The OS Runners 30 minute challenge

Another sunny day, another day for a sunny run.

Like many great ideas, it started with a discussion in a pub. Some good running chat, a couple of drinks and the hypothetical question, how far can you run in a lunch break? This was then modified down to how far can you run in half an hour to form the OS Runners 30min challenge. The inaugural trial was proposed and 14 keen runners agreed to take part. The course was a simple out and back along Lee Lane. The goal to get as far away from OSHQ as possible and make it back in time!

Pre race instructions from Rob – ‘run as far as you want, but you must get back’

Tactics were discussed, do you go for even pacing (15 mins out and 15 mins back), optimistic/bold with longer spent running out and a quicker return or a conservative less time out allowing you plenty of time to get back? Your tactics would also be affected by the runners around you, who will turn back first and do you try to go that little bit further? Anyone arriving over the 30 minutes would be disqualified, for an exciting all or nothing challenge!

3, 2, 1, Gooooooooooooooo!

Everyone set off into the sun and it was a chance for the large timing and support team to catch up, relax and wonder what events were unfolding on the course. We took bets on how many we thought would be overconfident and not make it back within the 30 minutes.

At 28 minutes, we saw our first runner heading back down the path. Diane was the most cautious arriving back in 28:08, almost a full two minutes of running available! In general, cautious and conservative was the theme of the day, the majority getting back with 30s to a minute to spare. Ian managed to maximise his time the most and crossed the line with just 12s left.

The people who made it back inside 30 minutes (Mark S missed the pic, but made it back)

Disappointingly for the supporters, no one’s egos over stretched themselves and everyone made it back in time! Next time, I think people will try and push it further and cut it finer. Unsurprisingly this meant that James won, by running a magnificent 8.27km!

The people who didn’t – it does show credit to OSR’s pacing that we all made it, still I would have expected 1 or 2 individuals (no names) to mess it up!

If there is any other runs or challenges you would like OSR to consider putting on – please discuss with your running friends and let the committee know. They are supportive of new and random running ideas.

Everyone participating makes it fun and brings out our competitive spirit – I don’t think anyone wants to be the first to turn. Huge thank you to Rob, Egbe, James and James for helping, timing and supporting and Rob for coming up with the concept in the first place“ – Matt P


Karen followed in by Tim, Ellie, Baz (out of shot) Matt P, Matt M, Tim and James. I think I can see Ian in the background too

‘Flying without wings’

The number of ‘Strava’ PB’s on a course that we run pretty often suggests runners put a lot of effort into this – well done all