The Inaugural Spitfire Scramble 24 is London's only 24 hour event.
So team The Hare and the Tortoise will be trying for the most laps in 24 hours.
Helen is running at least five laps for her boys #CONCEPT who will appear on the X-Factor this weekend. We are all so proud and excited for all her hard work, and the boys finally getting the chance to show their true talents.
During World War II it was Home of RAF Hornchurch, an airfield crucial to the RAF's Battle of Britain campaign and the launch site of many a Spitfire mission.
" You and your squadrons will tackle a 5.79 mile course, that winds through the paths, trails and tracks of the park and the neighbouring Ingrebourne Valley.
You’ll run on tarmac paths, gravel trails, up a winding hill and along farm and woodland tracks, with changes of scenery, varying gradients and the dying of the light to challenge your running credentials "
The grass is thick and lumpy for a short while, before heading left then onto a small path towards the first marshal. A clear marker and tape leads us into a small wood. Uneven tree stumps here, so need to be cautious for future laps...
Another left, following the arrow, then out from the trees and passing a small pond with ducks. Marshal no2 and a right turn down a tarmac path, before heading left across an open plain and picking up a gravel track. This track winds down almost a mile until reaching a larger pond, then up a gradual winding slope, reaching a stoned memorial at the top.
The view across to central London and Canary Wharf can be seen from the distance. The track leads down to a marshal, which is the half way point, with water supplied here. I am thirsty already so have some before heading under a fence and across a large field. Lumpy grass again, then once at the gate, crossing the route from the first pond, it is straight ahead along the bending path.
Following this then a short steep slope before a right turn at the arrow and over a bridge. The track becomes gravel again and has a slight gradient until reaching the next left turn.
Turns come quickly as the track leads downhill, before crossing a third bridge. We follow the winding path until reaching the playing field and kids playground. Then to the big field start again and I can hear all the other runners cheering as we come in for hand over to our teams.
Helen is waiting and shouting at the ready and has left me a sausage and some black coffee from the catering guys. Helen purchased a £20 wristband for the hot food supplied.
She sprints off with a huge grin on her face...
Lap one is complete and many more to follow...
The weather is staying dry and breezy, which when we stop gets rather chilly in the open field. But once running it warms up nicely.
It looks like it could get dark early tonight with this thick heavy cloud over us. I have my head torch on now for the night section.
I did pack my Luna sandals for later in the day, but my Merrell trails seem comfortable enough and have plenty of grip.
By now the glow sticks are hanging up on the marker arrows, and white chalk is drawn over those lumpy tree stumps.
Nici is still out doing her solo laps very well and still smiling, although not quite her bubbly self as feeling the boredom set in...
I lose myself in my music which helps distract the same old scenery and track but also passes the time quicker and keeps my pace steady. I am finding the starting and stopping with rest breaks difficult to deal with and my muscles start to recover each time Helen is running.
The discomfort of starting a lap all over again is quite uncomfortable on my aching legs, and it takes a good ten minutes to get back into auto pilot. I am only used to running long without stopping, this technique is all new to me...
My head torch has been fading rapidly so I will need to change the PETZL over for the next laps.
I throw on my arm sleeves, gloves and my race vest to go meet her. I refill my water from the big tank supply and drink some hot black coffee with Helen, before I head on out for more laps.
I go through the woods one last time, the ground is damp from the cooler and humid night. The grass wet and soggy. Back through the playground and arriving at the finish to quite a crowd of runners and spectators.
Depending on which weekend held in August, I would like to run the Spitfire in 2015. I have plans to attempt the T184 (hopefully) which is the end of August.
A very Happy Hare and Tortoise.
Once we take many pics and chat to all the team and organisers involved, it is time to get on the road and head back to Brighton. We stop off for a much needed breakfast and coffees with cream on the M25.
Once home we crash for three hours sleep, including Helen, I finally wore the girl out!
I was very impressed with the Spitfire for the first year and it all seemed to go along smoothly enough. the route had a little of everything and although it did feel tedious at times, the turns and varied terrain kept it interesting enough to pass quickly.
I would prefer a few more eating choice,s as not all of us are running on high carb, foods, Helen made the most of the catering supplied but I didn't think £20 for sausages, burgers, jacket potatoes and beans warrants it.
The sausages were nice and I made use of the coffee.
I always prepare by bringing my own NSNG supplies and tend to make up with a big meal once I have finished running.
So until next year........ to reclaim are titles!