The South Downs Marathon has quickly become one of the staples of the British Trail Running calendar, and the 2014 edition looks set to be the most ambitious the event organisers have put together yet.
Almost 1,000 runners started the marathon and marathon relay last year, and organisers are aiming for the same number in the half-marathon in 2014. The half-marathon is no "soft" version, however, with steep climbs littering the course.
Runners will face their first obstacle immediately upon leaving Slindon College, and it won't get easier past there. The Downs themselves are a favourite of runners all across the country, and every single climb is rewarded with a spectacular view of the valley.
Date: Saturday, June 21
Start time: 9 a.m. for relay runners; 9.30 a.m. for non-relay runners; 10 a.m. for half-marathon.
Start Location and Transport: Busses will transport runners of the full marathon from Queen Elizabeth Country Park to Slindon College between 7 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. Parking is available near the finish line, at the Country Park.
Minimum age: 18 years old for full marathon; 17 for the half-marathon.
For a full map of the course, please visit Goodrunguide.co.uk.
Runners will start at Slindon College and use the Monarch Way to get to the South Downs Way, facing three solid climbs. South Downs Way leads to the National Trail, which in turn will lead runners to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park and the finish line.
Entries for the 2014 South Downs Marathon are closed, but people are free to take part in the event's fun run, which will start at 10 a.m.
The fun run is open to people of all ages, although children under the age of seven have to be accompanied by an adult. The runners will follow the same trail used for the half-marathon but will go straight from Butser Hill to the finish line.
The South Downs Marathon is organised by 2:09 Events, the company run by 1983 London Marathon winner Mike Gratton. Despite its young age, the event is already a favourite amongst long-distance runners for its beautiful scenery and splendid organisation.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!