Waddies welcome you back to Bewl
Bucket list trail race returns to Bewl Water
The 'Waddies' are back with their latest promotion of the classic off-road Bewl 15 race on Sunday (3 July) starting at 10:00am from Uplands Community College, Wadhurst, East Sussex.
Wadhurst Runners – formed in 1999 to meet the needs of local runners – punch above their weight as a small, friendly club with less than 100 members. They were Sussex Grand Prix champions in 2012, 2013 and 2016 and they know how to put on a good race.
Last year's 22nd Bewl 15 was won by remarkable M45 James Baker, of Chichester Runners, who recently passed the astonishing milestone of 1,000 individual first places at races and parkruns. James completed the circumnavigation of the man-made reservoir in 1:32:44.
The first female at Bewl 15 in 2021, after the 2020 race was moved onto the virtual platform due to the pandemic, was Jade Elphick (Brighton & Hove AC, 1:53:04) who was among the 38 athletes who beat two hours on this challenging, undulating trail course.
There were 472 finishers last year but previous editions have seen 50% more than that number sent on their way to the strains of the lone piper who often adds colour to the start of this annual trail contest.
Bewl Water is the largest stretch of open water in the South East of England and its 31,300 million litre capacity meets the needs of households as far away as the Medway Towns, Thanet, and Hastings. The 800-acre site sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the heart of the High Weald, straddling Sussex and Kent borders. The facilities include a visitor centre, restaurant, and cafe on the shoreline.
For a taste of what to expect at the Bewl 15 dip into this great film by Stephen Cousins made during the 2016 race – little has changed since then. With entry management and chip timing by Nice Work and awesome cakes by the Waddies, this is one of those bucket list events to get ticked off. You might even be serenaded by the local brass band at the finish!
You could go for the scenery, go for the atmosphere, or go for the course records that were set in 2009 by Will Levett (Tonbridge AC, 1:27:05) and Katy Moore (Brighton & Hove AC, 1:37:25) that will attract a £50 bonus award if they are broken – and with sunshine and temperatures of 18-20C expected, perhaps it is time for those records to be revised.
Previous results and reports at runABC South race listing here
Full event details are at the Bewl 15 race website here
Image courtesy Wadhurst Runners/Bewl 15 on Facebook