Updated: May 18
Can you run a marathon in 24hrs? Of course you can! Most people could walk the 26.2 miles in under 8 hours. But could you run a marathon over 24 consecutive hours? That was the challenge set by my adventure racing buddies as a part-endurance, part-sleep deprivation training day on 30th December.
Actually, it started simply as, "Run a mile each hour for 24 hours". Obviously that would only be 24 miles, so the distance-baggers among us raised it slightly to, "Run 1.1 mile each hour for 24 hours". Being metricly-minded & having a simple 2km loop from my house, distance inflation took hold and made my personal challenge, "Run 2km per hour for 24 hours", but that's not quite as catchy!
Now, the devious reader is already thinking about how to make things a little easier on themselves! "I could run 2km at the end of one hour and then straight into the next 2km at the start of the following hour, giving me almost 2 full hours between." None of that nonsense was allowed - it must be on-the-hour as much as practically possible. However, the starting hour was up to the runner. I chose to start at midnight (which I continue to think was the best time to start), whereas some of my friends chose 4am, ensuring they had two broken nights of sleep rather than one!
So, I spent an actually rather enjoyable 30th Dec running for 10 mins every hour, with about another 10 mins spent changing back & forth from suitably warm clothing and updating Strava. The rest of the hour was spent taking the occasional 40 winks, cheering on the others on WhatsApp/Strava, making Chocolate Orange Millionaire Shortbread with my daughter, and generally catching up with suitably short household jobs! I even had my family join my runs on several occasions, which was an unexpected bonus.
So if anyone is looking for a bit of a different socially-distanced, staying-near-home, no-events-on-during-lockdown challenge, there are certainly worse ways to spend 24 hours. Although, be warned - some people found it tougher than running the same distance in one go!