13 Jul

Chocks Away For Spitfire Scramble?

Chiltern Challenge Ultra

The mid-July weekend fixtures are dominated by long distance challenges, so if you like to run, jog, walk or even scramble for 24 hours you are in luck because there is an event just for you. All the details and results are published in the definitive runABC race listings brought to you in association with Sports Tours International.

We start our preview with a multi-distance event through the picturesque Hertfordshire countryside. Fairlands Valley Challenge is a self-navigated off-road run or walk of 13.1 miles, 18 miles, 26.2 miles or 50k ultra-marathon. There are flexible start times between 7am and 10am and one unusual feature is the offer of free entries to participants aged over 65.

Chiltern Ultra Challenge is a more competitive 50k ultra-marathon set in the picture perfect Chilterns Area of Natural Beauty. Part of the Sealskinz Ultra Trail Series based at Princes Risborough School, this lung-busting race is held entirely on National Trails and footpaths. 

The best-supported event will be the immensely popular Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones, modestly described as: “An unforgettable 100km along Britain's oldest path”. The path in question is the 5,000-year-old Berkshire Ridgeway and Race to the Stones was voted Best Endurance Event in the UK at the Running Awards 2016.

The above events are on Saturday (15 July) or at least start on Saturday. That is also the case for the Spitfire Scramble 24-hour relay, which claims to be London's only 24-hour trail race. Based at Hornchurch Country Park on the former site of the RAF Hornchurch Airfield, teams of two to eight runners (described as 'squadrons') will complete as many 5.9-mile laps ('sorties') as possible, running through the night with head torches.

So if you like your runner's high to last a long time you are certainly well served in the South this weekend. And if Hornchurch is your destination of choice, perhaps invest in a new battery for your head torch before flying into the darkness!

Good luck to all runners this weekend from the runABC team.

Image courtesy Chiltern Challenge Ultra