“As a team, we can achieve more than any of us could individually – together, we can push the boundaries of what is possible.”
Team Hour 7 founders Michael Stocks and Dom Ashdown wanted to create a team providing top-level support to some of the best ultra-runners in the UK - with the expertise and comradery to help them run with the best in the world.
“Just like SAYSKY, the focus is on the everyday heroes.”
These are athletes getting in from a hard shift and still getting back out the door to run their intervals, or up before the crack of dawn to run the long miles before a day with the family.
Scroll down to read the full story about the Hour 7 x Saysky partnership, ultra-running, comradery, and giving back to the community.
Just what is Hour 7?
Words by Robbie Britton, Hour 7 performance coach and team manager:
It’s the question most people ask first and foremost, so best to introduce the partnership between the new ultra-running team and Saysky by tackling it head on.
“It’s a team providing top level support to some of the best ultra-runners in the UK,” says team founder and British international Michael Stocks. “That seventh hour of any ultra is when it gets tough, when you need to put in the extra work with your nutrition, training, and psychology.”
Launched early in 2022, the first six athletes are on the rise, but with several British records and international vests between them already. Even since the launch four of the athletes have been selected to represent their country this summer.
Teamwork plays a huge part
One person involved is performance coach and team manager Robbie Britton: “Ultra-running can be a lonely sport at times, especially when you’re adding all that training on top of work and a family life. We wanted to help each of our athletes step up to the next level through a professional support network geared around their health and performance.”
Like Saysky the focus is on the everyday heroes, the athletes getting in from a hard shift and still getting back out the door to run their intervals, or up before the crack of dawn to run the long miles before a day with the family.
Sam Amend is the British 100 mile record holder and is training for the World 100k Championships in August. A single mum, working full time and training to compete with the best in the world. A week in the life of Sam would break most people, but she tackles it all with a smile and an endless energy for life.
Damian Carr is targeting the European 24hr Championships in Verona in September and with a personal best of 262.9km. It’s his first GB & NI vest, he’s capable of great things, but wants to go the extra mile in his preparation this time. It will be a team effort before, during and after.
Also working towards the 100k Champs in August is Jo Murphy, the current British 100k Champion and expert in the world of pacing: “It’s just great to be supported and surrounded by like-minded individuals with aspirations to develop together as athletes.”
Competitors with a common goal
As a team the ethos is just that: to grow stronger together. Even when Sam and Jo were competing against each other, for England and Scotland respectively, at the British 100k Champs, there was a respect and admiration that went beyond the competition. Hour 7 team mates just wanting to see each other run their best race.
From parkrun to the World Championships, the competitively minded team-mates give their all. It’s not just training together, but access to the world class support network that includes the likes of Olympic performance nutritionist Wendy Martinson, strength and conditioning coach Jermaine Olasan and top physiologist Dr. Jamie Pugh at Liverpool John Moores University.
“In Hour 7 we’re all athletes aspiring to individually perform at the very top, but together we’re so much more.” says Ollie Garrod who will be lining up at the World 100k Champs in August for GB & NI. “By helping others in sessions, sharing knowledge and ideas, and celebrating team achievements there’s a huge amount of positivity and drive."
So the partnership with Saysky is perfect. Bringing together people who care about performance and being part of something greater than the individual. The impact we can have on our fellow athletes and the sport as a whole matters.
Giving something back
“We want to support as many athletes as we can, in the way we feel they deserve,” says head of operations Dom. “But it’s not just that physical help to these individuals, but also trying to bring knowledge and best practice into the sport of ultra-running as a whole. What can we do to help the wider community too.”
The journey is only just beginning, but already the impact for the athletes has been felt. What the future holds, especially when taking on such a bold venture, is never predictable. When you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals, all striving for self-improvement, it makes everything feel that more achievable.
To find out more, follow Team Hour 7 on Instagram or check out www.hour7.com to be part of the adventure.