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340 miles in 24 hours

During the weekend of 9th/10th June 16 HAC members took on the challenge of Endure 24 in Wasing Park, Reading.

Endure 24 is an event where teams compete over 24 hours, completing a 5 mile trail course as a relay. The aim of the game, complete as many laps as possible, as quick as possible.

This year Hillingdon AC had two teams of eight competing. Team members were as follows (in running order):

Team A

Charlotte Ford

Bryony Lycett-Brown

Debbie Brown

Sam Hurley

Andy Wood

Dennis Carey

Les Brough

Gabriel Seagall


Team B

Lyndsey Browne

Stuart Arundel

Eva Mack

Joel Pope

Zoe Dobbs

Andrew Artemis

Heather Davidson

John Dobbs


Andy “Mr. Organised” Wood took the lead, managing and coordinating us all, which was a challenge in itself. Many of you I’m sure have never seen a white board, a kitchen clock and a hole punch when you’ve arrived for a weekend of camping. That’s because you’ve never camped with Andy before!

Thank you to Andy, Charlotte,  Zoe, John, Dennis and Gabe for securing a top camping spot and putting all the tents up early on Friday morning and putting the kettle on for the rest of us when we arrived.

Once all the Friday afternoon arrivals had been ticked off the whiteboard list, we walked the course and settled down for a Friday evening of tactics, hydration and carb loading. Also known as consuming most of the weekend’s stash of food, beer and Jägermeister. Well, we all needed something to help us sleep!

The race started at midday on Saturday. With teams already decided ahead of time (by 5km time, previous experience and tent buddies), Saturday morning was time to decide running orders. This is when the white board came into its own as the focus of our entire weekend. Team B ran as girl/boy/girl/boy, no one seemed to know what Team A did to decide their order.

Handover point identified and we were off! Lyndsey and Charlotte “I’m not running first” Ford, ran first.

The 5 mile course started on tarmac, up “The Hill of No Return” then onto trail paths which took you up “Heartbreak Hill” and into the woodland, before heading back into the grassy Race Village.

Tough as it was, a “Ska Bar” serving shots of energy drink out of a VW Camper Van and plenty of friendly runners distracted us all (maybe for the first couple of laps anyway).

We all thought we would have quite a lot of chill out time between laps, but by the time you fathomed out the white board you were getting ready for the next lap.

It soon became mandatory to wear a head torch and we each headed out our night time laps – which we all enjoyed more than we thought!

There were so many personal achievements during this event. It was great to see Heather “not so trudgy now” Davidson in her HAC vest again, leaving Dennis ”Bake Off” Carey for dust on “Heartbreak Hill” and Joel’s super speedy laps were a thing of legend, he bagged that massage from Andy Wood very early on.

The race officially finished at midday on Sunday, however any runners out on the course at this time can finish their lap, a tactical way to get another lap in. Kudos to Gabe “Love Island” Seagall, Sam, Eva, Les,  Andy and Andrew for completing the extra lap taking them to 25 miles, after we eventually decided who wanted to do them and a very last minute tactical change which saw Andy complete a 400m dash across the campsite.

The organisers do not allow members of the same team to be on the course at the same, however during the last hour they opened up the very last part of the course so teams could finish as one – probably everyone’s favourite bit of the week.

Squeezing in those extra laps paid off as both teams. 219 large mixed teams took part in the event. HAC Team A finished in 41st  position, completing 33 laps. HAC Team B finished in 17thposition, completing 35 laps.  A fantastic achievement by all, our team work clearly did the trick.

A great weekend was had by all. The challenging course was made even harder by the heat, lack of sleep, the fact you have to be super organised and you really do have to remember to look at that big clock when you cross the finish line, but us HAC’ers are made of tough stuff and we survived (maybe it was the hole punch that got us through).

Thanks to the top supporters Corrine and Chris who came along in moral support, Alan Wells who cheered us on from his marshal point and Hannah Wells who was running for the Mizuno team. A special thanks to Gavin who came to cheer us on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon (thanks for not hiding half way up a hill).