Endure 24 2013


On the weekend of 8th-9th June, four teams and one solo runner from 26.2 RRC took part in Endure 24, which is a 24 hour endurance race at the Wasing Park Estate near Reading. The race takes place on a 5 mile course that is a mix of mostly forest trails, rough four wheel drive tracks and grass. The race has a mix of solo ultra runners and teams taking part, which were split into the categories of pairs, 3-5 person teams and 6-8 person teams.

This year 26.2 RRC entered four teams into the 6-8 category, three mixed teams and one ladies team:

26.2 RRC Red Team

  • John Bennett
  • Libby Marchant
  • Laura Perry
  • Richard Goulder
  • Steve Ramek
  • Greg Whiteman
  • Grant Davison

26.2 RRC Blue Team

  • Matthew Pritchard
  • Kate Hancock
  • Javier Fuentes
  • Jaime Fuentes
  • Derek Summers
  • Mandy Brown
  • Ricky Emery
  • Melissa Guler

26.2 RRC White Team

  • Simon Gerrard
  • Rosie Gerrard
  • Kevin Furlong
  • Peter Grecian
  • Matthew Young
  • Natalie Warren
  • Derick Wilkie
  • Howard Brinkworth

26.2 RRC Tutu Team

  • Andrea Bennett
  • Caroline Dawson
  • Maria Cenalmor
  • Sue Garnish
  • Nikki De Sousa
  • Krystal Newbury
  • Ann Bath

To keep the team names simple and prevent the inevitable “I’m not being in the C team because it’s obviously worse than the B Team” arguments, Derick Wilkie and I decided we’d name the teams after the club colours, with the ladies team being the “pink team”. However this only lasted as long as it took Maria to find out, as she hates the colour pink and I am personally quite scared of her after seeing her put Rick Emery in his place at last year’s Endure 24! On race day Andrea Bennett arrived with four luminous tutu’s for the ladies to wear while they ran and the team name was quickly change to the “26.2 TuTu Team”. Ironically one of the tutus was pink and Maria ended up wearing it for one lap! Next year we need to come up with some more creative team names as there were some great ones from other teams, “Chafing the Dragon” being my personal favourite.

In 2010 and 2011 the club had taken part in the Adidas Thunder run which follows a similar format to Endure 24, but with the Thunder Run being located in Derbyshire and involving a 3 hour drive back after severe sleep deprivation and exercise, the club decided Endure 24 was our better option as it is located near Reading. The 26.2 RRC teams this year had a mix of Thunder Run/Endure veterans and a number of club members completely new to the event. We entered 4 teams this year, compared to 3 teams in 2012, so let’s spread the word and try and make it 5 26.2 RRC teams next year! A number of people were dubious about the “fun” part of the weekend, what with having to camp and have nowhere to plug their hair straighteners into, running 15-25 miles and getting very little sleep thrown into the mix. However hopefully now they’ve witnessed Endure 24 for themselves they’ll agree it is a top weekend.

The campsite at Endure opens on the Friday so a number of people arrived early to make a full weekend of it. Derick did a fantastic job of arriving as soon as the campsite had opened and reserving 4 plots so we could keep all of the 26.2 RRC tents together. Even though the event was a lot busier than last year there was still plenty of room for tents and looking at the space available they could probably grow to three times the size and still be ok in future. Wasing Park is a private estate and not a camp site normally, but the organizers had provided toilets, showers and a catering tent that was open 24 hours a day. There were also massages available for a discretionary donation, some stalls selling running gear and a tannoy system pumping out music and race updates during daylight hours.

The majority of 26.2 RRC runners arrived on Saturday morning and it was great that friends and family were also allowed to camp free of charge. So as well as the runners we had a number of supporters present and loads of 26.2 RRC kids who had a great time playing together in some fresh air and greenery rather than sitting indoors in front of a Playstation. With “Camp 26.2” established there was time for some quick team photos and for the team captains to set the running orders for their teams then everyone made their way to the start/finish area for the pre-race briefing. At Noon a hooter sounded and the first runners set off from a mass start cheered on by the whole campsite.

