Endure 24

For those that don't know 'Endure 24' is an increasingly popular unique event in the running calendar. Mixing serious ultra-running with a 24 hour team relay race and open to people of mixed abilities, it is a challenging but rewarding weekend of trail running. The five mile race route through Wasing Woods is incredibly scenic and ends with a loop around the campsite where the awesome support from your fellow runners never stops.

The race runs for 24 hours, starting on midday Saturday and finishing midday Sunday. The aim is to complete as many laps of the five mile course as you can in the 24 hours. You can run it as part of a small team 3-5 runners or large team 6-8 runners, as a pair.... or wait for it.... SOLO! Some of these 'solos' will keep running almost non-stop for the 24 hours. I have run this event as part of a team twice now and when you see the solo runners out on the course throughout the day and night, fighting their own personal battles, you can only have the utmost respect for them.

The winner of the Male and Female solo events were Paul Beechy and Erika Trevblanche. Paul covering 27 laps of the course (135 miles and breaking the course record in the process) and Erika covering 26 laps (130 miles). 135 and 130 miles respectively....the mind boggles! I mean what does it take to do that kind of running? Who are these people? I watched them both finish at the end of the 24 hours and they were both smiling.... I had to find out more about them! I contacted them both and was thrilled that they were willing to answer some questions on the event and running in general (Thank you guys!) So here goes, meet Paul and Erika:

Paul 75 miles in to this years Oner, eating a well earned bacon sarnie!

Congratulations on winning the solo Endure24 event. It is an incredible achievement to run so many miles in one go. What was the highlight of Endure24 for you? Thanks, it was a great event. There were 2 main highlight this year for me. The first was after about 4/5 laps coming into the field with about a KM to go. I was jogging besides a slightly larger chap that was killing himself to get to the end. Or him that was his entire endure 24, getting to the line. I willed him to run and not stop. That exemplifies what I love about running, we are all out there fighting our own battles whether its 1 lap or 27 and sometimes every little bit of encouragement helps! The second was on the 26th lap where I broke the course record. Just stopping for a moment with the family at the tent for a moment and a breath before running round the last bit of the field was nice! Shaking the previous winners hand (Damo – who is a legend) before heading round the final corner was awesome! J

How did you feel Monday morning? Generally how long is the recovery from an event like Endure24 and when was the next time you ran afterwards? I’m lucky, I tend to recover quite quickly. I walked to pick the kids up from school on the Monday and would have been cycling from Wednesday/Thursday but for a slightly swollen hamstring tendon which I did not want to aggravate. I was running the following Sunday and back on the bike for my usual daily commute to work (14 miles) the day after. Id say for the legs to feel properly recovered takes about 3/4 weeks but I’m used to running feeling crap J

What was the longest you stopped for during the race? Did you get any sleep at all? No sleep, I’m there to go as far as possible. Longest I rested was about 15 minutes about 19 hours in when I had to attend to a hot spot on my foot. Again I’m quite lucky in that the sleep demons tend to leave me alone, at least for 24 hours races they do!

What sort of weekly mileage do you do and is it a challenge to find the time to do all the training? I do anywhere from 40 to 100 miles a week. It all depends on how I’m feeling. I cycle to work too so I’m exercising most days I suppose. I’m not regimented at all, I probably should be. I don’t really have a plan either and races tend to form the bedrock of my long-runs. My longest running week was back in February as part of Paul Ali’s run until you drop challenge where you run the days as miles (1st = 1 miles, 2nd = 2miles). I have a young family but I tend to fit in around them for the most part though I’m not sure my wife would agree J

Do you do any cross-training or take part in any other sports as well as running? I did triathlon for a couple of years before discovering ultra and still cycle to work. I hated swimming though so finding ultra runs gave me an excuse to stop!!

What is the most important piece of equipment you take for an endurance / ultra event? Do you stick to the same brand and style of footwear? (if so what are they?). I love my head torch. Its a Black Diamond Polar icon. The batteries are in a separate compartment so you don’t have the weight of them on your head and 1 set lasts all night. Footware has to be Hoka Bondi’s for everything except super rainy weather when I switch to Challenger ATR’s. I discovered the Bondi’s after last year’s endure24 when the soles of my feet seemed to catch file and I pulled out at 90 miles. I’ve never looked back since. I know they are not for everybody but for me they work really well.

How do you fuel yourself nutritionally during Ultra/Endurance events? (i.e. what you eat and drink, how much of it and how often) Badly!! My go to staple diet consists of branded pepperami’s, primula cheese sandwich thins and new potatoes (jersey royals) cooked until soft and covered in salt. I also hit the gels when I need the sugar. I drink mainly water and zero tabs with the occasional sports drink thrown in. being more of a ‘sweater’ I tend to get through quite a bit of liquid and find the sandwich thins keeps the liquid in place where it can be used. Pre and post-race consists of bulmers cider, lots of bulmers cider. Its amazing at taking away fear and putting much needed fluids back in the body!!!

What is your motivation for running such long distances? I would be the size of a house if I didn’t. I like pushing boundaries and know I wasn’t the healthiest in my late teens and twenties – far too many packs of embassy no 1!!

Were you always good at running and are there any events/goals you'd still like to do? I was ok in middle school / high school I suppose but once I went to uni in Liverpool I committed fully to the dark side and not fitness!!!

