The Brighton Marathon takes place each April in Brighton on the south coast of England. The inaugural Brighton Marathon was organised by former international athlete Tim Hutchings and former Brighton club athlete, Tom Naylor.
The first running of the race took place on 18th April 2010, a mere two years ago! The race opened to 12,000 entries, with 7,589 participating on race day. The course start line was at Preston Park. The route took in some of the sights of central Brighton before heading East towards Rottingdean. The race then headed west out to and around Hove, before returning on the seafront and finishing on Madeira Drive, close to Brighton Pier.
In its second year (April 2011), over 8,000 runners took part with spectator numbers estimated at around 120,000. The race has acquired the status of “Britain’s No. 2 marathon” for its profile in the national running arena, for its standard of race organisation and for the publicity generated by the event. More than two hundred charities had runners in the 2011 event and this demand has led to an increase from 3,000 to 5,000 in the number of places being offered to charities in 2012.
The 2012 event has seen a 20% increase on entries to an acceptance of 18,000, putting it in the top 12 running events in the UK.
This is another race similar to Blackpool where Jamie and I will feel we can get a PB (we still haven’t quite decided what that would be, I’m guessing somewhere under 4 hours!) with it being a pretty flat course.
The inaugural MARATHON OF THE NORTH will take place on May 6th 2012 and Jamie and I will be there!
The Marathon of the North course starts and finishes at the Stadium of Light (Booo!) on the North bank of the river Wear. After crossing the bridge, the marathon route follows the first few km’s of the Sunderland City 10K course. The first half of the race is run entirely on the south side of the river visiting many of the city’s suburbs and travelling down wide easy running streets. It is predominantly flat with few noticeable gradients.
A circuit of the picturesque Barnes Park is the pre-cursor to the halfway point before heading back across the Monkwearmouth Bridge and a quick wave to the crowds at the Stadium of Light as you head out for the last 10 miles which is run predominantly with the river and the stunning beaches and coastline as your companion.
The original Windermere Marathon first took place in 1982 and ran between 1982-86 before being revived by Brathay Trust in 2007.
In 1982 a group of local runners and volunteers got together to form a Windermere Marathon committee and organised the first marathon around England’s largest lake.
This group of enthusiasts included: Alan Dodds from Windermere Rotary Club, John Nettleton from Kendal AC, and Pete Bland, Chairman of Kendal AC. Pete’s wife Anne Bland subsequently won the Ladies race twice in 1984 and ’86. They were joined by Chris Brasher – who of course started the London Marathon, and John Disley. The inaugural Windermere Marathon in 1982 attracted 2,600 entries, at an entrance fee of £2.00!
The course record of 2:23:16 was set by Mike Critchley of Bolton AC in 1985, so Jamie and I stand a good chance of getting a record at this one!!! ;0).
Along side the standard marathon are a group of loonies who take part in the Brathey 10 in 10, essentially they run the marathon ten times over on ten consecutive days!! Mad!
In just a few short years the South Downs Marathon and marathon relay have become classics on the Trail Running calander – which is not surprising when you look at the fantastic scenery on the route.
For 2012 they’ve also announced that there will be a half marathon as well.
Starting at Slindon College we will be set off using a wave system starting 20mins apart with the first wave consisting of relay runners, the second runners who predict a finishing time of over 5hrs (that will be me then!), then the marathon runners predicting times of between 4 and 5hrs and final wave for runners predicting under 4 hrs (nice one Jamie!).
With an elevation gain of nearly 6000ft this looks to be one of the very hardest marathons that we’ll be taking part in this year. Jamie and I can hardly wait to tackle those hills! oh the hills, those beautiful hills … oh god hills!
The Isle of Man Marathon race is run over the Manx Northern course, starting and finishing in Ramsey.
The Isle of Man is somewhere neither Jamie or I have visited to date so we’re both looking forward to this one. Unfortunately we can’t stay long enough to take in the TT races whilst we’re there but i’m sure we’ll have fun nevertheless!
Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands, nestling in the bay of St. Malo and only 30 miles from France and 70 miles from the south coast of England. Guernsey is not only renowned for its laid back atmosphere and balmy summer days, it is now known internationally for its marathon. The course, which has been officially accredited by UK Athletics, to be exactly 26 miles and 385 yards, will take Jamie and I through 9 out of the10 parishes, passed fishermen’s cottages and sandy beaches, along flower lined roads and lanes, and through valleys shaded by panoplies of lofty beeches, sounds great :o.
The National Trust play host to our tenth marathon which is the inaugural Cheddar Gorge Challenge with the main race site on Strawberry Fields; a great site for a picnic with fantastic views of the gorge (for those not running!), apparently it will create a great amphitheatre style atmosphere as Jamie and I together with 300 other loonies come flying down the hill to the finish.
We’re told Cheddar Gorge is steep in places, and very steep everywhere else, in fact it’s been described as “hills with some extra hilly bits”. The Cheddar Gorge Challenge series takes in breath taking views and lung aching ascents, the terrain is varied and exciting, 500m long climbs and descents at 10% or more should be expected … eek!.
They have tried to measure the total ascent, but none of their gadgets have been able to cope with the course. Needless to say, this race will be tough. But nowhere in the country compares when it comes to beautiful landscapes and energising views. We can’t wait!
The Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is a notable fixture on the running calendar and our penultimate event :o. We will have done many great marathons this year, many of them particularly marked by their settings, and the Loch Ness ranks right alongside them.
The centuries-old legend of the Loch Ness Monster is a story that continues to run. Along with the scenic beauty of the area, it has been responsible for attracting visitors to this fascinating part of Scotland for many years.
The opportunity to put such a memorable marathon on our list and the possibility of sighting ‘nessy’ meant this was a must when compiling our list of 12 marathons.
The route begins in an atmospheric location and continues through breathtaking scenery, taking us along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, across the River Ness, and into the centre of Inverness, the capital city of the Highlands.
All down hill 😮 … great views, gravity assisted … put simply we can’t wait!
So here we are, back to where it all started and the last of our 12 Marathons. I think this could be a sad day for Jamie and I, however I’ve come to learn that I can rely on Jamie for mad-cap ideas and I’m sure by the time we join the start line he’ll have found another way to keep me in pain!
As Jamie and I found out last year the course is a spectacular and inspiring challenge. Rarely leaving the shores of Kielder Water, it follows the Lakeside Way meandering through the forest and heath land that surrounds the lake.
There are a few inclines to negotiate but most are of the short sharp nature and are rewarded afterwards with nice long stretches of easy running. Most inclines come in the first 15 miles or so and the final few miles are amongst the easiest running on the course, hoooraaay. That’s what Steve Cram tells us, however those last few easy miles didn’t feel so easy a year ago!
So its still very early days but Jamie and I are now in training and starting to look forward to the adventure ahead. Having entered most of the marathons its only now that we’re really starting to take a closer look at the events to see what we’re in for!! As part of that I thought I’d share this video of the 2011 South Devon Marathon which Jamie and I will be running on 18th February 2012.
I think you’ll agree it looks like a fantastic run, if not a little hilly! 4,375 feet according to the route guide :0) No pressure Jamie!!
Further information about all of the marathons we’ve entered can be found on ‘The Challenge’ section of the website. Enjoy!!