The present day Summer League was originally called The London League. The first fixture was organised by the London Road Runners Club (LRRC), who invited several 'new breed' running clubs which had become established following the formation of the LRRC. Metros, Serpentine and Stragglers were just three of the original members.

Many years ago, Burnham Joggers organized an event over Easter - a road 10K called The Tugwood 10 after Stan Tugwood (RIP). Burnham have results for 1984, but it's possible the race could have been held the year before as well. In 1986 Metros joined in with the 10Km and, at that time, there was also a shorter run for children and those adults who couldn't run as far as 10K, and one mile relays afterwards (Metros had three teams). Will Chapman and Andy Ridler, who were organising the LRRC at that time, were at Burnham. They thought it was an excellent set-up and suggested a league of London clubs using the same format.

We think the first London League event was in 1986, possibly in Battersea Park, although LRRC was then based at Alexandra Lodge in Hyde Park. The same year, Metros hosted an event in Headstone Manor Recreation Ground, although a different route than the one used today. Pat Green (Serpentine) took over running the London League for many years. Dave Brown (Metros) remembers when two London League fixtures were linked with other races, one being the Twosome 10 in Brockwell Park. The Twosome 10 race was run, followed by another 10Km run on the same route for the London League. The results for the London League were a compilation of the times from the two races after excluding Twosome 10 competitors who were not part of the London League. A similar linked event appeared when East London Runners hosted the East London Half Marathon in Hainault Forest, which started jointly with the London League. The same route was used for the start, but with the half marathon diverted to become a 10Km.