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Lowndes leads Scramble for prizes as local athletes face 24-hour Spitfire relay tests

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:49 18 July 2018

Barking Road Runners' James Lowndes was third among the solo male finishers at the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble

Barking Road Runners' James Lowndes was third among the solo male finishers at the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble

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Local athletes had plenty to celebrate at the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble event at Hornchurch Country Park last weekend.

Barking Road Runners' Cristina Cooper (centre) was part of a women's team that finished second in their category at the 24-hour Spitfire ScrambleBarking Road Runners' Cristina Cooper (centre) was part of a women's team that finished second in their category at the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble

With the RAF celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, competitors were treated to a flypast by a Spitfire.

And Barking Road Runners’ James Lowndes was third solo male runner, after completing 18 laps of the near 10k course in 22 hours 57 minutes 23 seconds for an exhausting 103 miles.

Clubmate Cristina Cooper was part of the Loombandits team which finished second in the female category five event, while Dagenham 88 Runners Paul Prior and Peter Salmon were first in the men’s duo category after running a combined total of 110 miles.

Rosina Salmon and Sara Prior were third in the women’s duo event, while members were also in women’s teams that finished second and third.

Dagenham 88 Runners Rosina Salmon and Sara Prior were third in the women's duo event at the 24-hour Spitfire ScrambleDagenham 88 Runners Rosina Salmon and Sara Prior were third in the women's duo event at the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble

The Spitfire Scramble requires one runner of a relay team to be on the multi-terrain course at all times during the 24-hour period, while solo runners can come on and off the course.

Starting at midday on Saturday, it takes runners towards Albyns Lake and past two Second World War pillboxes, before covering farmland on a loose terrain trail towards the Ingrebourne basin.

After passing through a wooded section and grassy trail, it passes Albyns Farmhouse and climbs Ingrebourne Hill to its highest point, before a downhill stretch to the start line for a handover or another lap.

Alex Jeremy, Andrew Gwilliam, Andy Hiller, Andy Preston, Antony Leckerman, Chris Anastasi, James Byers, Kresh Veerasamy, Manish Sharma, Martin Brooks, Paul Withyman, Rakesh Sandhu, Richard Dudman, Richard Gatehouse and Tom Coughlan were among the Barking men to feature.

Dagenham 88 Runners Paul Prior and Peter Salmon won the male duo event at the 24-hour Spitfire ScrambleDagenham 88 Runners Paul Prior and Peter Salmon won the male duo event at the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble

Alison Fryatt, Charlotte Owen, Charlotte Webster, Lauren Garvey, Margaret Byers, Maria Bartlett, Melissa Lowndes, Natalie Traylen, Nicola Cranmer, Sally Bridge and Stephanie Keyworth were the other women to turn out for the club in various different relay teams.

*Dagenham 88s Ian Cummins took on an ultra challenge of his own as he completed an Ironman distance triathlon.

Held over three days, Cummins had to tackle a 3.8k swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride and then a 26.2-mile run and crossed the finish line in 14 hours and 20 minutes.

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