Hell on the Humber August 2023 report by Sarah Storey

Hell on the Humber 2023 logo

Race date: 19–20 August 2023

Race distance: 12 hours (40 miles completed)

For anyone who knows me will know I have a love for this bridge although the bridge never changes no two runs are ever the same!!!!

This little run came about due to the fact I won a free entry way back in 2019 when I completed 96 miles in 24 hours. Back then I finished joint 1st but ended up in 2nd place due to finishing a few minutes before my fellow competitor, then covid struck and everything went on hold and although the races are now being held again. The 24 hour right now isn’t an option, so I opted for the 12 and given my present running form even this was looking doubtful going on my previous runs and serious lack of training and preparation.

The run was taking place on Saturday 19th August and was starting at 6pm right through to 6am Sunday morning.

I arrived in the designated carpark in time for registration and then went back to sit in the car whilst the race brief was due to start and to make my last minute checks. I rocked up to the brief but it was already nearly over, luckily the brief is always the same so I wasn’t missing any important information. We were then given 15 minutes to make those last minute checks and toilet runs before the whistle blew and off we set.

I had a race plan sorted and I’d made a conscious decision to run one way and walk back the other way as this was the return leg which was where the bridge elevation would be.

6pm arrived and we were off. There were 2 different race times, some runners were doing 6hrs so therefore their race would be over at midnight. The first 2 miles across the bridge were great, the weather was actually in our favour and it was relatively sunny and warm. I got to the traffic cone to turn around and make my way back to the start and this also doubled up as the checkpoint to register each 4 mile loop. I was actually feeling ok so set off for round 2. Everyone on the bridge is so friendly and supportive of each other, we all acknowledge each other and encourage everyone to do well as it’s a personal journey as the only person you’re racing against is yourself.

My run/walk plan didn’t go as planned – I did walk up the incline but then felt ok so kept running, so each 4 mile loop I was actually running 3.5 miles of them and only walking 0.5 mile. I successfully finished 3 loops before retreating to the car for a banana sandwiched between 2 slices of chocolate brioche bread and 250ml of water after a quick phone call home to make sure that they’d had food and had fed the dogs too I set off for some more laps.

Some faces become quite familiar and they are also regular runners at this race so that alone makes it super friendly. Another 2 laps and I was gasping for fluids so off to the car I went again for a can of monster this time and some crisps and honey roasted peanuts. I had set my alarm on my phone for 30 minutes so I could grab a quick cat nap.

After the catnap it was back to business and back to completing some more miles in the dark hours of the night. I managed another 3 loops and once again needed fluids and foods. This time I’d decided to give myself an hour’s rest as my legs were quite sore. My food consisted of more water and a crisp sandwich once again on chocolate brioche bread. Running on metal is a totally different experience to running on grass or tarmac, but by the time my alarm went off I realised that I’d run 32 miles, my second longest run of the year. I managed to slot another 2 loops after my sleep bringing my total distance for the night to a meagre 40 miles and whilst I was happy with the outcome I think had I trained better and run more than 3 miles a time and fuelled better through the night I could have done a few more.

There are a few rules for the race that’s lovingly known as HOTH (hell on the Humber):

  • You have to complete a minimum of 1 loop every 3 hours
  • Under no circumstances are you allowed to listen to music through any kind of headphones but you can carry a 1980 old style boom box with you and share the music for all to hear
  • The race does finish at 6 so if you can’t get back to the finish line for that time then don’t start a fresh lap as it won’t count to your final tally

I have already signed up for the next race when is in October and aptly named Helloween.

This is my second race this year on the bridge. In the first I completed 24 miles in a 6 hour window. For anyone who enjoys their own company and running the same route consistently and of course sore legs then this is a great race to consider and is run by an amazing team!!!!!

Full results: not available

scroll to top