Where Seaford, East Sussex
When August 31, 2008
First Man Mark Halls 3:21:32
First Woman Lisa Hale 3:51:09
Last Finisher 7:00:59
No. of Finishers 84 (+15 relay runners)
It's always pleasing when a new race quickly sets about garnering a positive reputation, and this is precisely what the Seaford Marathon appears to be doing.
The field for the second edition of this tough out-and-back trail run was comparatively small, but virtually all the finishers left singing its praises.
Seaford Striders, who hosted the race, had worked hard to ensure that the carefully planned route kept runners interested, and it certainly did, taking participants on a varied jaunt across the rolling hills of the South Downs – including a quick trot across the local golf course – which ensured that the box marked
‘top-notch scenery' was well and truly ticked.
Despite some heavy rain leading up to the race, the ground wasn't as boggy as the organisers had feared, although there were still more than a few patches of sludge to negotiate, along with various changes of terrain, including flint, gravel and the odd rogue tree root to look out for.
There were plenty of long, gentle inclines and downhills along the way, but also a few vicious climbs, with the middle portion of the race proving particularly challenging. There was a long, steep hill about half a mile long at mile 14 and, cruelly, another one a mile or so further along, which really ate into energy reserves at a time when most runners were already beginning to flag.
There were three feed stations handing out water, biscuits and bananas, and if the marshals were a little thin on the ground, the ones who were in place more than made up for this with plenty of
A few of the finishers remarked afterwards that some sections of the route could have been more clearly signposted, especially with a lack of fellow runners to consult, but the overall level of organisation and planning should ensure that this race will only continue to grow.