Beachy Head Marathon start

Bucket List Beachy?

Thousands of runners will climb thousands of feet in a four-race programme...

The Beachy Head Marathon, formerly known as the Severn Sisters Marathon, has long been on many an endurance runner's bucket list. But it is now even more attractive thanks to the addition of a 52.6K Ultra and the ever-popular 10K and Half Marathon distances that now comprise the full Beachy Head Marathon weekend programme on 21-22 October.

Organised by Eastbourne Borough Council’s Visit Eastbourne Events Team – who hope thousands of runners will do exactly that – there were 2,404 officially classified finishers in the four events last year. The defending champions in the original Beachy Head Marathon are Tom Evans (2:48:29) and Becky Atkinson (3:35:16) as 1,200 runners completed the 26.2 miles with 3,711 feet of ascent in just over 10 hours.

The Ultra Marathon takes the climbing to a dizzying total of 4,457 feet and exactly 200 runners finished in 8:45:55, led by M40 Neil Kirby (4:04:53) and W35 Josephine Nye (4:47:20). 

The two longest races are held on the Satuday along with the shortest race on the card...the 10K with a mere 1,000 feet gained and a perfect introduction to trail running. M40 Thomas Grimes (39:26) and W35 Shantel Redfern (45:37) were the winners last year from a field of 358 who were all home in just over two hours.

The Half Marathon stands alone on Sunday morning and last years winners – in slippery conditions during a dramatic thunderstorm – were M40 Trevor Sexton (1:27:28) and Amy Harris (1:31:50) as 644 finished in 4:12:19 despite the adverse conditions and 1,600 feet of tough climbs.

Our photo above shows the first climb shortly after the combined marathon and ultra-marathon start as the runners are toiling away onto the first of the 'Seven Sisters' – a series of sea-eroded chalk cliffs on the beautiful South Downs National Park where your effort is rewarded with stunning sea views.  

All of the races start and finish on the Eastbourne seafront road at the start of the South Downs Way and there is plenty of reasonably-priced accommodation available in the attractive Victorian seaside resort of Eastbourne to make an enjoyable weekend trip.

Previous race reports and results are available via runABC South race listing here. 

Image courtesy Beachy Head Marathon on Facebook

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