A small mixed relay team – Jonathan Jones, Mark Bower, Simon Rayner, Paul Lane and myself formed the team ‘Danum Five have plenty of fun’. We’d had numerous online chats preparing for the event, including choosing our name, planning our estimated lap and pace, sharing information on kit preparation and camping arrangements, etc.
I was a little apprehensive about running with a predominantly male team but I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive group. Every team member put in a 110% effort.
We started Saturday with Paul nursing an injury and I hoped that he’d be able to put in at least 1-2 laps. He put in 2 laps on Saturday and went onto support me through the night, providing me with hot food, drink and lots of encouragement.
Jonathan, Mark, Simon and I pushed through Saturday and Sunday clocking up the miles, supporting each other and offering encouragement every time we met in the transition area or back at the Danum camp. Around 4.30am I was met by Simon and Jonathan in the transition area, we had to rethink how we wanted to run the remaining 7.5 hours. Sadly Mark had picked up an injury and he made the right decision to ‘stop’. He had achieved a personal best having run his furthest distance.
Simon, Jonathan and I considered what we’d do next with three of us running. We did think about taking a break for two hours so that we could refuel and sleep but that idea lasted about 15 mins. We assessed what we wanted to achieve individually and agreed on the number of laps we’d each like to run with the remaining hours we had. We got back on the course. The rising sun and temperatures helped to refuel our enthusiasm, along with support and encouragement from the rest of the Danum family and friends.
Jonathan had led our team out at 12 noon on Saturday and led us back over the finish line at 11.38am on Sunday. Some may think we should have done another lap but we were happy, as a team, with what we had all achieved.
We started with a plan on what we wanted to get from taking part in Endure 24 as a team. However, this running festival is also about your own individual goal – whether that’s running more miles than you’ve ever done before, pushing yourself when you think you can’t run any further, running through the night or building your strength and resilience through your own sheer grit and determination.
Did we have ‘plenty of fun’…I think we did