Running at twilight…dawn and in the midday sun!

This weekend I became the roving race reporter, on the ground finding out what was occurring lap by lap! This was because I was part of a team that took part in the 7th Spitfire Scramble 24 hour race! This race takes place in Hornchurch Country Park on the site of the old RAF base. The race ‘returned for duty’ this weekend after last being held in 2019. Starting at 12 noon, the race takes in a 5.75 mile off road loop involving gravel tracks, farmland, woods and a little hill. The hill gives you views across to the skyline of London though, so it worth the small ascent to the top! Temperatures soared to 28 degrees as our team, Keitch Me If You Can, put in the laps, 26 in total in 24 hours, 11 minutes. The team consisted of Charlie Keitch (6 laps), Jon Mann (5 laps, plus 1/2 lap with Charlie), Scott Young (5 laps), Claudia Keitch (5 laps) and me, Caroline Searle (5 laps). The team put in a sterling effort to move from 8th place on Saturday to 6th on Sunday out of 13 mixed 3-5 teams.

John Bush and Belinda Palmer-Barnes also ‘returned for duty’ this weekend, taking on the solo Spitfire Scramble. They both did 6 laps, completing over 30 miles in 24 hours.

Charlie Keitch and Jon Mann went off to find the local parkrun on Saturday, just something to do before a 24 hour race! Raphael parkrun was celebrating its 300th parkrun and it was Charlie’s 40th different parkrun location. Both him and Jon finished in 24:24. Spot the tent or is it a runner in the picture below!

Lisa Briggs made sure that she was able to get to Eden Project parkrun, in Cornwall, which provided glorious views across the biomes, but some steep ascents up the zig-zag paths. She ran home in 25:00.

Richard Heath took part in Monsal Trail parkrun near Bakewell, this is an out and back parkrun along the old train tracks. He finished in 19:04.

Richard Heath on the Monsal Trail.

Rob Blackman took on the Woolacombe Dunes parkrun which involves sand. He completed the course in 22:50 which was 3rd fastest.

Image from Saturday’s Woolacombe Dunes parkrun – that sandune looks brutal!

The rest of this week’s results can be found here, with a special mention to the large group of runners who went to take on Alton Water some after cycling there and also to Tim Ballard who bagged his first parkrun leading man at Harwich in 18:23.

On Sunday, Ella Simpson ran a new PB of 9:20 at Colchester junior parkrun, which was over 30 seconds faster. Orlaith Hallahan ran in 13:07 and Nainsí Hallahan ran in 17:14. Yasmin Leek ran in 17: 36.

On Friday night it was time for the Ipswich Twilight 10k race. This race was originally timed to allow runners to chase home the sun. Now it is held in Ipswich town centre and consists of a double lap of the town starting and finishing near Portman Road. Magdalena Komorowska lead home the Bentley Blues in a time of 46:53 and was 29th woman out of 343. David Balfour led home the men in 53:19. Caroline Talbot ran 53:35; Louise Balfour 56:47; Mark Harris 59:08; Donna Harris 59:16; Alison Clarke 1:01:02 and Mike Deed in 1:07:42.

Sue Wray took part in a very hot Summer Stumble 5 miler (alcoholic/non-alcoholic) beverages involved and she came second in 1:04:07, enjoying a drink of cola on her run! Cheers Sue!