Equinox 24hr Relay Report

Over the weekend of the 23rd & 24th of September, a team of 5 senior male road runners from Kettering Town Harriers visited the grounds of Belvoir Castle Estate to compete in the 2017 Equinox 24 hour race.

The race is one of the UK’s biggest endurance running events and is competed by thousands of runners and top endurance athletes.

The team was made up of Jack Chennell (captain), Matt Fowler, Ady King, Tom Shepherd & Andy Batkin.

The race itself is split up into multiple categories including solo runners, pairs, small teams (3-5) and large teams (6-8). The winners would be the runners or teams that completed the most 10km laps in a relay format within the 24 hours.

Having seen results from previous years and knowing that they had a strong team of runners, KTH went into the race weekend believing that they could be in contention of finishing high in the rankings of their category if they all put in good performances.

The 10km course was made up of multi-terrain, which included around 60% off road, 40% Road and a number of very challenging hills to negotiate. On the Friday evening before the race there was a fair amount of rainfall in the area which meant that the off road sections were slightly boggy but the weather during the 24 hours of racing couldn’t of been better for the team.

The race started at 12:00 noon on the Saturday and went right through to 12:00 noon on Sunday. KTH started very strong and were soon well infront of their intended 45 minute lap average. Going into the hours of darkness things were starting to get a lot tougher for the team having already completed 3-4 laps each with only a couple of hours rest in between. A combination of lack of sleep, rest and the large amount of miles put in by the lads was starting to take its toll, which resulted in some of the team members lap times increasing. This was inevitably going to happen but the team were still way infront of their target by day light on the Sunday and spirits were lifted once again when the end was in sight.

Going into the final few hours of the race the team came round to their 7th lap each and finished their 33rd lap in total at 11:30am which meant that they could complete 1 more lap as it was started before 12 o’clock. This final lap was completed by Tom who had struggled during the hours of darkness but came back strong in his last couple of laps. The rest of the team joined him in the last 800 metres of the course which was a lap of the camping field to cross the finish line all together.

Throughout the 24 hours KTH could check their position in the race and their standing within the small teams category. After the first few hours they were in the lead within their category and maintained this position as the race went on, but it was unclear how much of a lead they had so they could not take their foot off the gas. It wasn’t made clear until the last few laps that they had a strong enough lead within their category that they could carry forward all the way to the end. The whole team's spirit was lifted once again and as KTH crossed the line together they were all on cloud nine.

They had finished with a total of 34 laps, which is a record number of laps completed by any small team at this event and were only 1 lap behind the winning large team.

Every single one of the team performed out of their skin and achieved above and beyond all expectations. All of this would not of been possible without everyone that went along to support and help the lads when they needed it most, and all the guys that followed and supported them from home.

KTH were crowned Equinox24 2017 (small team) champions at the post race presentations, finishing a whole 2 laps clear of 2nd place.