Beachy Head Marathon

Just seen entries are open, but there is now a 5p.m. cut off, no early starts and no walker/jogger/runner categories.  Can understand latter, but other 2 changes are making it less inclusive than it has been in the past.



  • That's a shame.  Used to be nice getting words of enouragement, slogging past the early start walkers.  Seems to me that could change the atmosphere of the event.

  • Neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the decision but perhaps the volunteers were not happy to be out longer than 5pm manning the finish area. I reckon anybody who wants to walk it on the day can do so but they are "free agents" and not officially part of the race.
  • It is just that the cut off was always 6pm before with early starts permitted.  It was always meant to be an event open to runners and walkers alike and not primarily a running marathon where some people chose to walk.

  • Bear I am not sure that the early starters have ever been 'permissable' tho?  Its an open course and I doubt if they will be able to stop anyone from starting earlier
    I do think that they need to put some form of end time on tho and that again wont detract from people coming in after 5pm, they just wont get the full package of the finish gantry

  • Of course there has to be a cut off time, but it has 6 p.m. in previous years.  The early start was never specifically prohibited before and now the web site makes threats that the back markers will 'remove' those who are not likely to make the finish in the specified time - although this is clearly unenforceable. 


  • I see

    No not enforceable easily I should think and probably not an easy call for them to make either
    So many H&S rules out there coupled with race insurance and everything which are being the demise of a lot of races

  • Will contact them tomorrow to ask why changes - although I strongly suspect H&S will be quoted...

  • Sadly I think it will

  • Yes - I received lengthy reply raising what I thought were somewhat spurious concerns about people still being out in the dark.  As it was still light at 6pm all that was required was for the sweepers to make sure that those at the back would make this time.  If necessary a 5.30 finish would be more than adequate, but bureaucracy had its own methods.

  • Simple answer is to walk it and not be an official part of the race. Then you are totally responsible for your own safety. No one can stop you using the downs and of course you save the entry fee. Walkers are happy, organisers are happy, everyone is happy.
  • You are completely ignoring the point about the event in previous years being aimed at walkers as much as runners.  Whatever you might think there are precious few marathons that actively encourage walkers that are not connected with some charity.  Of course anyone can walk the course, or run it or whatever - in fact why should anyone bother with the entry fee - it would buy a heck of a lot of sausage rolls.


  • I'm just offering a solution. I didn't create the problem. I'm sure the walkers would be prepared to enter and pay but if the organisers say they don't want the responsibility.....You don't pay then you walk at your own risk.
  • Totally agree with you, Bear. I've done it 9 times, but never again. I think the whole H&S thing is over-rated, and it's just being turned into a way of grabbing more and more money for Eastbourne. Lovely course, great food, but there are other events nearer home for me where I can be made to feel more welcome. So bye bye Beachy!


    I was a little disappointed when they added chip timing, and the price went up.  

    If I was you Bear I would just set off early and say your chip failed.  Having looked at the website it says there are runners finishing between 12 -6pm!


  • Just to clear up some confusion here; the time limit for this years event is the same as in previous years at 9 hours. Therefore this is a 9am start and 6pm finish.

    The only change this year is the addition of the Beachy Head 10K race that sets off 30mins after the start of the marathon - 9:30am.

  • WiBWiB ✭✭✭

    9 hours is 3mph. Easily walkable.

  • That's fair enough. I wouldn't exect anybody to be still out there after dark.

  • Bear - regarding the early starts, I believe their literature has always said no early starts, or at least I think it has for as long as I've been doing it.  The first year I did it (as a walker) we wanted to do an early start and so I contacted the organisers. They said no.  When we arrived at the start, we could already see a stream of early starters walking out of sight over the hill.  I think that they are obliged to say no early starts for their risk assessment.  They can't stop you starting early, short of rugby tackling you to the ground.  Back in those days, there were no chips but you wouldn't get a chip time if you started early anyway.  I can't say for sure if there is a stronger enforcement of the no early start rule now but it has been there for the last several years (including a couple pre chip timing).

