Hope 24 2017 saw 9 SDAC runners turn up at Newnham Park in Plympton to take on the challenging multi-terrain 5 mile circuit for 24hrs. We had set up Camp and prepared ourselves for 24hrs on our feet. The event started at mid-day on Saturday in glorious sunshine as we all set of on the 1st lap, however as the afternoon passed and the evening came the weather turned to heavy showers. By then Louise Lewry had completed her 30 mile target in a time of 5hrs 31min despite taking a nasty tumble.
The weather was now getting worse, but thankfully for Jodie Lee she too had hit her personal target of 40 miles (8 laps) in a time of 8hrs 3 min before leaving the rest of us to the showers. That’s one of the many reasons Hope 24 is so liked by so many people; everyone goes there with a different personal running goal.
However, the weather continued to present us with challenging conditions so bad that the Event was halted just after 10pm as the rain made some of the 5 mile route un-runnable and, in the opinion of the Race Director and Dartmoor Search & Rescue, dangerous.
At midnight we were all informed the event would re-start at 05:00 Sun morning, meaning a break of approximately 7 hrs, so at that point Steve Hookins, Mark Stockman and Marc Jones decided to call it a day having clocked up 50 miles (10 laps) in times of 9hrs 53min, 10hrs 6min & 11hrs 26min respectively.
This left Nicky Washbrook, Gemma Body & Jeremy Goddard to rest/sleep for those few hours and continue on the next morning. Nicky, after being constantly woken by noisy team mates with bright head torches trying to pack up and go home (Marc, Mark & Steve – Guilty!) made the decision to head home too after having already finished her 35 miles in 6hrs 46min.
The weather didn’t cause too much of a problem for Gemma and Jeremy as their plan was to run part of the first day, rest up during the evening and overnight and then set off after breakfast on day 2. Jeremy Goddard completed 6 laps on Day 1 and a further 4 laps on Day 2 giving him a total of 50 miles over the 24 hr period and Gemma Body ran 13 lap in all, totalling a very impressive 65 miles at her 1st 24hr running event.