I would love to cheekily say that I completed the Go Ultra Insomnia 24 running event in July, but I would be telling a little fib. I didn’t run the fields of Cattows Farm for 24 hours as completed by many of this year’s participants, but I did at least walk the 10k circuit once and photograph the event for 24 hours, so felt I was there in spirit. This was my first exposure to Ultra Running and I found it very inspiring. Upon return, having taken in the amazing atmosphere and edited the images, I found myself thinking about the fact that these events and what it takes to undertake one, have several lessons that you can apply to running a business.
Support is never to be underestimated
The Go Ultra team don’t have the skills to run everything at these events, so they outsource these areas to experts, giving them time to concentrate on what they are ace at. This ensures the participants are getting everything they could want when they book in.
There were teams of people running the event which meant they had each other to rely on, but even the individual runners had a team of friends and family at the camp who were there to help them get through it. So even if you are a one person business, there is usually a group of people that have your back, so don’t forget to hunt out who they are and appreciate them.
Determination makes you go further
I felt exhausted just watching some of these athletes complete circuit after circuit and wondered how they did it, but I realise it was a goal that was driving them. If something is important to you, determination kicks in and nothing stops you.
The leader boards, timings and numbers of laps was carefully looked at by the teams and individuals as they went round because strategically they were working out how to improve, how to get the best results and how much they could achieve. After all, analysing something helps you identify what you need to do to go forward positively.
Be you and compete your way
Not everybody ran the whole time and not everybody ran for 24 hours, because they were achieving what suited them. For some, this was about completing their own target and not comparing themselves to somebody beyond where they wanted to be. For some, this was a trial for a bigger goal. The lesson I came across is that you know where your strengths are and you know when and how you want to use them to effect. It is about being true to you.
A positive attitude makes all the difference
There were no end of smiles throughout the 24 hours and for these runners and walkers, it came across that they were not afraid to take on a challenge to whatever level suited them. They were not daunted by the thought of lapping a course for 24 hours like most people I mention the event to before hand. They were not held back by fear. They pushed that comfort zone and wow their smiles at the end were very inspiring.
Look around for inspiration
The scenery at Cattows Farm is stunning and combined with the smell of the strawberry fields in full season to run past, it was a beautiful place to be distracted by. Even after the moon lit skies of the night, the runners and marshals were all so motivated to see the sunrise brightening the sky the next day. That inspiration of light and the surroundings was perfect.
A plan makes things clear
Go Ultra’s Insomnia 24 went smoothly because the planning had taken place in advance. It made it easy for people to follow what was going on and clarity makes it so much easier to achieve results and keep everybody happy.
Motivation is vital
Things did get tough for people and not everybody was an ultra runner, so I saw that the motivation along the way meant a lot to everyone. From the marshals knowing their names, to cups of tea and keeping partners company during the night hours, it all went a long way to getting people back on track. If you can’t draw on your own strength at certain times for that motivation then it is always worth reaching out for it, because there will always be somebody who has the empathy to help you get there.
Your brand can create a community
I know when I’ve completed a race, or been to a festival, or event, then those little branded items make you feel like you are part of an inclusive community. To tweet a photo with a hashtag makes you want to share your experience. To wear that T- Shirt, or wrist band is like a badge of honour and reminds you why you did it in the first place. Imagine if all your clients felt this special at every point of contact with you … that would be awesome.
A huge congratulations to Wayne and Emma on creating a much talked about event for all the best reasons and you can view the whole event via the gallery. Plus if you are inspired by this, they have another event that has more stunning scenery along The National Forest Way coming up in September.