Date/Time: Saturday 15th August – Sunday 16th August
Location: Hornchurch Country Park
Distance: As many 10km laps as possible in 24hours
Last year myself and 7 lovely ladies were lucky enough to win a spot in the first ever Spitfire Scramble. We had the most fantastic time (you can read my full recap here) and I promised that I would be going back next year for more 10km loops, camping and of course my favourite – running in the depths of night!
Fast forward to 2015 and last weekend saw the second ever Spitfire Scramble and I am pleased to say that the event had got nothing but bigger and better! The amount of participants had certainly tripled and it was great to see so many tents, flags, banners and picnic style set ups on the starting field. The food vans had doubled and offered a little more variety than last year and the toilets were nearer to everything – extremely handy when you have tired legs and it’s pitch black! But whilst everything seemed to grow it was fantastic to see that the atmosphere had not changed at all. One of the things I loved about this event was the community that came with it. Yes this is a race, there are winners and you are being timed but it is still one of the most supportive races I have ever taken part in. From the race organisers themselves, to the incredible volunteers who stay out all night to ensure we don’t get lost, to every single competitor – everyone shows support, encouragement and just general friendliness! It is so lovely to be running along chatting to other runners as you pass, rather than just trying to steam ahead.
I am extremely proud to say between the three Run Dem Teams we covered over 700km in 24 hours and I think those stats are pretty incredible!
I said it last year and I will say it again – this is a fantastic event and I cannot wait to take part again next year. A huge thank you to the organisers and everyone involved for putting on such a fantastic and friendly event! If you fancy taking part I could not recommend it enough, and if you want a few tips for how to survive a 24hour race …
1. Pack layers! Even if it is hot when you leave the house, believe me it’s amazing how cold it will get in the night! Plus your temperature will dramatically cool down once you stop running!
2. Pack snacks! Yes there are food tucks but I still suggest bringing a variety of nibbles as you might not fancy a jacket potato / bacon bap at 3am when you are about to do a lap. I took a variety of 9bars (of course) nuts, fruit, pre-baked sweet potato and chocolate covered raisins.
3. If you can, pack a camping chair. Strange I know but between running and then lying down it’s amazing how much you will appreciate a seat, particularly in the morning when everything is damp! Trust me!
4. Make the most of your rest! There is a fantastic festival atmosphere in the camp site which all adds to the experience. In the Run Dem Crew camp we spent a lot of time just enjoying the sunshine, hanging out together, sharing food and swapping stories. But all I would say is that as the day carries on, if you are doing one of the night time laps ensure that you try and get a bit of rest and it’s a very interesting experience running whilst half asleep. Even if it’s an hours power nap you will be surprised at the difference it could make!
5. It’s camping, with plenty of food and with your friends, with a little bit of running thrown in too … enjoy that this is a totally different kind of race! !