I am doing the Thames Trot Ultra 50 next year, have you done this race and what did you think of it if you have? What has been your favourite Endurance/Ultra event and why? Thames trot is awesome. All the go beyond events are. That was my first foray into the ultra world in 2014 (the year of the rain and re-routed courses). I met some really good mates there!! This year we battled the wind and rain all the way, it was amazing. My favourite event though is the Brutal ONER ran by Brutal events. I did it in 2015/2016. In 2015 it was my longest ultra to date. Never having been a coastal person I was just overawed at the route, such breath-taking sights and scenery. Again I met a friend for life there and we did it together this year and are doing the dragons back race next year together. The Oner course is unique, the closer you get to the finish, the harder it gets. I think the 2 mile section of beach at Studland has claimed many an ultra-runner!! Id love to do a ‘two’er’ with a couple of the other Oner regulars but we all have big races this year to get through first!!

What do you do when you are not running? (hobbies/interests etc.) I love to read, I collect comics (much to my wife’s dismay) and spend time with my family more than likely just chilling out at home!

What advice would you give anyone thinking about tackling an ultra and running in general? Ultra is so much more than running. Running is almost secondary to the people that you meet. The only way to really ‘get it’ is to do one, or go and watch the end of one and see the camaraderie between runners. It’s like nothing I have ever experienced. Ironman tri always seemed to be about the bikes or the times, ultra is about the people you meet and help (or get helped by). The only bit of advice I’d give is to tell people to figure it out for themselves, only you know what you can eat, or feel comfy wearing or what meal you can eat the night before a race without having issues and it all changes between the 1st and 100th mile or even the 10th mile!!! Oh there is one exception, Vaseline, everyone should put Vaseline everywhere – everywhere J

Erica

Congratulations on winning the solo Female Endure24 event. It is an incredible achievement to run so many miles in one go. What was the highlight of Endure24 for you? CROSSING THE FINISH LINE W MY THREE COLLEAGUES WHO CAME TO RUN THE LAST LAP WITH ME

How did you feel Monday morning? Generally how long is the recovery from an event like Endure24 and when was the next time you ran afterwards? I WAS VERY SLEEPY ON SUNDAY NIGHT BUT WENT RIGHT BACK TO FULL TRAINING ON MONDAY – I DON’T BELIEVE ONE NEEDS PERIODS OF INACTION AFTER RACES – WHAT I DO IS EASE UP ON INTENSITY AND DURATION, BUT I STILL TRAIN E.G. WEIGHTS .

What was the longest you stopped for during the race? Did you get any sleep at all? LONGEST AND ONLY STOP WAS FOR 9 MINUTES AFTER 22 LAPS (TO CHANGE MY SHOES).

What sort of weekly mileage do you do and is it a challenge to find the time to do all the training? RUN 10 MILES TOTAL DURING THE WEEK AND THEN MOST WEEKENDS TRY TO GET AT LEAST 25 MILES SPLIT BETWEEN SAT AND SUNDAY

Do you do any cross-training or take part in any other sports as well as running? YES – BIKE TO WORK; YOGA; GYM-BASED HIGH INTENSITY SESSIONS (30-45 MINS, 4 TIMES A WEEK)

What is the most important piece of equipment you take for an endurance / ultra event? DIORYLITE REHYDRATE SACHETS AND SALT

Do you stick to the same brand and style of footwear? (if so what are they?) – YES – ADIDAS ADIOS BOOST MINIMALIST, LIGHT WEIGHT SHOES DESIGNED FOR 10KM DISTANCES

How do you fuel yourself nutritionally during Ultra/Endurance events? (i.e. what you eat and drink, how much of it and how often) – NOTHING FOR FIRST 2 HRS; THEN A SMALL SNACK (E.G. HALF A CEREAL BAR) EVERY 45 MINS FOR NEXT 6 HOURS; AT 8 HRS A PEANUT BUTTER AND HONEY SANDWICH AND REHYDRATE SACHET; THEN A SMALL SNACK EVERY 30 MINS; ANOTHER SANDWICH AT 12 HRS; 16 HRS; 20 HRS AND SMALL SNACKS REGULARLY IN-BETWEEN.

What is your motivation for running such long distances? EUPHORIA, RUNNERS HIGH, THE EXHILARATION OF BREAKING A BARRIER IN YOURSELF AND REALISING YOU CAN KEEP GOING FOR AS LONG AS YOUR HEART IS IN IT.

Were you always good at running and are there any events/goals you'd still like to do? STARTING RUNNING WHEN I WAS 30 YRS OLD; LOVE RUNNING; SPARTAHLAON NON-STOP 260KM IN 36 HRS CUT OFF - 2017

I am doing the Thames Trot Ultra 50 next year, have you done this race and what did you think of it if you have? NOT DONE IT – GOOD LUCK J!

What has been your favourite Endurance/Ultra event and why? ONER – THROUGH THE NIGHT – TECHNICAL – HILLY – TOUGH – SELF NAVIGATION

What do you do when you are not running? (hobbies/interests etc.) – READ, WRITE (POETRY), SURF, HIKE, IN SUMMER RUN A KAYAKING BUSINESS IN GREECE FOR NOVICES.

What advice would you give anyone thinking about tackling an ultra and running in general? RUN WITH YOUR HEART; SLOW DOWN – START SLOW, FINISH STRONG; LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND NURTURE IT. USE SALT!