The course starts in the campsite field and quickly joined a tarmac road that went up a steady climb for about a quarter of a mile. Although the surface was nice to run on, the gradient made for a challenging start to the lap as you hadn’t had a chance to warm up and get into your stride befoe you hit the first hill. At the top of the hill just when you thought “oh great that’s over and done with” you turned onto a rough stony path which went on for about 400 metres dropping at first but then rising again. The course had been changed since last year and on hindsight the new course was an improvement as it spread out the inclines better than the one long hill on the previous course. With the different route it was also cool that at this point on later laps that you could look into the valley on your left and see runners coming down the final hill at 4 miles, so at night you could see a line of head torches bobbing along. After the initial climbs the course turned into the forest following rough trails that were very technical, with uneven surfaces, ruts, bumps, tree roots and a few puddles, meaning that you definitely had to watch where you were putting your feet. After running through the woodland for about 3.5 miles the course eventually came back into the camp site, which was probably the most challenging part. Not only could you see the finish but knew you still had a mile to go, but the surface was all grass, very uneven and there was often a wind blowing into your face. However the course did run alongside the tents so it was great to have some support from other runners and spectators to keep you moving on tired legs. The majority of the course could definitely be described as “technical” and the downhill sections on rough stony ground needed to be respected, especially on tired legs. Libby Marchant, Jaime Fuentes and Greg Whiteman all took tumbles and had to visit the first aid tent, with Libby getting gravel extracted from her hand and being told not to shower for 5 hours (not great new when you’ve just finished a run and you’re camping!). The weather was also a factor for this Endure with it being 19 degrees and sunny on the Saturday so the laps until until about 6pm were pretty warm. Although the woodland was shaded, it then became humid at night, then colder in the early morning. The temperature dropped to 9 degrees at night which was fine to run in, but made camping a bit chilly. Personally I had on 4 layers including my winter North Face jacket and was still cold. Although no open fires were permitted, Steve Ramek found some fallen branches that were piled onto Matthew Pritchard’s barbecue to create a brazier.

The race uses chip timing and a rubber wristband as a baton that is handed over to the next runner in the team. Teams use different tactics but we had decided upon our tried and tested “one lap per runner” method. At the start of the race in daylight hours this isn’t a problem but as soon as the sun goes down and people start going to sleep the challenges start. Our tactic was that as soon as you finished your lap you went and notified the person who would be running after the current lap, that they had about 30-45 minutes to get ready and get to the start line. This provided untold opportunities for cock-ups especially when people are physically and mentally tired and it’s the middle of the night. Luckily we didn’t have any major problems this year, although Melissa Guler underestimated how fast Caroline Dawson would run so was in the queue for food during the night when Caroline came in, and Derek Summers was in the loo by the start line when Mandy Brown finished at one point (divorce was mentioned briefly!). Luckily none of these complications wasted more than a couple of minutes as both Melissa and Derek were kitted up and ready to go. I did hear a rumour that Maria woke up the wrong person in her team during the night though! Lack of sleep and lots of exercise makes for frayed tempers and I witnessed one middle aged runner from another team throwing childish tantrum as his next runner wasn’t at the finish line (which was highly amusing for everyone present) and lying in my tent during the night I could hear someone at the start line screaming “Phil”, “Phil!”, “PHIL!!!!”, “Where the *** are you Phil!!!!”.

Personally for me the most fun part of Endure 24 is when the sun goes down and running through the woodland with only a head torch to illuminate the way is great fun. It also shows how much of running is in your head as I found I ran really well and not much slower during the night, probably because I was just concentrating on how I felt and not looking in the distance and thinking “oh bloody hell there’s a big hill coming!”.

As many of you are probably aware this event was club captain Kevin Stone’s first try at an ultra event, with him hoping to complete at least 60 miles in the 24 hours. Kevin split this into three 20 mile chunks, stopping for food and to change clothes/shower after each one. Strangely he seemed to enjoy the experience and has now been converted to the “dark side” of ultra running! I’m sure Kev will write something up on his experiences so I won’t steal his thunder here, but congratulations to him on completing 65 miles (13 laps) in the 24 hours and finishing with a smile on his face.

The Endure 24 race rules state that although the race finishes at Noon on Sunday, if you cross the line in time to get another runner out on a lap before Noon, then they are allowed to finish that lap. This made the end of the race extra interesting, with people pushing themselves in on tired legs to try and get a runner out on a final lap before the cut-off time. All of the 26.2 RRC teams managed to get a runner out on a last lap and kudos to John Bennett, Peter Grecian and Krystal Newbury for forcing their tired legs around the course for one more lap. Peter was injured but still ran, and Krystal and John both put in a fifth lap for their team, so well done to you all.

