Endure 24 is a twenty four hour race run over a 5 mile loop of forest trails. It takes place in the scenic Wasing Park Estate, Aldermaston near Reading. A huge challenge, this will push most endurance racers to the limit.
Where: Reading, south England
When: Late June (since 2012)
Distance: As far as you can run! Record for a solo runner – 115 miles in 24 hrs.
Official race website here.
Reviewed by Zoe McBeth in 2014.
- Bring more spare clothing than you think you can possibly use.
- Have shoes for all conditions and spare shoes for inbetween runs.
- Buy the best most powerful head torch you can, it makes a big difference.
- Appoint a team captain to manage the team and make sure they are ready.
- Train for rain, hope for warmth.
- Break the race down into manageable chunks and smaller targets.
Cool race video here…
What’s the organisation and set up like?
After signing up to the event online, you are kept up to date with the latest information via email and a very active facebook page. Any questions were answered quickly via the event website (http://www.endure24.co.uk)
The organisation on the day is incredible. From the minute you drive onto site, you feel well looked after, well catered for and well informed.
Tents could be pitched very close to the run course, with a separate area for solo runners. There was a fully-stocked catering tent providing hot and cold food and drink throughout the entire event and there was also a massage tent providing much needed relief for runners with protesting muscles. There were plenty of toilets and even showers available too.
Out on the 5 mile course there are marshals at every mile or so to help with directions but the signage was good anyway. There are also some pretty glow-sticks to light the way once it gets dark. There is also a feed station at about 3 miles providing water and energy gels/snacks.
What was the course like?
2014’s Endure 24 will go down in history as being something to rival the muddiest of muddy music festivals! To be honest, the fact that it was held on the same weekend as Glastonbury AND the Wimbledon final may have been a bad omen but if anything it made for a wonderfully memorable experience.
The previous 2 years that Endure 24 has taken place have been beautifully clear, warm nights which make for perfect trail running conditions but this year, the puddles and mud were beyond ankle deep for most of the course and it made running quite difficult in places.
Over the 5 mile course you get to run on tarmac, gravel and grass and there are a few sharp little hills but nothing major and for every uphill, you get rewarded with a downhill. The welcome you get at the campsite at the end of each lap is always a great reward too.
How difficult is Endure 24?
The horrendous conditions we had in 2014 made it a really tough challenge which was as much about mental determination as physical strength.
On a clear, warm, summer’s evening it’s no walk in the park though. (You can walk if you want to but it’s not advised!).
For most people, just the goal of completing 24 hours of this challenge would be enough but many runners set themselves a target depending on their ability and whether or not they’re part of a team.
Some of the more competitive runners from community teams really whip around the course. In short, this is a race that you can make as hard as you like!
Mens solo = 115 miles Jacek Latala 2013
Womens solo = 105 miles katie Herrington 2013
Team = 215 miles Parklands Jog and Run
What was the atmosphere like?
The race village at Endure 24 has a real festival feel to it, with huge colourful flags and hay-bales scattered around. Tents are pitched either side of the run course and the last half mile of each lap weaves in and out of campsite so the support you get from spectators is incredible.
The support from fellow runners and atmosphere out on the course is wonderful too; there was always somebody to chat to if you needed a bit of moral support which is great when you are running the 3am shift!
Any recommendations for stuff to do after the race?
Even if you aren’t running right until the end … stay to watch the last runners in. As the clock ticks closer and closer to the cut off, the atmosphere at the finish line becomes very exciting … and VERY emotional.
Then, we recommend a long, hot, bubbly bath!!
My Race Diary
By Zoe McBeth
I was running as one half of a mixed pairs team with my husband Chris, and our target was 100 miles within the 24 hour event but the conditions got the better of me at midnight and I was caught in a huge storm around midnight and I found it very difficult to regain my focus and get back out there so we lost an hour or two getting warm, dry and motivated.
I have no regrets about doing this and we went on to complete 9 laps each resulting in a total of 90 miles between us.
We will be back and we will hit our 100 mile target.
Endure 24 is already booked into my event calendar for 2015 and will form part of my ‘Return of the M(a)c Challenge’. You can find out more about this challenge and see more pictures from this year’s event at www.fb.com/AnotherUltraCrazyYear