The guys and girls you’ll be running with and sharing the experience with are vitally important to you. Make sure that everyone in the team has the same kind of goal in mind. If one of the team has their heart set on winning outright whereas the rest of the team would be over the moon just to complete the distance, then friction can occur. Make sure that you are all ‘singing off the same hymn sheet’ and your race will run a lot smoother.
You, your teammates and helpers are encouraged to set up camp the night before the race. This will give you plenty of time to get organised. On the day of the race you’ll soon be busy with the running itself so anything you can get prepared in advance is a bonus.
You’re going to burn off a lot of calories over the duration of the event so making sure you are fully fuelled is imperative to success. Your time off course is precious and you’ll want to spend as much of it as possible resting up. If possible, call on a friend or partner to be your chef for the weekend to take care of the food. Remember to keep hydrated at all times too. If you’re not used to energy drinks this isn’t the time to start experimenting with them. Stick to what you are used to.
Take as many changes of clothes as possible. It doesn’t matter if the weather is good or bad there’s nothing quite as demoralising as having to pull back on cold, wet kit. Likewise, bring more than one choice of footwear. Thunder Run is in the middle of the British Summer, so come prepared for any kind of weather imaginable!
So very, very useful. A pack of baby wipes can almost become currency! There’s the obvious uses for these when you need a more ‘gentle touch’ but they can also come in handy for a quick clean up if the queue for the showers is getting long and there’s not much time until your next lap.
Remember how long the race is. Don’t go out like a bat out of hell and end up in a withered heap after the first couple of laps. Pace yourself, learn the course, it is quite technical out there so having good knowledge of what’s around the corner is valuable.
Good timing at the changeover is key to a good performance. It is worth finding a willing volunteer to help with the timing & making sure everyone is woken up at the right time & at the changeover on schedule. Keep track of roughly how long everyone in the team takes to complete a lap, write things down and have a clock handy to work out the approximate hand over times. That way the runners get as much rest as they can and spend as little time as possible standing around waiting at the change-over area.
For some competitors this will be their first experience of running off-road in darkness. It adds a new dimension to the competition and should be treated with respect. Get a good light, test it and have a back-up light in case of emergencies.