Spitfire Scramble 24h relay race

Date:                 15. – 16.08.15

Location:           Hornchurch Country Park,
London Borough of Havering

Category:           6-8 Mix

Team name:      UK Fitness Bloggers

Challenge:         9,4k 24hr off road relay run

The rules:

One team member must be on the course at all times during the 24hrs.

Runners must complete one full lap before changing over with a teammate but may run 2, 3 or more laps at a time before changeover.

The team with the most laps wins.

 

A few weeks ago when the Adidas Thunder Run #TR24 had taken place, I felt a bit sad not to be part of it this year. I was lucky and won a spot from Adidas last year but due to the high demand it was not possible to sign up for 2015.

I love the internet and the new ways of communicating with each other and so it happened to me that a couple of days later I was introduced via Twitter to “UK Fitness Blogger“, a team of bloggers that were looking for someone to join their team in a 24h relay race near London.

 

Perfect, it seemed like someone was listening to my thoughts!

 

I made my way down to the campsite carrying the whole kit in the tube, Friday after work!

All fit into one rucksack and 2 carrier bag + tent:                                         My kit:

– Inflatable mattress, extra matt

– sleeping bag + in-liner + pillow

– Quick-pitch tent

– empty bag for dirty cloth

– one bag filled with fresh cloth

– Toiletries

– Vaseline

– Recovery Protein Powder 3x

– flip flops

– Disposable Raincoat

– First Aid kit

– Light up Balloons for nighttime

– Foot air pump

– NIKWAX Tent & Gear

 

 My running outfit:

– Cap and sunglasses

– 3 Sports bras

– 3 Running tops + spare one

– shorts,

– 3/4 running tights

– long compression tights

– 2 pair of Trail Running shoes

What I forgot:
– warm cloth for the evening
– warm cloth to sleep in

When I arrived at the campsite I managed to set up my tent in seconds and just in time before the big rain shower came down. Unfortunately it was too late to apply NIKWAX Tent & Gear which would have been a big help to make my tent waterproof. In the middle of the night another rain shower hit my tent, I hardly could sleep and when I opened my eyes I had water drops in my face. Definitely need NIKWAX for my next camping adventure!

Beautiful scenery: Can you spot my tent? No? It was the smallest! Left on the far end.

Luckily I could borrow this one, but…

It was a 2 seconds throw up in the air/pitch tent, but 20 min to figure out how to get it back into the bag tent. Sorry, but I wouldn’t recommend this type. It took 3 people to fold it the right way and get it back into the bag. The size I would describe would fit one man. I find it too small for us ladies with all the little extras we have.

 

So excited to meet my team for the first time! Cassie, Corey, Helen and Kat. The other half Alma, Mollie and Andrew were already at the start line. This run is not for princesses! Exactly! Thanks Corey for the super light headband. However when I look at our gazebo and amount of snacks we had, it felt like we were “glamping” not camping.




My pink and purple outfit was not planned! Looks perfect together though 😉

Got this super thin running shirt from TRESPASS to try. It is much thinner than the usual running shirts I know and it felt soft on my skin. Perfectly breathable and quick dry as well. Oh and it had a little pocket ideally for a key. Guess: Where was my mobile?

I’m so happy to be introduced to FlipBelt. This is the solution I was looking for, for a long time. You know that feeling, you’d like to go for a run but don’t want to take anything else than keys, mobile and maybe a bank card just in case. This stretchy quality fabric hip belt fits it all. Full review just follow this link.

The course:

 

Running along tarmac paths, gravel trails, up a short steep hill and along farm and woodland tracks, with changes of scenery and the same challenge at night. 

My goal was to run 3x = nearly 30km (18 miles) within one day.

Challenges:
1. First run:  Daytime, the temperature was hot and slightly cloudy. I saw the chance to push myself to achieve my best run of the weekend as I felt fresh. Risk: having less energy for the other 2 runs.

2. Night run: After midnight, only with a head torch finding the way trough the fields. Naturally being slowed down by the darkness and risk of twisting an ankle.

3. Last run: Morning run after a tiring night. Stiff legs and fatigue leading to insecureness. But I will always push at the end.

UK Fitness Bloggers running order. Wow Kat was rocking it, she did 2 laps back to back at night.

