Run a picture-perfect race

Brighton Trail Weekend promises a seaside experience like no other

Brighton Trail Marathon

by Paul Halford |

When it comes to describing what makes a perfect trail race, look no further than Brighton Trail Marathon, which takes place for the first time on June 26, as a template to illustrate that perfection. From your first stride along the magnficent seafront to the final, epic downhill miles back into the beautiful Stanmer Park you’ll be treated to amazing sights, superb organisation, and a fair few challenges will test your endurance along the way.

The sea will be shimmering in the far distance, inspiring you to get on going just as the South Downs throw another hill in your direction. But this isn’t about times and personal bests. The paths are well kept and easily runnable, the hills tough, but not mountainous – but it really is about discovering what’s best about the countryside and experiencing first-hand just what trail running is all about. It’s nothing short of idyllic.

The highlights will be different for every runner, but there’s something pretty special about starting by Brighton pier and the statue of Steve Ovett, the 1980 Olympic champion, and in so many ways a champion of what makes trail running so much fun. Yes, he ran on the track, but for Steve the South Downs, which you’ll explore over the duration of this race, were his running playground as he built an endurance base that was literally the best in the world.

It’s the small things that you’ll really appreciate at this event. Together with South Downs National Park and Brighton & Hove City Council, the organisers are working to create as sustainable an event as possible, and to give something back to the land you will pass through. For instance, £1 from every entry will go to National Trails to help maintain The South Downs and its off-road routes. The finish line in the impressive Stanmer Park Estate is where you’ll pick up a unique, wooden medal made from trees felled within the park. The marathon route will be fully marshalled and signposted, with six well stocked Aid Stations. There’s also a 10km race in the park for anyone fancying something a bit shorter and quicker, as well as a children’s event. And we can’t not mention the best bit, perfectly located at the 20-mile mark. There, you’ll run up Ditchling Beacon, a short(ish), sharp climb before a six-mile run to the Event Village. If you fancy it, there’s even a King of the Mountain award for whoever flies up it the fastest. Or, more likely, a badge of honour for conquering one of the most talked about hills in British endurance sports.

Brighton Trail Marathon
©Tom Bailey

Special offer!

There is an exclusive £10 discount on Brighton Trail Marathon race entry for Trail Running readers. Simply enter the code BTWTRAILMAG at the checkout at brightontrailweekend.co.uk.

Entries close on April 8, 2022.

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