Beachy Head marathon under starter’s orders

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Intrepid runners are under starter’s orders for the 2012 Beachy Head Marathon which takes place this weekend.

The 26.2 mile race will have Games Makers, who proved so popular at the summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, volunteering to make sure the popular event goes smoothly.

The challenging route, through undulating South Downs countryside. is popular with marathon runners from around the world, with entrants this year reaching full capacity in record time.

It is one of the biggest off-road marathons in the UK and is formerly known as the Seven Sisters Marathon.

Passing through villages, woods and along the famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, the venue is a popular spot for sports fans to cheer on athletes.

Last year’s winner was Steve Nimmo, who finished in a speedy three hours and two minutes.

The first female runner home was Susie Casebourne, who clocked in at three hours and 36 minutes.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Councillor Carolyn Heaps said, “Runners always praise the cheery welcome they receive from marshals, and volunteers often tell us what an uplifting and enjoyable experience that have had.”

Since 2002, more than £45,000 has been donated to the local charities who have assisted in marshalling, first aid and safety provision at the event, with more than £40,000 each year raised for charity through sponsorship alone.

The event kicks off at 9am on Saturday October 27 from the front of St Bede’s School.

The Tiger Inn, at East Dean, is offering all runners who complete all 26.2 miles a free pint of beer from the Beachy Head Brewery on presentation of their medal.

This year, Beachy Head Marathon organisers are installing road closures in the villages of Jevington and Litlington as both villages are struggling to manage the large amount of marathon spectators and runners’ supporters who visit the area. 

The official Beachy Head Marathon viewing area is Seven Sisters Country Park, where there is plenty of parking and refreshments.

For more information about the marathon see www.beachyheadmarathon.org.uk