On your marks for the start of Beachy Head Marathon

Beachy Head Marathon. Photo courtesy of Eastbourne Borough Council SUS-171031-132831001
Beachy Head Marathon. Photo courtesy of Eastbourne Borough Council SUS-171031-132831001

The toughest marathon in the country is back on our doorstep this weekend.

Beachy Head Marathon will see thousands of runners from all over the world pounding the slopes of the beautiful South Downs on Saturday (October 27).

More than 3,000 runners from as far afield as the US, Norway and Nigeria – as well as participants from 17 other nations – will be taking part in the world-famous marathon and 10k races and this year’s oldest competitor will be Jeanne Coker, who is running the 10k event at the age of 81.

Organisers said, “Whether you are looking for an iconic personal challenge or raising money for charity, you can look no further than the Beachy Head Marathon.”

It covers a 26.2 mile course that includes more than 300 steps and 14 gates, passing through Jevington, Alfriston, Litlington, Friston Forest, the Cuckmere Valley, Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.

The race starts and finishes at Bedes School in Dukes Drive, with the fasted runners expected from 11.45am onwards, with a steady stream until the last one home at approximately 6pm.

Last year’s champions were Todd Leckie for the men’s in 2.56.45, and Alexie Williams for the women’s in 3.27.09.

Meanwhile, in its fifth year, the 10k run will set off just after the marathon with a route taking a shorter looping route across the Downs to the Belle Tout Lighthouse and back.

Councillor Margaret Bannister said, “It’s great to see that once again the Beachy Head Marathon and 10K has attracted entrants from across the world. The course shows off some of our wonderful local scenery and the whole event is a great day out, not just for the competitors, but also those who come along to cheer them all on.

“Many choose to make the most of their weekend, staying in our local hotels and guesthouses and then go on to celebrate their race successes in one of our many bars, pubs and restaurants. The marathon is a huge team effort and thanks go to the many sponsors and volunteers, who help to make the event a success.”

This year’s entries have closed, but early birds can sign up for next year’s marathon already.

For more information, visit www.beachyheadmarathon.co.uk