Endurance trail running … from Mont Blanc to Lemur Loop
Born from an ‘off duty’ encounter with the Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc, Team Intrinsic’s Matthew Cox has set about organising an end of season ‘social’ that will tackle the 12-hour Lemur Loop endurance event. Combining individual team goals which range from completing a double marathon to raising awareness of Lemurs and eating copious amounts of cake, the ambitious triathlete has certainly got his work cut out for him. We find out what possessed him.
So Matthew, why an Ultra endurance event?
I’ve really enjoyed mixing it up this year and am pleased with my performance and results, but I fancied combining an end of year ‘social’ event with dipping my toes into endurance Ultra Marathons. Part of the reason I got back into running and then into triathlon was a trip to Chamonix for a summer holiday a few years back.
Returning to Chamonix at the end of a long day hiking in the mountains, we became aware that the town was filling up with crowds of excited people and the noise levels were rising. There was a real infectious buzz about the place. It turned out that the Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) was finishing that evening. So we installed ourselves in a pavement café with a great view of goings on, drank beer and watched the finishers come into the town through until early morning. We were completely mesmerised and in awe of these super athletes who had been running for 20 hours plus.
Mont Blanc is a long way from the Lemur Loop
Sometime during that night I told Laura (Gallagher, my wife and Team GB trampoline medallist) that I would compete in that race one day: not that I wanted to, but that I would. Just to put that bold statement into context, at this point I hadn’t really run since school. But it marked the start of my fascination with endurance sports.
Every season that I have raced since that fateful evening, I’ve started to go a little bit longer with events. Although I’d still count the marathon as my enemy rather than my friend, the 12-hour Lemur Loop appealed to me instantly.
What’s involved in the Lemur Loop?
Organised by the brilliant Immortal Sports, the Lemur Loop involves a team of six running for 12 hours with the aim of complete the most 10k loops collectively within the time. It’s not a relay so once the first loop has been completed any team member can start a new loop at any time during the event. Which means all of us could be out on the course at any one time. It sounded like it would be a great event, so messages went out to a few of my running friends and with a certain amount of coercion we assembled a full team.
Who are the Team Intrinsic Lemur Loop ‘All-Stars’
We all have different goals and most of the reasons for doing the race are because I press-ganged teammates into it, but we’re all really looking forward to supporting one another and pushing ourselves to our individual limits. However, I am very aware that we wouldn’t be able to do any of that were it not for the amazing behind-the-scenes support from our nearest and dearest. So ‘Thank you’ on behalf of the whole team to our support crew. It’s shaping up to be a great end of season event.
- Matthew Cox, Team Intrinsic athlete
Reason = First Ultra Race
Goal = Double Marathon
- Chris Roberts, Team Intrinsic athlete and MD of Intrinsic Facilities Engineering Ltd / Intrinsic Facilities Management Ltd
Reason = Matt made me
Goal = 40k more then Jon (Cox, teammate)
- Jon Cox, Regular Team Intrinsic guest athlete
Reason = Matt made me
Goal = Consuming at least 4 gels per lap and completing 50k
- Simon Evans, Team Intrinsic guest athlete
Reason = Raising awareness of Lemurs
Goal = 50k
- Danny Richards, Team Intrinsic guest athlete
Reason = Loves Lemurs, wants to eat copious amounts of cake and it’s a good excuse to get out of chores for the day
Goal = 70k
Dean Titchener, Team Intrinsic guest athlete
Reason = First Ultra
Goal = 50k
Julian Cox, Team Intrinsic ‘Manservant’
Reason = Another chore shirker who liked the job description ‘Team Manager’ and wanted to spend a day without having to do jobs around the house
Goal = Not having to touch anyone’s feet
Sue Cox, Team Intrinsic ‘Nutritionist’
Reason = Loves any excuse to cook up a batch of delightful treats – rice pudding, flapjacks, brownies – to fuel the runners
Goal = To make sure Jon Cox is sufficiently well-fed throughout the day so he doesn’t get tired and grumpy
- Team Intrinsic represents the combined interests of Intrinsic Facilities Engineering and Intrinsic Facilities Management.
- The Lemur Loop is organised by Immortal Sports. The 12-hour endurance event takes place on Saturday 17th November 2018, 9am-9pm at Cricket St Thomas, Nr Chard, Somerset.