After recently finishing an eight hour run event, it got me thinking about this unique format and the cool features that come along with it.
First, what is an 24/12/8 hour endurance run?
These timed events are basically, run/walk/crawl as far as you want within the allotted time. The courses are generally flat with relatively short loops of two-ish miles or less. The running surfaces can vary from dirt, grass, pavement, concrete, or even a track.
There is no true finish line that says you are done. The fastest and the slowest runner will be working it to the best of their ability for the same amount of time.
With the above in mind, here are 10 reasons why timed running events are pretty damn cool.
- No DNF – You will never DNF at a 24/12 hour run event. You run one hour and call it a day. Your result will be the distance you traveled within that one hour. End of story.
- Sit and chill – Feeling like poo and want to sit. Go ahead and put your feet up. You aren’t forced to cover 50 or 100 miles before your day ends. There are no cut-off times chasing you throughout the day.
- Rub shoulders with everyone – The short loops and significant amount of time provides opportunities to chat and hang with runners of all abilities throughout the day.
- Rarely completely alone – The short loops will often have you running/walking with others, moving up on someone, or being passed. If you are feeling good this isn’t such a big deal but if you are in that dark place, it can be nice to have people around. It is also nice to know you aren’t the only idiot running at 3 am.
- Minimal gear – The loopiness allows you the opportunity to haul little to no gear. Just run baby! But don’t forget to eat and drink.
- Happy feet – The running surface is usually friendly to running. No roots, boulders, or stream crossings to worry about. The biggest challenge will be the time on your feet.
- Safe environment – When running 24 hours into the night, it can be comforting having people always around and the nice short loop is convenient if you want to catch a few Z’s in your Lazy Boy you hauled with or grab a jacket when the snow starts falling.
- Experiment – The short loops provide an opportunity to try-out various nutrition, clothing, or gear options that you may use in an ultramarathon that doesn’t provide the ease of swapping out.
- Family friendly – If you have friends or family that actually want to support and watch you run in circles, there isn’t much better of an event to do it at. Plus, family can leave and come back at a random time later in the day and it will never be long before they see you again assuming you haven’t taken a nap next to a tree at the far end of the course.
- Help – If it gets ugly for you, help is never far away.
Have you ran in a timed event? What was your experience?
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 06 Oct 2009
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