One of the biggest off-road marathons in the UK returns on 29 October for its 15th year, attracting global entries from as far as Australia!
The challenging event, set against the stunning backdrop of the South Downs National Park, will see thousands of runners take part, and will also feature the 10k run for a consecutive fourth year.
As well as attracting huge local interest, the Beachy Head Marathon pulls in world-wide attention for its unique course and breath-taking beauty. Remarkably this year the event is set to welcome over 14 different nationalities, entrants from Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, China, Portugal, Australia and the United States are so far amongst those joining the annual sporting event.
Throughout the gruelling 26 mile course, runners will climb 300 steps and pass 14 gates, whilst taking in the wonderful sights of Jevington, Alfriston, Litlington, Friston Forest, Cuckmere Valley and Seven Sisters, including Birling Gap and Beachy Head.
The track also serves as a great route for spectators, offering loads of excellent viewing spots to see and take in the action on the day. For plenty of parking, toilet facilities and refreshments, both the Seven Sisters Country Park (Visitor Centre) and Exceat heading out towards Seaford are top picks.
Joining the marathon for a fourth year running is the smaller 10k race, perfect for runners, joggers and walkers alike. The circular route stretches out across Beachy Head, taking participants through open terrain and past Cornish Farm before heading on the home straight across South Downs Way.
Both races will begin outside Bedes School, the marathon is set to start at 9am and the 10k will be kicking off shortly after at 9.30am. Supporters should be aware that Dukes Drive will be closed from 7am until 8pm.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Councillor Margaret Bannister commented, “Each year the Beachy Head Marathon & 10k run both attract new faces ready to rise to the challenge, and to have such a positive response internationally is very exciting for the town.
“Not only is the South Downs National Park a location of outstanding beauty, but the terrain serves as the perfect location for an endurance event such as this one - and we are delighted to be celebrating the spirit of sport and fitness once again this October.”
This year, as every other, participants will remember the tireless work of Marathon founder Leslie Smith, whose family make an annual award at the event. In 2016, the award will be made by Helen Smith to The First Eastbourne resident to cross the Marathon finish line.
Currently Event Organisers are still searching for volunteers to help marshal the course. For those interested in taking part as a volunteer, call 01323 415442 or send an email to Julie.Paul@eastbourne.gov.uk.
To enter, click here.
Photo credit: Graham Huntley