Saturday, 22 June 2013

Endure 24 weekend, A weekend of friendship & support , instead of racing.

I had really been looking forward to this weekend for quite a while & it was really strange going to a 24 hour race where I wasn't running, As always I had packed my kit box full of my buff kit anyway as I was intending to do a few laps of the course as training & I had promised our friend Tony I would run a few laps around the course with him later in the race as he was running his first solo 24hour race.

So my job for the weekend was to look after Buffy our springer spaniel puppy & to help Nat be support for Tony her husband, Ben was working at the event for the official Photographers and as our camper van was in for repair we were going to be cosy in our little tent.

I also got to meet up with some more of the Buff team & I got to meet Danny Slay from please check out there website & support these great guys with there fundraising & upcoming ultra expo in Birmingham on the 6th July.

Thanks to Danny I also got to run a couple of legs for a team of 6, which was really enjoyable & it was nice to be able to see the course & run it quick, a special thank you to your lovely partner Susan for the amazing butternut squash cake too.

So back to the race it was great to see Tony was as prepared as I usually am for a 24hr race & he honestly could off supplied most of the field with food & energy drinks, We had a clipboard numbered with laps on it to record his lap times and instructions for when he wanted food & drink & when he would take any rests & change kit. So it was true to say me & Nat were prepared and ready to start shouting words of encouragement to runners (obviously we favoured the solo runners as they rock) & I know what its like to have support it really lifts you.

I really enjoyed been support & it was really nice to be able to crew for people who have crewed for me in the past, Tony & Nat were both part of my Tr24 support crew last year & they were brilliant helping Ben look after me in the race & help me to my victory, so it was great to help them too, I honestly didn't think the following was going to happen at this race though & it really opens your eyes to how difficult & stressful been support can be.

Tony was running brilliant & he was having the perfect race each lap was bang on evenly paced & he looked calm & relaxed & he said he felt fine, each lap we were refilling his water bottles & he was taking food with him & generally we checked to see if he was ok.
I think it was about lap 7 or 8 when he changed his kit & put some warmer clothes on as it was starting to cool down.

By lap 9 it was getting bitterly cold & it was getting to around midnight on the clock Tony was still looking ok but we had decided between us all that after lap 10 that he was going to have a 1 hour sleep as he looked a bit drained (by now this was the furthest he had ever run).
So we all set our watches for 1.30am & I had told Tony that I would run a few laps with him through the night so I was all kitted up to run at 1.30 am .
So at 1.30 am I was straight up and ready to run so of I trotted to their  camper van & as the door opened I was greeted by Nat & a not so well looking Tony within about 20 secs he was shaking & sweat was literally running from his head & he looked awful, Me and Nat really didn't like the look of him so I ran to get the 1st aiders, I honesty have never been so scared in my life & I don't think I have ever run that fast before either,
Luckily I had clocked where the first aid station was and they responded really quickly & they got Tony in a chair and wrapped him up as he was shaking violently, ( even Buffy's dog blanket got used) to try & warm him up & my thermal Buff too.
After intensive checks the paramedics were called as it looked like Tony had hyperthermia & he wasn't responding to well, (all very scary) .
So off to the hospital for Tony to be checked further & a very nervy few hours waiting to hear the news from Nat.
The next morning Tony was discharged after intensive tests & it looks like he may have had a T.I.A too which is quite nasty & we are all hoping that he will be fine,
Luckily after a mad bus & train journey some way amazing they actually both got back to the end of the race & we were so pleased to see them.

Quite alot of my friends have been asking me about Tony since the race and the good news is he is ok at the moment awaiting some more tests & he can do a little bit of running but only for fitness until he has his test results,The good news is that it hasn't put him off 24 hour races & next year he is hoping to go back to endure 24 & kick some butt & run 100 miles . Me & my dad will also be running solo next year so we can keep an eye on you too.
This was posted by Tony on his facebook wall this week & I think its a brilliant saying.

See you at the lightning run next week Tony sorry you cant run in it but it will be great to see you & Nat there.
I think this just shows how important it is to have a support crew, family & friends looking after you & I thank mine for all the support that have given me in the past.

My next race is next weekend at Catton park for the . & I can't wait for this 12 hour race & my dad is solo too.

It's also a good opportunity for me to meet up with Buff & Sueme who both sponsor my kit & are both  going to be at the race , so if you want to grab a buff or a rather cool Sueme t shirt pop over to the tents and see them there.