ATHLETICS: Grantham club members tackle 24-hour Thunder Run

Grantham Running Club at Thunder Run 2017.
Grantham Running Club at Thunder Run 2017.
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Grantham Running Club members braved the rain to take part in the 24-hour Continental Thunder Run at Catton Park, South Derbyshire.

The festival-type 10km off-road relay event runs continuous from noon on Saturday through to midday the following day.

With three mixed gender teams of eight and a team of five, with the addition of three solo runners, the club sent its largest contingent ever.

This year’s event started in glorious sunshine but that was soon to change as the rain started shortly after and continued for 16 hours, turning the undulating cross country course into a mud bath. By noon on Sunday, the course was virtually un-runnable, but that did not deter the GRC members who had continued in their pursuit.

Despite the torrential conditions, the faster team of eight, named ‘Grantham RC Blood, Sweat & Beers’, ran an incredible 28 laps, placing them eighth out of 226 teams. Next for the eights was team ‘2 Slow 2 Win but 2 Stubborn 2 Quit’, who completed 24 laps for 44th place, followed by ‘GRC #DBS’ with 20 laps in 138th.

The GRC mixed team of five, ‘Grantham Bling Quintet’, also produced a strong performance, finishing eighth of 99 teams with a relentless 26 laps.

Three members decided to tackle the whole 24 hours solo, with Gav Meadows and Paul Davis each completing in excess of 100km in the muddy conditions.

Despite the extremely challenging conditions, the team-building event was deemed an outstanding success for the club, with everyone leaving with a strong sense of achievement and thinking about 2018 already.

GRC club member Andrew Pask said: “Despite the insane state of the course, the atmosphere was incredible. With whole families coming along to support, the mood in the camp remained positive in tough conditions.

“The noise as members ran past the camp was at times deafening, with drums and loudspeakers all aimed at giving runners a much needed boost.”