We knew we weren’t going to win anything this year so we decided to put in one slightly faster team, two balanced teams and a ladies team that was as balanced with the two other non-fast mixed teams as we could get it. This worked really well as the white team finished in 30th place (out of 55 teams) for 6-8 runners category and the blue team finished 31st, with only 12 minutes difference between the teams after 24 hours of running. The Red team that was the slightly more competitive team finished in 18th place out of 55 although as they had 7 runners who were faster it meant the whole team ran 5 laps and more often, compared to our other teams where most runners ran 3-4 laps. The Ladies team finished 7th out of 10 teams in their category.

Full results including lap times were as follows:

2013 Endure24 RESULTS

Pos         Tot Laps               Tot Time                              Team Name

7                 29                       24:11:05                              26.2 RRC TU TU

844         Maria Cenalmor                1              00:47:59

850         Krystal Newbury              2              00:47:29

849         Nikki De Sousa                  3              00:45:44

847         Caroline Dawson              4              00:45:28

846         Andrea Bennett               5              00:43:18

848         Sue Garnish                        6              00:44:05

845         Ann Bath                             7              00:48:42

844         Maria Cenalmor                8             00:50:01

850         Krystal Newbury              9              00:50:13

849         Nikki De Sousa                 10           00:46:34

847         Caroline Dawson              11           00:44:19

846         Andrea Bennett               12           00:44:43

848         Sue Garnish                        13           00:46:59

845         Ann Bath                             14           00:57:55

844         Maria Cenalmor                15           00:53:15

850         Krystal Newbury              16           00:57:20

849         Nikki De Sousa                  17           00:49:48

847         Caroline Dawson              18           00:48:42

846         Andrea Bennett               19           00:49:37

848         Sue Garnish                        20           00:53:12

845         Ann Bath                             21           00:57:45

844         Maria Cenalmor                22           00:55:31

850         Krystal Newbury              23           00:59:28

849         Nikki De Sousa                  24           00:49:46

847         Caroline Dawson              25           00:47:54

846         Andrea Bennett               26           00:46:51

848         Sue Garnish                        27           00:48:21

845         Ann Bath                             28           00:54:03

850         Krystal Newbury              29           00:56:03


Pos         Tot Laps               Tot Time                              Team Name

