Hundreds take part in marathon over Downs

Eighteen hundred runners, joggers and walkers tackled the 26.2 miles of hills, steps and gates that make up the Beachy Head Marathon on Saturday (October 26).

Jeff Pyrah was first over the finish line in 2 hours and 55 minutes, with Paul Barnes clocking 3 hours and 3 minutes in second place followed by Dennal Kendal, just one minute behind for third place. The female winner was Andrea Green, with a time of 3 hours and 30 minutes.

The marathon started and finished at the foot of the Downs by Bede’s School. This year, there was also a 10k race which was won by Ben Gibson in 40 minutes 35 seconds, with Stephen McDonald and Archie Meikle taking second and third place in 40 minutes and 53 seconds and 40 minutes and 56 seconds respectively. The first woman back was Eve Serventi in 45 minutes and 9 seconds.

The race attracted runners from all over the globe, with participants travelling from USA, Germany, France, Guernsey, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and all over the UK.

Councillor Carolyn Heaps said, “It was fascinating to see so many runners this year along with many spectators cheering on the sunny autumn day. We would like to thank all our volunteers who helped out on the day as well our sponsors; Bookers Wholesale, The Grand Hotel and Eastbourne Motoring Centre. What a fantastic way to raise money for charity, we can’t wait for next year!”

The event was staged with assistance from over 120 volunteers who stewarded the course, handed out medals and drinks at the finish, drove mini buses, assisted at the registration tent and manned the kitchen at the end of the race.

Out on the course the checkpoints were manned by St Barnabas’ hospice charity, Hailsham Rotary club and assisted by Hailsham Harriers, Beachy Head Ramblers, TS Eastbourne Sea Cadets, Seaford Striders, Tuesday O Hara Charity, Birling Gap and Eastbourne Coastguards and Eastbourne Voluntary Lifeguards who manned the swimming pool. The event was also supported by Sussex Police who provided PCSO staff, SECAMB, who provided a paramedic and 4x4 vehicle to support the event, and first aid was provided by St John Ambulance.

The Leslie Smith award went to the fastest female marathon walker this year, awarded to Sally Rogers.