    Not sure if you'll see this now as this discussion was started in Feb!

    As an aside, the year I walked it (and we did start a little early in the end anyway) you can storming past me going over the seven sisters towards the end. image

  • Hi M..o..use - funnily enough I was going to update this thread.  I made a comment about this on their FB page recently and got a puzzled reply from the new organiser.  He seemed completely unaware that the finish time had been changed and was a bit snarky when I expressed surprise at this and said he had no knowledge of what the previous organiser had done, but as far as he was concerned it was 6pm!!

  • BBH, if you read the clarification from the organisers above, you will see that *nothing has changed* - I can only imagine that you miss read the details for the 10K as applying to the Marathon (I checked the website).

    Also, as M..o.use points out, early starts were never 'allowed', they just happened - and I expect they still will! Personally, I don't see the point of entering an event, then starting before it starts; and by starting early, walkers impede runners comming through from behind - but each to his own.

    It might be the time to acknowlege that you made a mistake and 'move on'?
  • Because of the cross country nature of the Beachy Head Marathon and to be able to continue with this event we, as the event organiser’s have to satisfy many external event partners, The National Park Authority, The South Downs Park Authority, many Farmers and private land owners.  We hold many meetings, safety advisor group meetings as well as an event debrief with many various event partners attending and at this year’s event de-brief concerns were raised over the lateness of finishing and how dark it was at 6.30pm for the all of the participants still on the course and our army of volunteers.  So the decision to have a cut off of 5pm has been introduced to ensure the safety and well being of all.  I am very sorry if this will exclude the slower walkers but this change is necessary for all, not just the participants

    Sorry about font but this is a direct cut and paste from the organiser - I did not make a mistake about the changes.

  • Font self corrected... it was bright blue and changed size in the middle.

  • Well things change. Not massively. Adapt and survive. Start early and just don't get an official chip time if you must. Time to stop moaning and just get on with it. The good folks who organise the race have made decsions for the good of the competitors and for the marshalls. You don't like it then get involved in the organisation of the next event. 

  • SR - if you actually read what was going on you would have seen that the finish time has reverted to 6pm with the new organiser apparently unaware that any changes had been proposed.  OldAndCreaky was accusing me of having misunderstood the instructions to entrants which I had not.


  • Get your walking boots on Beararse and go enjoy Beachy a week tomorrow. I'll either see you at the start or on the way round. Just go out there and enjoy yourself one way or another. I'm hoping to finish in time for a late lunchimage

  • Alas, in my case it will be more like a late tea.  At least I won't have to worry about trying to waddle at speed down the Sisters. Enjoy it yourselfimage.

  • my 10p worth

    ever since the changes of personnel at Eastbourne BC a couple of years ago when Hugh and Christine retired (they had been the stalwarts and the key personnel behind it for EBC), the event has created more disgruntlement as the new people in charge (still EBC personnel) have a different view on matters - they see the event as a means of raising revenue rather than a "social" event.   hence the price increases, adding the 10k run, enforcing cut-offs etc.

    sure, some people won't like that it's now become a more commercial event, but it is what it is - it's still a cracking event.

    events change over time - and it's change that people do not like.  so you have a choice - enter or don't.  you can still do it as a walk anytime of year.

    next question which hasn't be asked yet - what shoes??  image  looks like it could be a wet one and the tracks will get a good soacking this week anyway

    me and P will be at our usual marshalling spots at Lullington Heath in the morning, and at the steps above the finish in the afternoon.  say hello please.


  • FB, thats around the 8-10k point above friston forest? not 100% sure, but yes, will be saying hello to all the helpers image (as I hope will every one running)

    Some of the chalk in particular will be super slipery too!


  • Bit early for a weather forecast but seems certain that it will a lot milder than last year. A comfortable 16c maybe? I heard it was 3c last year. Not too much rain please.

  • SR - my hubby's hoping for shorts weather ????

    Only 5 sleeps to go ????????????????????

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