I call it Glasto for runners. Thunder Run is an annual gathering of runners, their kids, dogs, tents and kitchen sinks. I ran it last year having done the London Marathon only a month or so before so my fitness levels were better then than they are now. This year I wanted to make a short video of the event which I hope you enjoy.
The event is held in scenic Catton Park, Derbyshire and sees around 2,000 runners in teams of 8, 5, 2 or solo chasing each other round a 10k cross-country loop for 24 hours non-stop. It’s not a weather dependent event but glorious sunshine added an extra dimension as we gathered on friday night for a pre-race barbie. Fielding three teams of 8 and two solo pairs meant we had quite a crowd loading carbs and swapping injury stories and general fitness excuses the night before.
Having brought the camera I was out and about quite a bit grabbing snippets of the scenes around me in between my loops. I wasn’t short on subjects either what with red indians, kids, and assorted fancy costumes everywhere you looked and a sunset that came straight from California. In my vid I have tried to show the scale of the event, the scenery and the characters and the fun they were having. The start of a longish run is always a nervous time too and you can see a few focussed and emotional faces on the start line. Id’ve done more night stuff – coffee drinking in the food tent at 3 a.m. etc but crashed out after my second 10k which finished at one in the morning and when I woke up at seven it was daylight and I had to go out again for a third.
The Thunder is for me the best running event of the year. It’s a gathering of folks with little else in common than a love of running; it’s also an excuse to eat more than your body weight in flapjacks and bananas. It’s not just about distance (OK Sandhurst Joggers won with 340km covered in the 24 hours) nor speed either as the army lad who walked 110k with a 50lb Bergen on his back will testify. It’s about the craic and there was plenty of that.