What a weekend! An event that surprisingly LoSS had never had a team at in the previous 3 years. I pose the question, Why not? The event itself is now well established, with male and female categories for pairs, teams of 3-5, teams of 6-8, and the lunatic soloists. Running a 4.1 mile route around very pleasant surroundings including woods, fields and country park, the event tests the endurance of everyone there, including the timing team, by trying to complete as many laps as possible in a 24 hour period, from midday Saturday. Just in case you were hiding in a cave all weekend, this Saturday was hot, that pleasant 'I want to lay in the garden drinking marguerites' hot!. Needless to say, those running the early laps hurt.
This year, 30 members of the LoSS family made up the Harp24 crew either running or supporting. Arriving at 7.30am Saturday, within 90 minutes the LoSS base camp took shape, and was clearly the envy of the other 300 registered runners, with kit having been begged, borrowed and stolen (the skull & crossbones flag), we had more comfortable cushions than a Saga cruise ship in the Med.
Making up a team of 8, the LOSS ladies were: Laura McHugh, Helen Kidgell, Alison Hall, Jo Hall, Tracy English, Ellie Kimber, Michelle Roberts, Stephanie Simpson and Gail Alexander. With some tough competition from the likes of SAC, Flyers Southend and Rochford RC, the team came 3rd in their category and 14th overall, with a whopping 37 laps, which is somewhere around the 152 mile mark. Quite amazing. Rochford RC took 1st with 40 laps and SAC just behind with 39 laps. Close stuff indeed.
Dean Ovel, Sam Luton, Peter Golding and Elliott Cone all took on the solo challenge, and John Hannan popped down to run a couple of laps just for fun as he nothing else to do!
Over a 24 hour period the 15 LoSS runners clocked up an amazing 463 miles between them, with Dean Ovel completing the most solo laps (25) covering 105 miles and finishing in an impressive 2nd place. 1st place went to SAC's Jeff Bolton with 27 laps and a new course record.
Also running were Matthew Letley and Matibini Matibini, who could be seen sporting their LoSS vests all weekend whilst supporting the local hospital team. Well done guys!
In addition to the run miles mentioned, Jackie Camm, Eric Britton and Sian Ovel used the opportunity to practice walking through the night in preparation of the fast approaching 100k challenge. Finally checking out at some point past 1.00am Sunday morning, with Sian resuming support duties.
The support received by the wider LOSS family was overwhelming, with special mention to the following:
Matt Kimber and David English for giving up their Saturday morning to assist with setting up camp.
Denise Smoothy, who not only gave up her Saturday morning, but was also part of the planning team prior to the event, spent Saturday afternoon supporting and returned Sunday morning to make the weary runners an amazing Full English. She also brought along Blue the dog, our new team mascot!
Elisha Letley, Catherine Patterson, Tim Ketterer & Theresa Philips who kindly provided a much appreciated cleaning service keeping the camp tidy though late evening. Other supporters who came down to cheer and join in the fun including Vicky Parsons, Ezio & Poppy, Colin & Elisabet Barnes, Pete Karaiskos, Katie Spicer, Fiona Walker, Danny Flint, Adam Lysons and Niki Read, who along with Steph accompanied Dean on his last lap Sunday morning (Thank you guys, DO).
Of course, Stig the dog for stealing the limelight during the awards presentation, bounding into a few trophy photos and gaining many admirers from the crowd!
And last, but most of all, to Tracy English, for organising the ladies team and their personalised jumpers, setting up camp and sacrificing sleep to keep everyone on schedule. It's a shame she had to go off to work at 6am on Sunday and miss the finale, but she still managed to squeeze in her 5 laps and a shower before heading off.
With so many stories of individual running achievement, fun and frolics around the tent and support from the wider family, this email could turn into a book. To keep it simple... Tracy English's survival/first aid kit puts Bear Grylls to shame, Ellie Kimber should not take up impressions for a living, Alison Hall loves running so much that she added on a few extra miles for fun, Jo Hall learnt how to jump, Helen Kidgell fed the 5000, Michelle Roberts completing a mud obstacle course before kick - off, Stephanie Simpson should be on Blue Peter with the skills she showed with glow sticks, and where do we start with Gail, running, walking and swimming - just super woman! And bringing the team home after everyone had showered and was tucking in to breakfast, Laura was out on course bagging one last lap. What a trooper.