London is set to welcome another big event in 2014 with the launch of the Spitfire Sramble at Hornchurch Country Park. The weekend of 30-31 August will see this exciting 24-hour team contest transform the East London venue with early interest indicating a healthy representation of clubs from across the capital and from nearby Essex.
The event, the brainchild of former Men's Running editor Danny Coyle, takes place at the site of RAF Hornchurch, a crucial airfield in both World Wars. During the Battle of Britain, countless Spitfire missions were launched from the base.
The park still echoes with memories of its former life, with several pillboxes and gun turrets remaining in place. These will all be features of the 5.8-mile multi terrain route runners will be tackling. Starting at midday on Saturday 30 August, teams and solo runners will aim to complete as many laps as they can before midday on Sunday.
Danny told southernrunningguide.com: “I’ve lived in the area for most of my life and knew of the park and its history, but it wasn’t until last year that coming here for a run revealed the possibility for an event like this to take place here.
“Thanks to the work Havering Council and the Forestry Commission have done in landscaping the site and the combination of terrains, there is a fantastic route here waiting to be utilised. When you add the space available for camping, the history of this place and the fact it is so well connected to London, it’s a really exciting prospect for me as a race organiser and for everyone who will come to run in the event.”
Participants can enter as teams (3-5 or 6-8 members), pairs or soloists. The event village will provide catering for 24 hours, toilets, hot showers, sports massage and sponsors area as well as a live results screen to keep runners up to date with their position. There will be trophies and prizes for the winners in each category, with separate male and female prizes in each of the team categories for same sex teams.
Full details the event website.