One moment I was on my back with some physiotherapy helpers “attacking” me with ice packs and ten minutes later I was doing 2-minute rounds.
When it comes to the 24-hour stadium run, it is difficult to know what I should write about. A single blog post is insufficient to talk about
- The happy start
- Staying in my lane
- The first 60k in 6 hours
- The darkest hours 1AM to 4AM struggling with diarrhoea and nausea
- My Friend being there throughout
- Hitting the wall three times
- Sunrise and new hope
- The heat
- The fellow runner who squirted water on me every time we passed each other. Thank you!
- Getting dehydrated
- The difficulty with food and drink selections
- My co-sufferers and their style of limping
- Waiting for my son and daughter’s arrival
- Their arrival and encouragement
- The end-game…
At the end I was slow. I got into a rhythm of 300 meters slow jogging (one cannot call that running) followed by 100 meters walking. One round of 400 meters took me almost 4 minutes. With one hour and ten minutes left, my strength was all gone. I had my last energy-gel and then to the consternation of my kids, the onlookers, hydration-point helpers and medical staff I kind of collapsed on the grass next to the track.
I have completed my goal of running 100 miles and thought I will rest for ten minutes and then walk the last hour. The medical guys jumped into action and iced my legs very energetically. After five minutes my daughter and one of them pulled me to my feet with a lot of effort and I went back to the track.
I walked for two rounds. Somewhere I met up with Balraj who ran the Great run of Punjab with me and we had a conversation. With 45 minutes left I felt that I could try to jog, so I did. Then I felt like I could go faster. Before long I found myself moving at around 6 minutes per kilometre pace. As I passed another runner, he started going with me.
Faster and faster we went. Round after round we stayed together for about 10 rounds (but I did not count). The crowd got into it and cheered us on. With about fifteen minutes left my companion dropped off, but I was determined to finish this. Another runner joined me shortly afterwards. He stayed with me and we finished one minute before six with a sprint.
I did 415 rounds which (calculated at 414 meters per round) gave me about 171k. Tuffman did a fantastic job with this race. Thank you to all my fellow runners, the organizers, Arun, my children and the friendly volunteers for your support and help. We never lacked anything. If I want to do this again, I will have to do more experimenting with food that agrees with me and how much and how often I have to eat to avoid bonking.
Yesterday I was just browsing around and found this site https://statistik.d-u-v.org/. I found my name there and that in 2018 I was the South African with the best 24-hour distance. But there were only 18 of us.
In conclusion, I want to thank my Friend, Jesus, who was with me through it all. Today is my birthday. Isn’t it strange that people congratulate you on your birthday even though you did not have anything to do with it? Shouldn’t the creator be congratulated for creating me? And for keeping me alive …
A very happy birthday Stephen!! Congratulations on the 24hrs run achievement.. I understand how it feels running in the loop.
Happy Birthday and thank you Jesus for Stephan. Great race report! I love how you got a second wind at the end. Our bodies are amazing creations! Congratulations on a job well done!
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