Last weekend I strayed away from my normal ‘road’ running and ran in a team of 8 for Marathon Talk at the Adidas Thunder Run.
For those that don’t know (and there may be quite a few out there), the Adidas Thunder Run is a 24 hour trail race based in the woods at Catton Hall on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border. If you’re a crazy nutter you can do the 24 hour race as a soloist, a pair, at team of 3-5, or as a team of 6-8. Needless to say, being my first ever attempt at such an event, I was more than happy to run this as a team of 8.
Having never done something like this before I thought I’d take a moment to provide some commentary around my thoughts and feelings as I ran each of my four 10k laps. I apologise for the industrial language in advance, however I left it in as I think it provides you with a real sense of what goes through the ‘Average Joe Runners’ mind when doing something like this.
These are a selection of my thoughts as I was running the Thunder Run.
Lap #1 – The Beginning
[5,4,3,2,1 –beeeeep]. They’re all cheering, cheering for me. I am a running god. It’s only a 10k lap, this is gonna be so easy. First climb. They’ve all stopped to walk!! What’s up with them, it’s only a small hill. Hang on, this is freaking hard work. Who moved the earth closer to the sun? Seriously it’s gotta be hotter than a camels ar$e. If I die on the Conti Hill will they name it after me? Oh look at all those people running back to the campsite whilst I’m at the top of the hill. I wonder if I could slide down the hill on my ar$e to save me 5 minutes off my lap time? That hill near the end looks small. Fook me, that hill near the end is so freaking huge. Ooo…the finish line, lets get ready to pass the baton. Slap, I’m done.
Lap #2 – The Hunger Games
My team mate should be here any minute with the baton. Jesus I’m hungry. I wish I’d remembered to eat something after the last run. Seriously, I could actually do with some greasy, lardy chips right now. That blokes head looks a little like a burger to me. Stop thinking about food, you only have to run for 50 minutes and you’ll be able to eat again. Ooo team mate here, slap, off I go. I’m so fit, seriously I’m gonna smash this lap. Man this hill is so steep, I think I’ve just been overtaken by a sloth on the climb. Top of the hill…breathe fatboy breathe. That’s better. Aw fuck, another fuckingty, fuck, fuck, fucking hill. Seriously, if this is what Adidas do to their runners then I’m gonna burn those trainers when I get home. Conti Hill, shit…the photographer just snapped me walking, the bastard.!!! Great, lots of twists and turns in the wood and I’m getting dizzy. I reckon I might slide down that hill. Jesus, I’m so hungry I can barely run now. I’m so slow that the song for this lap would be ‘everyday I’m shuffling’. Ah the finish line…right…FOOD.
Lap #3 – Slip Sliding Away
Rain, it’s fucking rained. Ok it’s stopped now but I’ve only brought road shoes because the ground was parched dry and the forecast was sun and heat…then it fucking rained.! Jesus it’s cold waiting for the baton, glad I’m wearing my lightweight running jacket. That’ll keep me warm. Slap, I’m off…it’s dark, glad my head torch is like a lighthouse beacon. Fucking hill..I hate this first hill, seriously I’m sure it’s gotten steeper since the start. Joy of joy, I can barely see the trail, I’m wearing road shoes, the ground is damp and, I’m slipping like a pissed up Bambi walking on ice!!! Fuck me it’s still hotter than a camels ar$e. Why did I bring this stupid lightweight running jacket.? Conti Hill…fuck that, Cunti Hill more like…named after the cunt who decided it was a good idea to run up it!! Shit, it’s freaking dark, there’s no one around me, am I lost? It’s starting to feel like a scene from Blair Witch Project. Is that a pile of stones I see? Out of the woods…I survived..! Fuck you Blair Witch…I SURVIVED!!! Right, follow the line of bobbing running lights back to the camp.
Lap #4 – Victory Is Ours
I feel like shite. 2 hours sleep last night and I’m running again. I really, really, REALLY, want to sleep in my tent but my teammates need me to run and, if I run this then it means we can squeeze one more lap in and beat last years Marathon Talk total. Slap, baton on and off I go…This time I’m running all that hill, NO walking. Fuck that, who am I kidding. Just one small walk won’t kill me. OK, I walked the whole hill but I can make it up on the rest as I’ll feel fresher. Jesus ‘H’ Christ, I’m knackered..I wonder if I walk the whole lap will the team still have enough time to squeeze in an extra lap? Come on Princess, man up. Running again, albeit slow and steady. Cunti Hill…I hate you Cunti, cunting, Cunti Hill..!!! More trails, twists and turns. Seriously, who come up with this route? They must have mapped it out when they were staggering home from the pub pissed one night. I mean, it snakes and loops everywhere.!! Ooo…approaching the campsite now…jesus the crowds are loud.
Well that was pretty much what went through my mind when running, (and I use the term running VERY loosely on this occasion) the 2014 Adidas Thunder Run.
It was tougher than expected but despite that, I will definitely return again next year.