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Beachy Head Marathon – SJ Members’ Highlights

Beachy head SJ results

Vicky Rice

‘I entered Beachy Head marathon as I’d heard it was one of the bucket list marathons and was looking to enter something when the post IM blues had kicked in back in August. As it wasn’t a ‘clock watching’ marathon I thought it would be a good idea to enter Darren too so that he could tick off the marathon from his ‘to do’ list. I broke the news gently that it would be a nice day out with Jane and Rich, child-free and running – what was not to love about that!?’

Beachy vicky & Darren start

Martin Gould

Here we are back at the Beachy Head Marathon, if you have ever thought of doing a Trial Marathon, this has got to be one for the list. Over 2,000 runners, a very nice 9 hour time limit and great views (and a few hills). At the 16 mile checkpoint we were fed sausage rolls whilst listening to a band singing Oasis songs.’


Richard Boese

‘Set off withAndrea Hadfield and Alison Jones, met up with John Tovell and briefly with Richard McCready who we caught up with just after half way and then left as I think he would rather suffer alone. I enjoyed the run much more than my last outing 2 years ago when there was thick fog between 2 miles to 17 miles – all those hills with no idea how long they were and no views, which were fabulous this time. Got to chat with fellow SJ runners and random strangers; it was all run in a great atmosphere. Even with my calf cramping up over the Seven Sisters I was in better shape than the last time I did this event with very mashed feet and quads and I managed to finish in sunshine, get a nice recovery beer at the finish along with free hot food in the school canteen where I caught up with Richard, Jane, Vicky and Darren. A lovely day out.’

John Beachy view

Andrea Hadfield

A cold but glorious run – my 2nd year taking part in the event and a lovely day out chatting and running with Alison! The whole route is beautiful and very varied – open fields, woodland, cliff top paths. The hill at the beginning makes for a leisurely start to the event and a fast finish – I think it’s the only time my last mile of a marathon has been the fastest! A highly enjoyable day!’

Andrea Beachy Head mara

John Tovell

‘This was brilliant in so many ways.  The fact that the event welcomes walkers as well as runners means an extended cut-off time of 9 hours and a more relaxed vibe, as well as more substantial food offerings at the aid stations along the way. As well as flapjacks and Mars bars (cut into convenient 1-inch chunks), there were hot cross buns (quartered) and sausage rolls at the later stations.  Strava tells me that I spent a total of 20 mins at aid stations in total!  Full marks to the friendly marshals who were on station in the cold for a very long time.

The finish involves a painful clamber down the same slope that we started up, then a 50 yard ‘sprint’ for the line, claiming the lovely medal and a beetroot (!) energy bar.  But that is not the end of the goodies – the event provides a meal in a school canteen right next door to the finish line. This consists of a baked potato, a sausage, baked beans, then rice pudding and tinned fruit salad.  Sitting down to eat this with other runners is a great way to socialise and relax after the race.

So, congratulations to Eastbourne Borough Council for organising a fantastic event.  Never again will I poke fun at Eastbourne for being ‘God’s waiting room’.  In the Beachy Head Marathon, they have an event which in my view is on a par with the Grizzly.’

John Beachy profile.jpg


Jane Crawford

Beachy Head has been on the bucket list for some time as well as doing an off-road marathon in 2018 so when I checked the date and all was good to go, I roped in a few others! Vicky didn’t hesitate – with Ironman training still in our legs and a few long runs scheduled in, we were fairly confident that we would be fine. Richard agreed to run with me, which would be his first marathon for over 2 years since being on dialysis and to make a day of it we thought we’d sign Darren up as well – to complete his long overdue first marathon! We had a child free double date booked in Eastbourne!

What appeals to me about the off road marathons is that there is no pressure on time, no-one asking you on the start line what splits you’re going to be doing or your target time. Just going out to run for the enjoyment of running and taking in the scenery and the views along the way. I had heard that the atmosphere and camaraderie at Beachy Head was great, buffet stations were plentiful with lots of choice, there was a great big hill to climb up as soon as you cross the start line, the scenery and views were amazing on a clear day and be warned that the Seven Sisters start at 19 miles. What was there not to love?

It certainly didn’t disappoint – it was everything I had hoped it would be (if a little fresh at the start). We couldn’t have asked for a better day – clear blue skies and fantastic views over the seven sisters. It was tough going in parts but a really enjoyable day out, with no pressure. We all successfully completed the course, a bit of cramp for Darren towards the end but massive congratulations to him for completing his debut marathon and so proud of Rich for finishing his first marathon for a few years. It was great to see Richard Boese and John Tovell out on the course – both with words of encouragement and smiles! A marathon with food stations that have tea cakes, sausage rolls, tomato soup, tea, coffee, orange squash, Jaffa cakes, digestive biscuits and mars bars on them has got to be on everyone’s bucket list!…and a hot dinner in the school canteen afterwards! They really did put Ironman to shame!’



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