Last weekend, we made the 4 hour journey down to Devon to take part in Hope 24 - a family friendly, 24 hour trail race on a beautiful private estate in Plympton near Plymouth.
We took part in a similar event last year so we roughly knew what we were lined up for and it didn’t disappoint!
There were 5 of us in our team and we went into the event with an open mind as to whether we’d run for the full 24 hours, or get some rest overnight and start early again on the Sunday morning. As we had 2 young children with us, the option of getting some sleep overnight appealed, so we opted for some rest in the hope we’d feel fresh and energetic in the morning.
The race director, Danny, had told us prior to the event that it was a great community occasion and it he wasn’t wrong! With a field of over 500 taking part, there were young families there to take part in the two kids races. Camping was included in the price and there was plenty of space for everyone to spread out which gave the weekend a very relaxed feel.
As well as running over the weekend, we also filled our runr van up and spent the weekend retailing. The race village comprised of race HQ, some local traders were there with Cornish Barista serving warm, comforting hot drinks, Dots Teas had an amazing selection of cakes and flapjacks and Little Sipper had a range of beers, ciders, prosecco and non alcoholic drinks for anyone that fancied a tipple.
Along with us, there was Run Venture, a community focused running shop based down in Tavistock. Absolute 360, Inov8 and Ruby Fury completed the race village which gave runners and spectators a nice selection of retailers to browse through.
The forecast building up to the event was horrendous - not what you want for a weekend of camping and running! But as it turned out, the weather gods looked down on us in favour and the majority of the weekend was spent in great running conditions.
The well marked course was a 5 mile loop up through the woods and over the hills which gave us some great views of the countryside and made for a really enjoyable run. It was mainly uphill for the first 2 miles but then a lovely 3 miles run back down through more woods, along the ridge with great views of the race village before rounding the final bend amongst the tents and heading for the start/finish line.
We started at midday Saturday. The sun was shining and the looks on runners faces was of excitement mixed with concentration of what was ahead, especially for the solo runners who were looking at running non stop for 24 hours!
As the day went on, we each took turns covering the 5 miles. Time meant nothing to us as it was all about the experience of enjoying the route, engaging with other runners and having fun.
As night approached, we made the decision to get some rest and go again in the morning. Luke decided on a midnight run and loved the 5 miles with just the flicker of head torches for company whilst we got a few hours kip. Then it was morning and we went again!
Overall, we completed 16 laps which was 80 miles. We didn’t have a target for the weekend other than to enjoy ourselves without inviting pressure and we achieved both!
As the final few minutes were counted down, solo runners were finishing their epic runs. The winner covered an astonishing 105 miles. On her own. The leading team covered a whopping 33 laps. Thats 165 miles between them which took some going.
Whether runners were going solo or in a team, there were a lot of smiling faces - ok, some were more grimaces than smiles! Each runner was presented with their medal at the end of their run and it was worthy of such an achievement.
We want to say a big thank you to Danny, Pete and and the rest of the team who organise the event in support of 2 charities - Hope For Children and Dartmoor Search & Rescue, they’ve created a brilliant event in the process. The feeling of community and fun fills the air for the whole weekend and we thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a 24 hour run to try.
We’ll be attending the event again in future and if you want to find out more about it, follow any of the links below:
Website - hope24.team-hope.co.uk
Facebook - hope24run