I’ve done massive million-word waffling race reports for previous Thunder Runs, so this time I’ll just give the condensed version, with another sort-of-TR24-themed post later in the week.
So, the weekend in bullet points…
- Raining when we put up our tents, raining when we took them down. Absolutely perfect weather in between. The course got pretty gloopy in places, and I nearly skidded into nettles a couple of times, but that kind of terrain just adds to the charm of an event like this.
- About a million runners, but this event still manages to feel a bit special and intimate.
- Solos are still amazing, as always. I’ve never met a grumpy solo runner; they’re all either “chatty” or “haunted”.
- Although they occasionally started to pile up a bit, the toilets were emptied and cleaned a few times over the course of the weekend. By festival standards, this makes them super-posh.
- Speaking of the toilets, there was a great moment when a little kid went into the cubicle next to mine. It had obviously just been vacated by someone else because I heard the door close, shortly followed by a squeaky voice exclaiming “Eurgh! The seat’s bum warm!”
- I got called a “media whore” many, many times by a so-called team mate, just because I happened to sport a variety of (stylish and affordable) Born to Plod shirts over the weekend. I think she’s just jealous because her team vest didn’t get finished in time by the little men who slave away in my garden sweatshop.
- A real high point for me was when I ran up behind someone I recognised and, just for fun, shouted “GET OUT OF MY WAY” right in their ear, and it did actually turn out to be be the person I thought it was. That sort of thing doesn’t usually happen to me.
- As pre-run grub goes, I learned you can do a LOT worse than mixing up porridge, chia seeds, almonds and jelly babies. Mmmm… melty rainbow goodness!
- Had a lovely night-time double lap with my mate Rob, immediately followed by midnight Guinness and a ginormous hot dog. Doesn’t get much better than that.
- Although this event tends to bring together runners of all abilities in one great big melting pot of ego-free runningness, it was marred this year by the group of podium-fixated lads who injured a friend of mine by barging her out of their way on a narrow path. Bunch of cockwombles.
- I met up with some great friends, old and new. Also saw a ton of people I follow religiously on twitter, and completely failed to realise it was them, so didn’t grab them for a chat. I’m bloody terrible with faces.
- The medal. A purple hexagon of solid metal with a lovely, reassuring heft to it. I rate my medals based on how good they’d be for beating a burglar into submission, and this one’s a definite winner.
- In summary: Four laps, no training before, no stretching during, no injury after. I’d call that a pretty good result.
See you next year!