Brutal Enduro
24th June 2014


Categories: Trail Race

There aren’t many people that will volunteer to take part in a 12 hour enduro with less than 12 hours notice, but we didn’t have to look far before we had RPCC’s Lucy Martlew and Ross Phelan on board. The fact that both had already taken part in the 12km Dirty Dozen and both had another obstacle race the next day shows real commitment and that amazing open-mindedness to say ‘why not’.

Ross Macdonald and I arrived first and set the gazebo up with some makeshift beds and stashes of food. The plan was for Lucy and Ross P to take the majority of the first laps with me and Ross M finishing up with the second stint. This would allow our RPCC half to get to their OCRs on the Sunday and allow Ross M and I to get a little sleep… yeah right!

Starting at 9 pm I took the first lap and enjoyed running around the 10km loop in the light. Coming in with a couple of minutes lead I passed our tag onto Ross P who took off for our second lap. Next up was Ross M with our third and then Lucy with our fourth. Lucy had also brought Ryan Blake, who with less than 20 minutes notice that he was going to be running in a 12 hour enduro, ended up running 30km in total! Pacing Lucy through the night he was a massive asset to the team. Lucy and Ross P continued to take it in turns grinding out lap after lap into the early hours. With jobs done at about 3 am, Ross P jumped into his car to head straight back to Wales and Lucy curled up in a ‘nest’ in her car to sleep.

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For the next 6 hours it was up to me and Ross M. As I started my lap the sun came up treating me to half a sky of darkness with stars and the other half a light glow promising some good weather. There was a low mist clinging to the ground and a fresh clarity to the air, surreal running conditions… and running I was! Whizzing past everyone on the course I almost felt I was cheating to feel that fresh. I started my lap a meager 5 minutes behind the leading team, an amazingly tight margin after 6 hours of racing. Once I finished we were back in the lead and Ross M was waiting to take over.

Over the next few laps we forgot about positions and just ran. Taking it in turns we completed lap after lap as the sun slowly rose. Finishing my third lap I donned my DryRobe and fell asleep properly for the first time. I woke 2 minutes before Ross came through and was soon out running again. I completed a double letting Ross get a longer rest before he completed our 15th and final lap.

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I got a little nipple sore meaning I finished my last lap without a shirt (RPCC will be proud) but apart from that I felt strong completing my 50km in total.

A special mention goes to Steve Hammond who ran the entire 12 hours, completing 70km in total.  His legs may have failed him towards the end but his mind stayed strong throughout. Every time I passed him he had a massive grin on his bearded face, a man who clearly loves life, definitely someone to aspire to be like.

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A great weekend with an unexpected adventure through the night, I couldn’t have asked for better company. Next weekend will no doubt be a more personal challenge but one I am looking forward to nonetheless. Check back to see how I get on; I know I’m looking forward to finding out!


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