Adidas 24-hour Thunder Run
Support Wing live in a field and run around for 24 hours!
It seems like only yesterday the Witt View was reporting on the 2013 Addidas Thunder Run, which saw C4I (and myself) race for 24 hours through horrendous thunder storms across a 10km course of dense woodland and farmland. But here I am again reporting on the Thunder Run; this time the 2014 one. The Thunder Run is a 24-hour relay race against the clock, with an extremely challenging cross country route which proves to be both physically and mentally demanding. As OC BSS I was of course delighted to be challenged for the second year by a Flt on my Sqn to complete this race… and, due to manning, we soon agreed to extend this year’s team across the Wing. Still suffering with an injury from last year’s race, I decided that this year I would take moral support with me in the form of the Witt View Deputy Editor; and before she had the chance to say “thunder what?” she was signed up and raring to go.
The Spt Wg team was eight strong, with a couple of posted personnel returning especially for the event; the team also supported Cpl Seth Andrews and his cousin, who were courageously racing as a two-man team. In complete contrast to last year’s event, this year saw the team face blazing sun and temperatures soaring into the 30s and, sadly due to a water shortage, no portable showers or washing areas until well after the race had started. As the team had headed out for the race the day before, to ensure a good camp site and timely registration, the team soon smelt in rather an unsociable fashion! The atmosphere at the race was, again, truly incredible as 3,500 racers set up camp in local fields and enthusiastically relayed through the 10km route. The route has, without doubt, been designed to challenge all running abilities presenting steep hills, narrow paths, cheeky tree routes and angled tracks; but all those taking part happily support other teams and runners to ensure safety at all times.
The 24 hours was, as last year, extremely gruelling with all team members going through their own emotions; running at 0200 hours with nothing other than a head torch for company and to show the way, can feel very lonely and make you wonder what on earth you are doing. But the sense of comradery, team work and achievement leaves the runner with a buzz that will last for days. The Spt Wg team pulled together in true RAF Wittering style looking after each other, and our twoman team, ensuring we remained safe and healthy. I was again left extremely proud of my Sqn and, as acting OC Spt Wg, proud of my Wg too. Despite being posted I will be running again for RAF Wittering next year (if they will have me) and would love to see additional teams from across the Station take part in what is truly a rewarding event. This year we ran in support of the Royal Air Force Association and raised approximately £700.