This year there will be more people than ever taking on a 24 hour running race in the UK.
This special ‘Profeet Guide to 24 Hour Running Races’ answers many of the questions you may have if you’re thinking about entering a 24 hour race, either as a team or solo.
24 Hour Racing FAQ
Why do a 24 hour running race?
The crucial difference between an ‘normal’ ultramarathon and a 24-hour event is that competitors usually race as a team – so instead of running on your own (which you can do – see our section on ‘Solo 24 hour running’), just one of your team will be out on the course at any one time.
Runners often miss out on the camaraderie of other team sports, but a 24-hour race gives the event a completely different feel.
Everyone in the team contributes to your final tally – with the goal of running as far as possible within the 24 hours.
When you’re running you’re keenly aware that it’s not just you, but your whole team that you’re running for.
How many are there in each team at 24-hour events?
Different races offer different options for team size.
Most races accept teams from pairs up to eight. Exceptions are the Hardcastle 24, which only offers an option for teams of four, and the Marmot 24 which only allows pairs or teams of four (in two pairs).
If you’re looking for something really different, the London to Cardiff 24 is unique in that it’s a point-to-point race with 24 stages and allows up to 12 members in a team.
Races usually have prizes based on the team size, with prizes for solo, pairs, and team sizes of 3-5 and 6-8 runners. These categories are often further subdivided into male, female and mixed teams.
How far do I have to run?
Most races have no rules on how far each team member must run, as long as they complete at least one lap.
So theoretically the more people you have in your team, the longer you will have to recover between your ‘shifts’ and the less distance individually you will have to run.
However, that all comes down to your team plan, which we look at in more detail in our ‘Race Strategy’ section.
Which races are available in the UK?
There’s a good choice of 24 hour races in the UK, with more being added every year.
Our list of 24 hour running races is not necessarily exhaustive, but we do believe it includes all the UK’s major event. Visit this section of our guide to find out more about the location, date and details of each race.
How good is the sense of cameraderie?
The sense of community and camaraderie is great at 24 hour races.
Normally in a running race, you take part just for yourself. But in 24 hour races, most courses have relatively short laps, so you are regularly reminded that you’re part of a team.
While one person is running, the others will be supporting cheering you on (unless they’re on a sleeping break!)
And everyone – regardless of which team they’re on – cheers on and encourages anyone out on the course: the event centre (or ‘base camp’) at a 24 hour race be an inspiring place.