18                34                     24:39:28                               26.2 RRC RED TEAM

301         Grant Davison                   1              00:43:52

304         Richard Goulder               2              00:35:16

307         Greg Whiteman                3              00:36:51

302         Libby Marchant                 4              00:37:07

306         Steve Ramek                     5              00:34:16

303         Laura Perry                         6              00:52:14

305         John Bennett                     7              00:44:56

301         Grant Davison                   8              00:44:58

304         Richard Goulder               9              00:35:32

307         Greg Whiteman                10           00:37:35

302         Libby Marchant                11           00:36:56

306         Steve Ramek                     12           00:34:35

303         Laura Perry                         13           00:48:54

305         John Bennett                     14           00:47:16

301         Grant Davison                   15           00:51:10

304         Richard Goulder               16           00:38:43

307         Greg Whiteman                17           00:41:13

302         Libby Marchant                 18           00:43:16

306         Steve Ramek                     19           00:36:41

303         Laura Perry                         20           01:07:36

305         John Bennett                     21           00:50:35

301         Grant Davison                   22           00:50:57

304         Richard Goulder               23           00:38:45

307         Greg Whiteman                24           00:44:31

306         Steve Ramek                     25           00:36:32

303         Laura Perry                         26           01:11:09

305         John Bennett                     27           00:48:36

301         Grant Davison                   28           00:48:16

304         Richard Goulder               29           00:38:03

306         Steve Ramek                     30           00:37:48

302         Libby Marchant                 31           00:38:04

304         Richard Goulder               32           00:38:22

306         Steve Ramek                     33           00:38:04

305         John Bennett                     34           00:50:49


Pos         Tot Laps               Tot Time              Team Name

30                31                      24:39:28               26.2 RRC WHITE TEAM

309         Kevin Furlong                    1              00:43:15

313         Peter Grecian                    2              00:40:10

312         Simon Gerrard                  3              00:36:22

315         Derick Wilkie                      4              00:49:44

310         Rosie Gerrard                    5              00:49:01

314         Matthew Young               6              00:41:08

311         Natalie Warren                                 7              00:46:08

749         Howard Brinkworth        8              01:01:05

309         Kevin Furlong                    9              00:42:52

313         Peter Grecian                    10           00:45:29

312         Simon Gerrard                  11           00:36:16

315         Derick Wilkie                      12           00:50:18

310         Rosie Gerrard                    13           00:49:19

314         Matthew Young               14           00:41:09

311         Natalie Warren                                 15           00:47:50

749         Howard Brinkworth        16           01:11:58

309         Kevin Furlong                    17           00:44:09

313         Peter Grecian                    18           00:57:14

312         Simon Gerrard                  19           00:38:39

315         Derick Wilkie                      20           00:54:43

310         Rosie Gerrard                    21           00:57:18

314         Matthew Young               22           00:44:20

311         Natalie Warren                                 23           00:49:32

749         Howard Brinkworth        24           01:07:31

309         Kevin Furlong                    25           00:45:37

313         Peter Grecian                    26           00:41:54

312         Simon Gerrard                  27           00:37:47

315         Derick Wilkie                      28           00:50:59

314         Matthew Young               29           00:42:55

312         Simon Gerrard                  30           00:40:26

313         Peter Grecian                    31           00:54:20


Pos         Tot Laps               Tot Time              Team Name

31                31                      24:42:37               26.2 RRC BLUE TEAM

317         Javier Fuentes                   1              00:44:56

321         Rick Emery                          2              00:37:42

322         Jaime Fuentes                   3              00:41:55

323         Matthew Prichard           4              00:42:14

319         Kate Hancock                     5              00:49:57

740         Melissa Guler                    6              00:52:41

318         Mandy Brown                   7              00:45:23

324         Derek Summers               8              00:45:13

317         Javier Fuentes                   9              00:45:26

321         Rick Emery                          10           00:38:16

322         Jaime Fuentes                   11           00:41:40

323         Matthew Prichard           12           00:42:38

319         Kate Hancock                     13           00:50:41

740         Melissa Guler                    14           00:53:23

318         Mandy Brown                   15           00:48:57

324         Derek Summers               16           00:46:15

317         Javier Fuentes                   17           00:51:41

321         Rick Emery                          18           00:42:45

322         Jaime Fuentes                   19           00:47:42

323         Matthew Prichard           20           00:47:22

319         Kate Hancock                     21           00:56:47

740         Melissa Guler                    22           00:54:50

318         Mandy Brown                   23           00:51:01

324         Derek Summers               24           00:48:43

317         Javier Fuentes                   25           00:53:25

321         Rick Emery                          26           00:44:13

323         Matthew Prichard           27           00:44:50

319         Kate Hancock                     28           00:59:48

318         Mandy Brown                   29           00:56:05

321         Rick Emery                          30           00:44:05

317         Javier Fuentes                   31           00:52:03


Solo Males

Pos         Tot Laps               Tot Time              Team Name                                       Name

37                13                      24:01:07               ME MYSELF AND I                           Kevin Stone

1              00:50:48

2              00:54:56

3              00:59:46

4              01:09:02

5              01:53:06

6              01:17:40

7              01:18:50

8              01:33:07

9              03:08:49

10           01:45:48

11           02:03:39

12           02:24:02

13           04:41:34

It’s impossible thank everyone individually but to mention a few, thank you to:

  • Derick Wilkie for working with the organizers and establishing “Camp 26.2”.
  • The team captains for organizing their teams, adjusting the running orders and keeping people informed on when they needed to run.
  • Richard Goulder for creating the timing sheets that were a big help for calculating running times.
  • Steve Ramek and Rick Emery for keeping Camp 26.2 running.
  • The family, friends and supporters, especially Kevin Parker, Neil Parker, David Pearce (and Alice) who drove down on Sunday afternoon to support us.
  • Simon and Rosie Gerrard for camping with their three young children for the first time (one of whom was poorly) and still managing to juggle them and run 15-20 miles.

This was another fun weekend away with the club and wasn’t all about the running. The banter at Camp 26.2 was great fun and a few beers were sunk in-between laps. It’s impossible for me to sum up all of the banter and amusing stories in this race report so if you have anything you’d like to share you can post them in the forum here. I’ll also create a gallery for the photos from the weekend later today, so keep an eye out for that. Hopefully those who were sceptical on whether any fun would be involved have now been converted and will be back again next year. The club will definitely be entering Endure 24 again next year so hopefully more club members will come and join us. Thanks to everyone involved for making this a great weekend!