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Tooting Bec 24 hour race

Running intrigues me. It really does. And I love it. It's just such a simple sport. You get what you put in and it is all up to how much effort and pain you want to trade. I love the long races. Feeling you can't take another step and then running for another 8 hours is something I was to experience again and again in my life. The highs and lows are brilliant and its always amazing to be bouncing along amazingly, then 3 seconds later have the energy sucked out of you and feeling like you are running through treacle instead. Years and years ago I stumbled across a you tube video by Michael Arnstein while I was researching other diets. ( For whatever reason this really struck a chord with me. Maybe it's because as he says - there is no destination. I love running in circles and would much rather do that in training and racing than I would a point to point scenic route. So I guess it was no surprise that I found myself at Tooting Bec track years later. I had wanted to do this for years. And here it was.

We traveled by train From Glasgow to Euston, and stayed at Clapham common. This was a great way to do it and if (when) I return I'll be doing the same. We had a range rover (which we borrowed for any avoidance of doubt) and a gazebo and had a good wee set up, which I had bumped from someone else's idea previously.

Gordon, Me and Bryn

I was lucky enough to Have Gordon Reed travel down to support me aswell. That's another reason I love this sport - people are so helpful and after meeting you once or twice and willing to travel the country and stand beside a track to mix your tailwind. Don't get that in many other sports I tell you! We happened up next to Bryn Jones, who I had only ever spoken to on Strava. It's good when you get to share miles and can become good friends instead of just kudos buddies.

The weather was typically Scottish - pissing down and due to continue with this for the entire race. Mrs Shaw is a great supporter - however even she drew the line at holding a brolly over me the entire race. I started the race wearing New balance Fresh Foam Zante ( which I would have worn for the duration had it not been monsoon season. I also donned a Gore jacked to keep dry ( and more on that later. It was also my first race since switching over to the Suunto 9 ( Decent, comfy and first impressions are that I prefer it over the Garmin.

Photo by Run and Become

At 12 bells the race was off. I settled into a decent comfy slow pace. There wasn't much chat from me at this point to other people in the race. Gordon and Mrs Shaw succeded in making me laugh for about the first 10 laps asking if I needed anything, and piss takingly shouting 'go Dave'. Time passed quickly and before I knew it an hour was done.

Don't worry - this wont be a lap by lap account. The monsoon continued. I was happy with my pace and wasn't bothered about anyone else or what they were doing. Stick to the plan. About 2 hours in I started to get bothered by something. I'm not willing to say what this was but it really knocked me off. Low points are normal but this was really getting to me. Theresa and Gordon knew I was in a huff because of my one word and abrupt answers. No need for this when they have given up their time for me. It was just my negative mindset. I resolved to keep going and hope I would get out my slouch. I didn't. 5 pissing wet hours in and I couldn't shake this thing off. A change of clothes would maybe help me so I stopped for a few minutes and changed into the Hoka one one Cavu ( and Injinji socks ( should waken me up. I also changed into a fresh under armour base layer and kept on the Gore waterproof, kindly donated brand new by Richie.

The infamous jacket in action

The weather continued to hose down, and I continued to be miserable. I just wasn't feeling it at all. So much prep and thought and money into a race and I couldn't get it done. I love the struggle, I love the pain but I just couldn't love my time on the track. I still don't know why I just couldn't snap out of it. It's so frustrating. People will continue to refute this - but I just felt I was letting everyone down. Runners will know what it feels like. No matter what anyone says it doesn't take it away.