Here’s the first post in our new CLUB OF THE MONTH feature, where we focus in on some of the clubs, groups and communities that help create the amazing atmosphere at TR24. It’s a an opportunity to learn a bit more about some of the familiar faces at the event, what they do and how you can get involved.
What better place to start with than by giving the floor to a group set up by two of our pioneers (runners that took part in the very first Thunder Run way back in 2009), that have taken part in every edition since – Mike Bullock & Susan Mansfield. If you’ve been to TR24 you would have been hard pushed to miss them and the antics of the SPIDER RUNNERS! He’s some words from them detailing how the group came into existence and what it’s all about…
“WE ARE TR24 PIONEERS AND EVER-PRESENTS What does that mean? We took part in the very first Thunder Run in 2009, and have ran every single TR24 since (Mike holds the record for most laps at Catton Park…168 and counting.) After the 2009 race, Mike (aka Papa Spider) wrote an article for Runner’s World magazine, which they ran as a 2-page spread, about the sheer brilliance of the TR24 experience, the first 24-hour lapped run-race in the UK. Good PR and a lot of hard work from the TR24 team, helped grow the race from just 134 participants in year one, to 1600 in year 2… which then doubled by year 4.
Roll forward 14 years and a billion funny costumes, TR24 is still going strong, and it’s been fundamental to the birth of a very special running-baby. In 2021, in a very muddy TR24 field, Mike, Susan and Big Rich (Mr Deadpool), had a deep & serious (boozy) conversation about how to keep the TR24 ideology, of a completely unjudgmental & supportive running community, alive for 365 days a year….and from that conversation Spider Runners was born!
Spider Runners is now a global phenomenon, with members in over 14 countries, and at last count, over 600 TR24 runners…it’s arguably the biggest (and maybe the loudest) run group at TR24.
Mama & Papa Spider (Mike and Susan) host a daily run & chat community on Facebook (the best coffee morning you’ll ever go to). But as the membership has grown, so has what the group now offers its members (all completely FREE):
Free weekend-running holidays in the beautiful Peak District.
Regular monthly guided trail runs, always finishing with cake and a natter.
Park Run take overs (we only visit the ones with good cafes. Cake is vitally important, after all).
A 100% Supportive online community where nobody is excluded, and it’s safe to ask any question.
Simply the best cake and shoe advice around.
Fun virtual themed challenges throughout the year suitable for anyone.
Fancy dress is wholeheartedly encouraged, especially if it’s Spider-Man related.
Regular discounts from running related brands.
But most importantly, sometimes when training or life is hard, you just need someone to tell you it will be ok, to share an experience, or to say that you’re not alone, we are very proud to say that is what this supportive running community is here for. We’ve never had to censor a single comment…every member is totally committed to supporting each other.
Sounds a bit soppy to write that, but in a world where things can get a bit serious & judgemental, we wanted to create a place where it’s ok to simply say “hey guys can you help me” or “I need cheering up, whatcha got???”
When we say everybody is welcome, we really mean that. Whilst we have at least 3 world record holders, and many athletes representing their countries, most of the community are normal runners just like you and I, but all happy to offer advice and support.
If you have been to TR24 before, you’ve definitely come across us… usually in Spiderman fancy dress, probably singing songs, and definitely with a cake in our hands. Mike was the one doing last year’s TR24 in a leg-brace as he had broken his knee 5 weeks before TR24 but was determined to hobble his 8 laps.
How do you get involve with Spider Runners... click on the button below, to join their special form of craziness!
Please note, anyone can join Spider Runners, as it doesn’t affect your club membership, because we are a community not a club. It’s completely free so why wouldn’t you join???”