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Runner to raise charity cash at epic endurance race at Hornchurch Country Park

PUBLISHED: 14:30 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 11 July 2017

A runner taking part at last year's Spitfire Scramble. Picture: Archant

A runner taking part at last year's Spitfire Scramble. Picture: Archant

Archant

A spin instructor is set to swap his bike for a 24-hour endurance challenge at a country park.

Runners after completing the last year's Spitfire Scramble. Picture: Tony BentonRunners after completing the last year's Spitfire Scramble. Picture: Tony Benton

At noon on Saturday, July 15, the epic Spitfire Scramble race begins with solo and relay teams running all through the day and night, finishing at midday on Sunday.

Paul Smailes, 43, of Warren Drive, Elm Park, spoke to the Recorder about why he is taking part.

“This year I’m raising funds for Saint Francis Hospice,” he said.

“I heard a member of the Havering Joggers used to run lots of marathons for the charity and he recently died.

Paul Smailes taking part in last year's Spitfire Scramble. Picture: Paul SmailesPaul Smailes taking part in last year's Spitfire Scramble. Picture: Paul Smailes

“He was an older runner and I thought the charity needs support of younger people as well as older people to keep them going.

“People don’t join up to help unless they need the services which can be later in life.

“It’s a great cause and local charity, everybody supports it.”

Paul hopes to raise £2,000 for completing the endurance challenge.

The event at Hornchurch Country Park, puts endurance, speed, teamwork and torch batteries to the test in what is described as a unique race.

In total around 100km is covered with each lap consisting of 5.9 miles.

Teams or “squadrons” must have one runner on the course at all times who must complete a full circuit before handing over to a team mate.

“I work as a spin instructor and I’m really into the whole fitness thing.

“I did it last year. I’m a member of the Havering Try and we did it as a team event. It’s like a running festival and quite social,” he added.

“We had a team of eight and took turns to run the 5.9 mile course in the park.

“We saw solo runners trying to run the whole time and a member of the club said to me ‘wouldn’t it be good to run it solo’ and I said, I would if he would.

“But I don’t know how its going to go on the day.”

According to fitness instructor, he will have to consume 800 calories every hour-and-a-half to keep going.

To help Paul raise cash visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/smailes

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