The "No Finish Line" event started in 1999 in Monaco, under the patronage of Prince Albert II, as a project for the Unversal Rights of Children. After two years, Children & Futures was born. The concept was a charity event but there are two races involved: an 8 day race and a 24 hour race.
The course is also open to runners and walkers (licensed and non licensed) and open to all 24/24 during the 8 days for anyone, individual or teams, who may participate from 1 hour up to a mararthon a day (or even more....)
As this is a charity event, for every kilometre completed by each runner/walker over the 8 days/24 hours, 1 € is donated by sponsors to Children & Futures for disadvantaged children world wide. Truly a worthy cause.
Note: It is not a judged race for race walkers.
The 24 hour race
report by Kathy Crilley
Both Sandra and myself had participated in this race in 2011, (see 2011 race report) but since then the race has grown and has also moved to a different course. In 2011 there were only 46 entrants in the 24 hour race; this year it was 149 (excluding the relay teams).
Through fellow Serpentine RC member, Pam Storey, Sandra and myself became part of the Fondation Santa Devota team which meant we were not only raising money for Children & Futures , but also for the Fondation. Fondation team leader, David La Foristier, made us very welcome and let us use their table to store our kit and food supplies alongside loads of encourgement throughout the race. Thank you David.
Race start was 9am on Saturday but we were able to register and collect our number and chip timing gadget on Friday afternoon and we were also shown around the facilities of Le Chapiteau by one of the organisers. We were also able to do a recce of the course (minus chip timing gadget!!) on Friday evening.
Our main concern was the number of, what we subsequently labelled "the day trippers". These were members of the public who just turned up in their "civvies" to do a lap or more... often with their shopping... old and young... walkers and runners... there were an awful lot of them! But we had to remind ourselves that they too were earning money for the charity.
However, many of the runners were a bit of a problem... whether individual or relay teams - they actually became our worst nightmare as they appeared to be totally unaware that there was an acutal 24 hour race going on... They were not averse to pushing and shoving everyone else out of their way. The Barclays relay team was one of the worst offenders (which included Paula Radcliffe).
It did become (as far as I was concerned) a question of Keep Calm and Carry On... as I had thought of giving up after 7 or 8 hours or so. But the thought of ...
(1) extracting Euros out of those foreign banks, and
(2) showing those runners what race walkers can do... certainly kept me motivated to stay the course!
Things did calm down over night and indeed it was magic! ... just walking around the gardens and then by the cove along the breakwater with the Mediterrenean gently lapping below ... was, well... pure heaven. Heaven, however, was slightly shattered around 8am the next morning when the "macho runners" returned to the track to continue their ill mannered and demented race around the course.
But this did not put us of as I am sure we will be back next year!!
Final results show that race walkers, may not quite rule the running world, but they come pretty close.
ladies 24 hour results as published
1st (runner) 186,780 km
2nd Sandra Brown 181,120 km (5th overall)
6th Kathy Crilley 142,915 km (23rd overall)
the last lap has not been recorded despite someone with a surveyors wheel going round measuring where everyone stopped after the 24 hour gun went off... last but not least, the relay teams were included in the final results which skewed the overall positions...
So Sandra completed well over 182 km* and myself, 144,330 km (an 70-74 British agerecord?)
* the big screen in the tent showed Sandra completing 184.406kms after going over the mat on her last lap... so who knows what the heck was going on..