 

12h mid day start: Helen was running the first lap. Easy to spot with the pink headband. Can You see her?

 

Finally after a few hours of waiting at 4:30pm it was my time. Corey did the handover-

 SLAP on my wrist.

 

 

 

The route was scenery and there were inclines. A long one and one short and steep. Not ideal but as you can see on the pic there were some obstacles too. A small bridge, 2 of them which you had to stop for.
Time to take a photo.

Kat stopped her watch and Mollie, off she goes!


The first round was finished by Andrew with a confident handover to Helen sending her onto her 2nd run.


Love this pic with Alma studding the running times and Mollie with her head torch on.

We were all ahead of schedule.

Oh, I could ‘t wait to be in the woods, in the dark. Had to change my head torch last minute as I realised that the one I was testing out for Trespass, was to small and not strong to find my way through the darkness. Very useful on campsite to walk around but with only one light not enough to run with it. I took it with me anyway to have a backup while running.

 

The night run was just awesome, my favourite and the most challenging one! As the event was not as busy as the Adidas Thunderrun, most of the time I was actually running on my own. I really enjoyed the scenery at night and the darkness. As soon as my eyes were used to it, I realised that the sky was beautiful in an ocean blue with little stars to make a wish for.

I was breathing the fresh air and remembering the route I ran earlier that day. In front of me I saw a runner, soon I overtook him and thought you are doing great, Sabine. Suffering from tired legs due to the incline and, oh, it was the 2nd round I was out there. I was also suffering from my right ankle. My weakness.

Running on the trail is better than on a treadmill or street but your angle has to adjust to the ground a lot. I took it a bit easier than during the day and was focusing on my running technique. My core was activated, hip forward and I was pushing from my gluts.

Very proud I finished my first lap with 59 min when I pushed myself but I was as happy as a teddybear when I finished the night run in 1:09h. Both times I had my recovery protein powder afterwards and this time a pair of bacon before I went to sleep.


Sleep? What is that? Well I definitely didn’t have much of it that weekend because it was freezing. Me being silly and using my sleeping back I bought for the Jungle Marathon. Slightly different temperatures, right? No warm cloth with me… I don’t know what I was thinking, probably nothing! So I suffered and woke up feeling stiff and tired.

I hesitated for a second but than heard my name “Sabine, Alma is already on her way and you are next. Are you ok?”

Onto the soft foam roller Corey had with her and I packed another gel in the Osprey 1,5l Hydration pack – Happy, I ran my next 10k (10:30am). During my past adventures I ran with a rucksack/hydration pack before and was excited to test this one out. 
Full product review follow the link.

I prefer to have water with me and being able to drink when I want to.

 

 

The morning run was surprisingly good. To be honest I expected pain in my right ankle and suffering a lot but it wasn’t the case. Yes, I had my ankle suffering but in the same way like at night and actually my legs were doing well. I couldn’t believe it but I felt stronger than at night. When I reached the camp site and had to finish my last 500 meters I saw my team cheering and I did a sprint finish! 

 

Amazing feeling! 

There is always an extra strength left. 

Push yourself and you will find out.

 

 

One last point to say: 

Nutrition is the key! I didn’t train for this event. I’m only running 2x 6km a week. 2 weeks before the event I filled in a spot that had become available in the team. I increased the runs slightly and did 2x 10km the week before the race. Every time I had my recovery protein shake straight after the run. Depending on the length of the run I chose a gel to have enough energy for a strong finish. It works! I had no tired legs aching the next days! I was surprised. Please do not only think how to manage the training schedule, no, plan your nutrition and strengthen your muscle with a faster recovery.  

 


Thanks for reading. All of the above is my opinion, honest and my own one.

3 Comments

  1. Corey @ Learning Patience
    August 21, 2015 / 7:56 am

    Great post, loved your take on it and as I said before…loved meeting you and look forward to more running fun in the future…xo

  2. Mollie M
    August 21, 2015 / 8:52 am

    Fab recap of the weekend. I am so happy we were on the same team. See you in Spain x

  3. Sabine Noebel
    August 23, 2015 / 6:19 pm

    Thank you ladies! Your feedback is much appreciated and I'm looking forward to more challenges with you together. xx

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