Nine Anchorians ran 260 miles in 24 hours to raise over £1,000 for the new pitch but at least half the group fell ill after the endurance event which is now being investigated by Public Health England.
Two teams from ARRS (Anchorians Road Runners Society) took part in Endure 24 at Wasing Park estate in Aldermaston near Reading last weekend, where competitors complete a five mile circuit before handing over to a team mate, running continuously for 24 hours.
ARRS 1 – comprising Paul and Jackie Gray, Gary Jackson and Richard Perkins completed 25 laps while ARRS 2 – Richard Brewer, Gemma Smith, Devia Bijkerk, Amanda Bishop and Ben Selby – managed 27 laps, clocking up a huge total of 260 miles.
However when the group – plus support crew – returned home on Sunday after camping at the event and using portable toilets and showers, at least half the group suffered stomach upsets. Gemma Smith reports: “We really challenged ourselves during the weekend with most runners completing at least five laps which equals 25 miles and this was done on just a couple of hours sleep with only a short rest in between laps. The idea to enter was just for fun but people seemed so impressed by our efforts that we decided to appeal for sponsorship and we’ve been gobsmacked by the response. The extra challenge we didn’t count on was being so sick when we got back – aching legs is one thing but poor stomachs too was an unfortunate end to an otherwise fantastic event.”
The group have since been asked to give their details to Public Health England after hundreds of runners told race organisers of post-event sickness and the cause is being investigated.
In the meantime, the Anchorians runners are looking for a new challenge with some signed up to the Amsterdam half marathon in October, among them is Anchs Chairman Gary Jackson who recorded eight laps at Endure 24 – a staggering 40 miles in 24 hours. He said: “I’ve run a number of London Marathons but Endure 24 was the hardest event I’ve ever done and the team really did give blood, sweat and tears for the club. It certainly sums up the family spirit at Anchorians and we’ll continue to enjoy various social and sports events together, both on and off the hockey pitch.”
For those who prefer hockey to running, the next Family Funday for all ages and abilities takes place on Sunday 3rd July at the club’s Darland Avenue pitch from 10.30am to 12.30pm. For more information, go to http://www.gahc.co.uk