Endure 24 – The Therapists Point of View

I just thought I would write this blog about the Glastonbury for Runners otherwise known as Endure 24. I quite often get asked why I work at the event and the answer is not straight forward but can be summarised by the statement “It allows me to experience vicarously the success and disappointments that the runners feel” but also can be put in another way – By working there I can help the runners achieve what they want but in a very small way.

I’ll give you a description of what I do. A few months before Steve McAvoy contacts me and asks me whether I would be interested in working at Endure 24. Normally without prompting the answer goes back as “Yes”. And Yes I will help in Leeds as well. Steve is very clear what he wants his therapists to be:-

  • Professional
  • Thorough
  • Empathetic
  • BUT Most of All – We are there for the Runners and all of them – Young, Old, Slow, Quick, Solo, Pair or Team.

Steve does a lot, makes sure that all the therapists are qualified, insured and will make sure that the therapists look after themselves and the runners.

On Friday I arrived at Wasing Estate at about 4:30pm and we treated a few people however I helped and provided some advise and told people that we’d be there for the full 24 hour period – Even though we have been there since the beginning people are still surprised. People regularly come with niggles but are determined to take part in the event so we advise, maybe suggest some taping, stretching advise. If you want stretching advise – talk to Steve his thought process is superb.

I then go home to my own bed at about 10am but then back for 8am. Again more of the same – treat a few, provide advise and help. Talk about shoes, see old friends and get plenty of hugs.

The event starts and I go home for a short while, maybe have a little kip and then back for the evening. Normally it starts to get busy once people have finished a lap or 2. As the evening goes on we get people coming in with niggles and the solo runners start coming in for some relief so they can do more laps. We get some people coming in and they’re hobbling through cramp, occasionally ITB issues and then some with injuries. The injuries are always the difficult thing and where possible we are there to facilitate people to carry on running however if there are risk then I will have to make that difficult decision but again it is advise. Not all therapists are able to do this dependent on their qualficiation. When you have to tell somebody they have to stop then you are really sad for the individual but you hide it to ensure you remain professional. If you’ve treated them before then you can’t help but feel that you have failed them in some way.

Occasionally you get people coming to the massage tent who are in a lot of pain, or there is risk for further damage then you take them to the first aid tent or get the paramedics to come to you. Happened twice at Reading this year.

At Reading I go home about 1am and then I’m back at 5am but in Leeds I sleep in the back of the van. The morning passes in a bit of a blur as you’re struggling with fatigue, both mental and physical but you have to keep sharp.

Then comes the end and this is the perfect bit. I had a client who’d injured herself a few weeks before Endure24 but wanted to do 50 miles solo to celebrate her 50th birthday – She did it! I’m not sorry to say I had a little tear in my eye when she’d achieved it. Other people come in to the tent to say thankyou, give you a hug and say they wouldn’t have done it with you – BTW that is a load of rubbish they’ve done the hard work, we’ve helped a little bit.

In Summary – Why do I do it? Seeing runners achieve, meeting other therapists and looking at their techniques (Always something to learn). Will I do it again – Probably!

I always say at the end of the Endure 24 that this maybe the last but I get the email from Steve and I’m back again.