Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners’ second trip to the Spitfire Scramble 24-hour race was a huge success: the club’s four relay teams, made up of 31 runners, ran a combined total of 1,120km, with many runners putting runs of 30, 40 and in some cases, 50km over the course of the race.
Both the men’s and the ladies’ teams led from early on in the race and increased the gap throughout the night, running with head-torches over the challenging 10km off-road course in London’s Hornchurch Country Park and carrying on to noon on the second day.
The ladies’ team, comprising Sam Fawcett, Kelly Du Buisson, Michelle Ashwell, Victoria Thornley, Rachel Lewis, Esther Hamilton, Jess Tanner and Kirsty Russell, finished top of the ladies’ 6-8 relay category, after completing a massive 29 laps (290km) in a time of 24:38:04 – three laps and nearly 1h 24m ahead of the second ladies’ team.
The D&T 6-8 men’s team, made up of Jamie Marlow, Steve Russell, Stephen Shaw, Jason Hawkridge, Darren Mills, Duncan Hamilton, Doug Hamilton and Casper Du Buisson, put in an astonishing 33 laps (33km) in a time of 24:25:05, four laps ahead of the second-placed team.
The two mixed teams finished well up the rankings as well. D&T Mixed 2 – John Slack, Tim Churchill, Clare Hunt, Richard Slack, Dave Stears, Kodie Mitchell, Jim Mason and Alex Deane – were 14th overall, on 28 laps in a time of 24:39:27, while D&T Mixed 1 – Janice Briggs, Neil Mallon, Rob Deane, Gary Sturdy, Pat Hayball, Chris Keen and Denise Burford – were 34th, with 22 laps in 23:39:38.
As part of their pre-race preparation, eight of the group ran the nearby Harrow Lodge parkrun, only three hours before the start of the Spitfire.
Just like last year, Jamie Marlow finished first overall, in a new PB for the event of 17:58. Duncan Hamilton was sixth overall in 20:03, while Jess Tanner finished 29th in 24:48 (3rd lady overall), with David Stears just behind in 25:00.
Vicky Thornley and Michelle Ashwell did their 49th parkruns, finishing in 29:09 and 29:51 respectively as they edge one step closer to their quest of 50 parkruns, and Kirsty Russell and Rob Deane cruised along to finish in 30:38.