The Eastbourne Half Marathon takes place this weekend (Sunday, March 5), and – now in its 13th year – is set to be even bigger and better than ever.
Following the huge success of 2016, the event is hoping to attract more than 2,000 entrants.
It is a community event aimed at runners of all abilities. Organisers say they are just as excited at seeing the last person finish as they are the first.
The race starts at 10am in Princes Park and goes west along the promenade towards Beachy Head before looping back on Dukes Drive and returning along the seafront to Sovereign Harbour before finishing where it started.
New this year is more bands and entertainment along the route, offering encouragement, and there will be ‘pacers’ to help runners achieve their set goals or personal bests.
The ethos behind the Half Marathon is to raise money for charities and local good causes. Over the years it has given directly to charity more than £130,000 – and much more has been raised for entrants’ own personal charities.
The main charities this year are Chestnut Tree House and the RNLI, but after the event organisers look for any small clubs or charities they can help out with leftover funds.
Rupert Ashford, event organiser, said, “We’re all prepared, we are looking forward to a great event. It’s a beautiful run, mostly flat, with a bit of a hill around mile three.
“It’s always a great atmosphere, with the best places for crowds to gather at Princes Park and on the Bandstand.
“We are very thankful to all our volunteers and marshals, without them it just wouldn’t happen. We are always calling for more, email us if you want to help out.”
In order to stage the Eastbourne Half Marathon, more than 100 volunteers are needed to help with everything from putting up signage, marshalling, car park stewards to lead cyclists and tail end walkers.
Alongside the main event will be two junior races – including a 1k for junior children.
The deadline for signing up to the Half Marathon online is midday today (Friday) but runners can still show up around 8am on the day if they want to register.
For more information visit www.eastbournehalf.co.uk call 01323 734645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org