Self-Transcendence 24-Hour Race 2016
It might have been the first weekend when we felt summer had abandoned us but the Weather Gods provided the perfect conditions for 45 hero runners looking to run round Tooting Bec track for 24 hours.
With a mixture of excitement and trepidation competitors prepared for the noon start; the first hours saw some runners flying round the track with determination and bravado but the experienced held back, found their rhythm, waited for time and repetition to have their effect.
As light faded the early leaders faltered, then succumbed, James Stewart and Neil MacNicol kept the same pace with quiet but steely determination. Michal Masnik pounced on the stumbling leaders and powered into the lead, he looked indomitable but to the experienced eye there was something slightly too forced, stretched.
James and Neil looked in control, complete efficiency of stride and focus. The early hours of the morning saw them steadily into a dominating position. The two looked truly indestructible and so they proved. As the horn sounded at 24 hours, James Stewart has run 160 miles, placing him 2nd on the Scottish All-Timers list for 24 hours, qualifying him for the GB individual team. Neil MacNicol completed just short of 152 miles, placing him in the top 10 Scottish All-timers.
Meanwhile, in a contrast of style and approach, the ever smiling Ann Bath cheerfully set about smashing the Women's Vet 65 Age Best Record. She never seemed to stop, to walk, to look tired, just kept at it with her distinctive running stride and courageous determination. She ran 115 miles and is now a World Record Holder.
In all, 26 runners broke the magic 100 Mile barrier, making this arguably our most brilliant Self Transcendence 24 hour race since it began in 1989.
Congratulations and thanks for all the wonderful competitors, heroes all!
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