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How I Completed a 24 hour Obstacle Race

The countless hours of training and weekends sacrificed to long runs, all come down to this massive event. The planning and time spent testing food, clothing, and mindset, has all been a challenge physically and mentally. Long runs can be boring and lonely, sure you see some amazing things along the way, but sometimes you just want to go home and hang out with the cat ;)

True Grit Enduro in Sydney - a 24 hour obstacle race with 30 obstacles in a 10.8km loop, and to add to the fun there is a 10 burpee penalty for any obstacle that cannot be completed.

This is my race notes for True Grit Enduro, a couple tips, and tricks for your next big event.

June 10, 2017

The morning has finally come for me to run for 24 hours - mentally I feel better than last year, physically I feel stronger in the legs than ever. I need to stay confident that I will continue on through the night and into the morning. My main goal overall is to continue until I run out of time to run another lap. The earliest I finish would be around 12:00pm Sunday, depending on how the legs feel. The race ends at 2:00pm so that would leave me 2 hours to get in the last lap.

I haven't had much sleep leading up to this, Thursday night was spent packing until 12:30am then I was up again at 4:00am to get the gear ready and catch the cab to the airport to fly for 6:00am.

Gear List:

Start of the run

  • Saucony trails

  • 2xu shorts

  • Chafing cream

  • Injinji socks

  • Gators

  • Shin protectors

  • Shorts

  • Sunnies

  • Compression top

  • Hydration vest

Darker colder laps (2 laps)

  • Long sleeve top

  • Headlamp

  • Maybe bleggmits

Night Time

  • Wetsuit or thermal compressions

  • Frog socks if there not already on

  • Beanie

  • Bleggmitts

  • Hand warmers in ziplock bags

5am when it's colder

  • Jacket to put over top

  • Fresh warmers

Suns up and a little warmer

  • Wetsuit off

  • New underwear

  • New shorts

  • New shirt

  • Sunnies

  • Probably still a long sleeve

Pit Gear

  • Tent

  • Chair

  • Sleeping bag

  • Air mattress

  • Lantern

  • Air mattress pump

  • GoPro

  • Extra batteries

Nutrition was a big issue for me last year at this event, it seems like I didn't eat anything. Looking at last years notes I had nothing on nutrition and I can't actually remember eating much.

Nutrition list

  • Chia seed mix- Iskaiate endurance 2 scoops per lap (soft flask)

  • Amino acid mix (soft flask)

  • UCAN 1-2 scoops per lap. I will have this in a cup at the transition

  • Cliff bars

  • Bananas

  • Brain octane soft gels - Taken at transition

  • Honey with mct oil. mixed into the shampoo containers

  • Warm soup for the cold night

  • Chocolate (100%)

  • Beet elite for blood flow

  • Salt tabs

  • Nuun tabs

  • Salty chips

  • Cookies

  • Mushroom coffee

  • Recipe - banana, 4 strawberries, 4 tbsp chia seeds, coconut water, cinnamon, 1 cup oats, 3 dates, salt, honey, almond butter, coconut oil

  • Recipe - rice, cinnamon, salt, turmeric, honey

  • Recipe - rice, sweet potato, banana, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, honey

We arrived at the pit area around 8:00am to get set up, it had been raining for a couple days leading up to the event and was not quitting. We were lucky when we arrived and had a chance to set up with no rain in sight. Race briefing started at 1:00pm and we got slammed with a crazy amount of rain, flooding the pit area and tents with only a little time left until start time at 2:00pm. Lucky my fiancé was able to help me by moving all the equipment to another location while I went on with the race.

Post race notes:

1st lap: 01:51:16

-1L Water and only one soft flask of chia seed mix

-Cliff bar

-Long 2xu compression pants

-Arm sleeves

-Batman compression top

-Spartan shorts

2nd lap: 02:03:24

-Chia seed mix in flask, 1 Nuun tablet in second flask

-Cliff bar

-Headlamp

-Long sleeve shirt

3rd lap: 02:35:42

-Nutella banana sandwich

-Cliff bar

-Nuun, water and chia seed mixes.

-Strawberry

-One of the food mixes

-Frog socks and gloves

-Thermal compression pants and top

4th lap: 02:33:49

-Strawberry

-Beetelite

-Cliff bar

-Banana

-Nuun, water and chia seed mix

5th lap: 03:31:09

- Walked this lap

-Sandwich

-Cliff bar

-Strawberry

-UCAN

-Nuun, water and chia seed mix

-Changed into wetsuit (approx 11:30pm)

6th lap: 03:56:49

-Needed a 30min break in the pit before walking 6th lap

-Caffeine shot

-Noodles

-2 cliff bars

-Amino acids

-Nuun and water

7th lap: 02:58:45

-Suns up, feeling good

-Panadol

-Nuun, and chia seed mix

-No extra water this lap

8th lap: 03:10:45

-Took off wetsuit and put on new compressions and arm sleeves

-Beet elite

-Coffee shot

-Ginger

-Food mix

-Nuun, water and chia seed mix

-Panadol again

I had my mind set on completing 10 or more laps this year but with the weather conditions I couldn't get there. I'm still really happy with the result because the overall goal was to last the 24 hours.

The hardest part for me was going on through the night, my body and mind were tired, I declined mentally and was asking myself why I signed up for this. I wanted to sleep in the pits and kept telling myself I would never do this again. For a little while, walking with Lee in front and Jeff behind me, I started to lose my grip on reality, getting startled by shadows, brain fog and taking micro sleeps while walking. This was something I have never experienced before and at that point continuing on didn't seem like an option. By the time we reached the pit for our 7th lap the sun was coming up. I made a quick stop at the porter potty, when I came out the sun was up and everything changed. I grabbed some more food and went to meet Jeff and Lee. I quickly found out they had already left about 10min before I got there. In a bit of a panic I took off out of the pits running at almost full speed. I had people cheering me on, I'm guessing I looked awesome at that point. After running for about 10min I realised what I was doing and was totally amazed that I could run, and mentally I felt awesome, ready to take on anything. It was obstacle 3 where I finally found them, running with my banana and nutella sandwich hanging from my mouth. I was so happy I didn't have to complete that lap all on my own, it defiantly helps to have a team to push each other through. With lots of time left in the race to get 8 laps complete it felt like a victory already. No pressure, just easy running with the boys until the finish. I ended up with 8 laps in 22 hours 43 min, 85 km (93 km on the Garmin), 240 obstacles and 0 burpees.

I have learned a lot again this year and look forward to competing again next year. In 2016 I placed 69th and this year I placed 27th. With all the training I have put in I know I can do better.

I would love to hear what you do to prepare for a big event like this, also if you have any tips you would like to add. Please post in the comment section below!

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