Category: Club News | Date: Jul 2, 2018 | Author: Dave Mullaney
"The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” Phil Jackson (Retired NBA basketball coach)
I thought of that quote over the weekend as we were well into this years Endure 24 event at Bramham Park. Every member of the Harriers that took part gave their all from first lap to the last, and the camaraderie of the team could easily have brought a tear to my eye! Many runners pushed themselves to the limit and ran farther and longer than they have done previously, in conditions that runners would normally have shied away from.
We entered the Cotswold 24 hour event last year not really knowing how well we could do, and whether we would enjoy it. The reality was that we were more competitive than we imagined, and it was the momentum from that event that created the interest from club members to enter the Endure 24 event this year.
There is a definite advantage to having a 24 hour event right on our doorstep in that more club members are interested in attending the event, and we get more supporters along to take in the atmosphere and cheer us on. This and the momentum from last year’s event resulted in the club being able to enter four teams at this year’s event:
‘The Mo Farriers’ Led by Andy Sloan, were our best hope for a podium finish, with some of our faster runners (Scott Hayes, Alex Young, Simon Tordoff and Craig Redmond) planning to run 40 laps over the 24 hour period.
‘Taddy Tastic Ladies’ Captained By Celia McRoyall, supported by Jo Millican, Pip Freer, Liz Mould, Sue Tindall, Angela Wray, Emma Dunn and Becky McGuinness. We put this team together after seeing previous results from other events and realised we had a chance with these talented ladies to potentially be one of the top placing teams!
‘Beer drinkers with a running problem’ were our first team of mixed runners (there for the occasion and a good time!....oh and some running) led by Elspeth Bartlet with Mark Swinden, Keith Smith, Paul Dykes, Emma Triffit, Amanda Apperley, Shirley Steele and Laura Pemberton as team members.
‘Half a bottle of Prosecco and a packet of chocolate Hobnobs’ The name was the inspiration of Abi Carter, so you can tell what her favourite tipple is! It also got a few mentions over the weekend from the race commentator especially with the hot weather, ‘keeping the prosecco on ice’ and ‘not letting the hobnobs melt!’ Anyway, captained by Dave Mullaney, ably supported by Dave Rowe, Ian Saynor, Abi Carter, Elaine Kavanagh, Gail Jamieson, Sarah Cairns and Lisa Sharpe.
We also cannot forget that the club’s ‘man of steel’, Jon Steele was running the solo event. After suffering at last year’s event, he was on a mission to get over one hundred miles over the 24 hour period. Having recently completed the Coast to Coast race, he was definitely on form and capable, it would come down to the weather, nutrition, hydration and his mental state (not much hope then J) over the 24 hours!
So how did we do?
The Mo Farriers were relentless in their pursuit of a podium finish. A team of five fast runners meant that you only had slightly over two hours between laps. As a result that meant that there were few opportunities to grab some relaxation time and ensure you were adequately fed and watered. It was a tough weekend for them so many kudos from us all that they kept their form and composure in a tough and very competitive category to finish third. The top three teams were so close that over the weekend we were at times in first, second or third place. In the end we finished in third place! As you can see from the photos, Mo Farrier was there himself, and clearly excited to be there (too excited!)
The ‘elite’ team of ladies second place was never in doubt after Saturday evening. A strong and consistent performance from them all meant that they had a sizeable gap between them and the third placed team. It was so good to see them on the podium at the end for their second place trophy
Meanwhile the other two teams had some internal competition with Ian Saynor for the Prosecco team and Paul Dykes from the beer drinkers having their own competition of matching their lap count! Both teams did really well with considering we were there purely for the enjoyment, with the Beer Drinkers coming 37th out of 83 teams and the Prosseco guzzlers coming 20th ! Well done to them all. It has to be said that a number of the runners in our teams had never run as much in a 24 hour period (or run in the middle of the night), and pushed themselves when they thought they could do no more. The conditions were not conducive to running, with the route being exposed to the hot sun, but looking at the consistency of the lap times they all were amazing.
Meanwhile, Jon Steele battled on. It is amazing to see the solo runners out on the course, slogging away lap after lap, and even giving us praise for doing well. So it was good to see Jon occasionally, and give him some encouragement!. Being a big guy, running in heat is not easy, but he was on a mission to complete 20 laps. He looked better at night time (I am sure many have said that before!) with the cooler weather making him stronger. We are pleased to say that Jon completed his mission and was one of only 21 males to reach that distance, finishing 16th overall out of 114 entries! By the way…Jon’s fastest lap was 45 minutes!
Overall an excellent result for the club in more ways than one! The social side to the weekend is every bit as important as the running and ask anyone who was there and the answer would be the same that we all had a fantastic time!
Thank you to everyone that came along to either run or support us over the weekend!
Next years race is on the 29th – 30th June. Entries are not open yet, but I am sure we will be in attendance again!
See the results here