Entries for next years North Devon AONB Marathon and Half Marathon are now open. The event, which serves as a fundraiser for North Devon Hospice, takes place on Sunday June 25 and is sponsored by Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks. This year the winners of the popular race will not be greeted with the traditional podium, but with a giant deckchair in which they can take a well-earned rest. Paired with an ale stop half-way through the course and a cream tea at the finish, the marathon definitely offers up something different to the usual marathon experience. Race director Simon Oliver said: I think runners love the fact that our event is a little bit different. Everything hinges on the route, and we have got an absolute corker, which is as beautiful as any you could imagine, but is also one of the toughest around because of the different terrains and the punishing inclines. But its the little touches that keep people coming back year after year, like the cream tea at the finish, or the ale stop that the Grampus Inn in Lee put on. People come from all over the country and from abroad to take part, and places are already selling fast. We recommend that locals secure their places now, because it will sell out again. The marathon will see runners set off at Woolacombe before trailing the coast around Croyde and Saunton. After running back to Woolacombe, the second half takes competitors out to the edge of Ilfracombe before passing through Higher Slade and Ossaborough on the way to the finish. Kate Kilburn, from the hospices fundraising team, said that the funds raised from the North Devon AONB Marathon make a huge difference to the charity. She said: This is such a popular event, and every pound raised helps us care for local people going through the toughest of times. Wed like to thank Simon Oliver, Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks and The Red Barn for making this event possible. Were also grateful to the National Trust, Parkin Estates and the local Area of Outstanding National Beauty committee for helping the event take place in such beautiful surroundings. Visit www.northdevonmarathon.co.uk to enter the North Devon AONB Marathon or Half Marathon.