Ammanford food run challenge!

December 15th 2022

Ben has completed the challenge of completing one mile every hour for 24 hours. He knew this challenge would be tough but he didn’t realise just how much the challenge would consume those 24 hours.
We raised roughly 536KG of food for the Ammanford food bank. Video of that coming shortly! We’re hoping that will help make Christmas a less stressful time for families in the local area. A huge thank you to everyone that donated food or money. Another big thank you to anyone who wished me luck and kept me during the challenge.4
The first few miles were easy as expected. I was full of energy and had 4 hours of rest from finishing work. I tried to keep a steady pace throughout these first laps knowing that I have many more miles incoming! I quickly discovered that trying to keep my legs warm between is extremely important as already by the 3rd lap the warming and cooling causing my quads to slightly stiffen up.

The next three laps, heading into the early hours of the morning, I was still going strong. However, I was fighting a mental battle. I was sat downstairs on my own in a darkened cold room, my wife and dog were upstairs fast asleep, nice and warm. Tiredness was starting to kick in as I’d been up for roughly 21 hours at this point. Food had completely left my thought process; I was focused so much on keeping my legs warm. Laying on the sofa whilst setting an alarm so I didn’t fall into a deep sleep, trying to get some sort of nap between runs. The adrenaline created from the running made a nap near impossible as I’d be wide awake for about 15 – 20minutes after a run. Once that adrenaline wore off, I’d hit a wall. Pushing myself to get changed into my running gear at the 3-minute alarm was torture. Boy do I wish I had eaten something throughout the night as later I paid the price!

The next three runs were more or less the same as the previous three. Mentally this was the hardest part of the challenge. Forcing your tired body to get changed from warm comfortable clothes to cold, thin running gear took a lot of determination. I couldn’t let this challenge beat me so I pushed on. The weird thing about this is that the night running was probably the most enjoyable part of the challenge. From 12AM to 6AM I don’t think I saw anybody, the the exception of the odd driver, I could hear the hooting of a nearby owl, dogs barking, and the odd creature running across the street. However, once I hit the warm air inside my house, the thought of going back out in the sub zero conditions was heart breaking.


Morning! At last! What a morale boost that was! At this point I’d been awake for 24 hours. Suddenly I was revitalised, the morning sun hit me and I felt awake, energised, the hardest part was over… Or so I thought. My times became quicker, I felt unstoppable. 9am saw me reach the half way mark, my legs were not in pain and I honestly felt that if the other 12 hours felt like the first 12 it was going to be a breeze. I finally settled for a breakfast of pancakes that I snacked on between 8am and 10am.

Laps 13 and 14 were like the rest of my morning laps, slightly slower as I knew I still had many more laps to come! Breakfast was easily digested so stitches weren’t a problem. Plenty of fluids were also consumed along with a cup of coffee to keep me awake. Then lap 15 struck… towards the end of the mile my legs just went to jelly and I could no longer run up the road to where I live. As soon as I got in, I started my stretches and I could tell that I had no energy. Not eating throughout the night was now showing its effects. Top this off with being awake for 28 hours it was a huge morale breaker. I honestly thought I couldn’t continue any longer. My wife was straight on the case! She told me whip up an energy-packed lunch that’ll get me across the finish line!

I quickly scoffed down my mega Budda bowl that my wife made me and left the house for lap 16. I had to walk that lap unfortunately, the combination of a full stomach and jelly legs meant that really a run was out of the question. Lap 17 my legs also weren’t up for a run, still they felt heavy, stiff and weak. I decided that lap I’ll bring my dog for a brisk walk. Although I was determined to run the following laps! Lap 18 I was starting to feel myself, legs were back to some sort of normality again, despite a slight ache in the quads. Back on track and determined to smash the challenge!

Lap 19 I was back on it! Running at a decent pace, slight aches in the quads continued, however I noticed a pain in both my knees starting to sneak through. The temperature was also starting to drop below 0 again, so again that was really affecting my legs stiffening up between runs! As the laps continued my knees grew painful and slower I ran. Lap 21 was almost at walking pace, it felt like I was running through custard at the parts that were slightly inclined. Running downhill felt like my knees were cushioned by needles, it was not pleasant.

At 7pm the weather was very misty and sub-freezing outside. This caused ice to stick to the floor which I quickly discovered upon leaving my house. I made it to the bottom of the road when Whoosh! Landed straight on my backside. Despite wanting to finish the lap as quick as possible to get back and watch the world cup, I thought I better walk to avoid risk of injury. I made it to lap 21, having been awake for over 35hours… I wasn’t going to quit the challenge at that point! The last two runs were strange, I was so determined to finish that all pains and aches had disappeared. All I could I think about was a warm shower and my bed. The relief I felt when finishing the last lap was overwhelming. I was glad that the challenge was over, and slightly disappointed that I didn’t manage to run all the laps and had to walk. However, on further reflection, to say I completed all 24 intervals after being awake for 38 hours is something I can be proud of.

In total I completed 26.34 miles in 24 hours whilst being awake for 38 hours. Challenge complete, I’m certainly not in a rush to do another!!

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