore we only have a 12 hour run each.   Should be quite easy right?

After our morning run it was time to test out the portable Gas stove we bought at Decathlon for under 10 GBP!   We have already bought several different Porridge varieties and I am happy to report that the test Cinnamon Porridge was consumed and was delicious.

So all we have to do today is

  • Make a 4 hour drive from North Yorkshire to Catton
  • Checkin and get our Race Numbers
  • Figure out what the race Baton really is and how therefore to carry it
  • Figure out can we do a Towels on the Beach and reserve our place near the course tonight
  • Get lots of sleep

So that is it really, should be a piece of cake right?

19:30 Friday update

 We arrived at the Catton Hall, Tamworth

 We picked up our race numbers

We staked a spot 

Now, we journey to the Pub for some last minute Wine infused race tactics :-)

Thunder Run Course Map
Thunder Run Mainsite

Thursday, July 28, 2011

T-2 Training

Training: Well the sad news is that my left knee (troublesome over the last 12 months) has picked last night to start hurting. Now this morning it's so painful that even walking is not easy.

Therefore we managed only a 45 minute swim today at the Energise Fitness centre York .  No running!

As we walked through town we found the reason for hundreds of people holding old pieces of c**p and waiting in a disorganised fashion

Pictures of the responsible egg heads who will tell you what your antique treasure is really worth!

With our biblical backgrounds Agata and Marcus felt obliged to stop into York Minster.  This is what we found   (after paying 18 GBP and that does not include access to the Tower!)

The Remainder of the afternoon was spent pleasantly walking around York

Guy Fawkes lived here

 We think he should stand closer to the Minster

(Click to enlarge and perhaps gain a better understanding :-)

Single Speed

Finally a Cream Tea!