Hundreds of runners take part in Endure 24 relay race at the Wasing Estate
More than 800 runners tested their endurance at the Wasing Estate as they took part in the UK’s biggest 24-hour relay race.
And for one Newbury man it was even more special.
Just seven months ago Chris Culley had been forced to give up running due to a heart condition.
He spent three hours on the operating table undergoing heart surgery at the end of November but by the middle of June he was well enough to take part in the Endure 24 event.
Mr Culley, who can often be seen at Newbury’s Parkrun event, said: "The lead up to Endure24 for me was less than ideal, what with three hours of heart surgery at the end of November, with not getting to more than 10 miles in any training runs, and still being on heart medication,” he said. “It is testament to the skills of my surgeon that I managed 13 laps and 65 miles in total on Saturday/Sunday unsupported.
“Thanks to the wonderful Paul Moulton for making these photos available free, to serve as a reminder of a very hard weekend, with numerous issues, but something I can look back on with a sense of pride.
“Even so, wish I'd done a few more laps......”
Endure 24 involved hundreds of runners competing solo, in pairs or in teams, completing as many laps of the 8km course as they could in 24 hours.
Serious endurance runners, as well as those just wanting to enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie of the event, all set off together at noon on Saturday, June 10.
The aim of the event is to then complete as many laps as they can within 24 hours – although a runner can start a new lap right up until 11.59pm on the Sunday as long as they cross the finish line before 1pm.
The overall winner of the solo race was Michelle White, who completed a staggering total of 24 laps in 23 hours 48.32 minutes.
Participant Elaine Broadhurst – whose team was called Runners Reunited after years spent unable to compete due to the pandemic – said camping was also an important part of the event and it had become a tradition for her to cook paella for her team.
She completed the final lap for her group before they all joined her on the last straight to cross the finish line together.
“Wow, Endure24 2022,” she said. “As promised, it was brutal, it was epic!
“I love that there is a place for everyone from the fastest of endurance runners to those just wanting to enjoy the atmosphere and do a couple of laps.
“Everyone supports and cheers for each other.
“We are so blessed to have this race so close to Newbury.”
The first solo man home was Phil Mant, who completed 24 laps in 24 hours 38.26 minutes; while the first male pair was Team Silly & Stupid – who managed 31 laps in 24 hours exactly.
The first male small team was Team ERR Wombats, with 42 laps in 24 hours and 29.03 minutes, with Team Porcino, securing first place in the male large team event, with 42 laps in 24 hours 33.33minutes.
The first female pair were Team Raise the Bar, with 32 laps in 24 hours 23.46minutes, while the first placed women’s small team were Ealing Ladies, with 33 laps in 23 hours 23.16minutes.
The first female large team were Dash of bitters with a twist, who completed 34 laps in 24 hours 21.27 minutes.
In the mixed event, the first pair was Aperol Sprints, with 31 laps in 23 hours 27.13minutes, Runnymede Runners were the first small mixed team with 40 laps in 23 hours 51.07minutes and Finchampions were the victorious large mixed team, completing 40 laps in 24 hours 20.27minutes.
The first mixed large team were One Hook Runners, who finished 33 laps in 24 hours 28.07minutes.