For everyone in who fell in love with fitness over the last two years, and even for those who may have fallen off the wagon, this summer in North Devon there is a perfect opportunity to test yourself and achieve something special.
Registrations are now open for the North Devon AONB Marathon & Half Marathon - taking place on 27th June in Woolacombe – which has the well-earned reputation as the toughest yet most beautiful race of its kind in the country.
The event raises money for North Devon Hospice and is now in its 13th year, attracting runners from across the UK and beyond.
While there have been some stellar competitors, including British Olympic marathon runner Mara Yamauchi, most taking part are there to challenge themselves and take pride in conquering such a demanding course. The rugged terrain and challenging hills mean that personal bests are not the order of the day; it is all about reaching that finishing line and proudly collecting your finisher’s medal.
However, as Jess Burford Redgrove from North Devon Hospice explains, there is far more to the event than the demanding course. “Many people call this event ‘the beauty and the beast’, because while it is undoubtedly a huge challenge, it is also absolutely stunning and a fantastic experience all round for our runners. The scenery on route is unparalleled, enough to keep you distracted from the next steep hill! But the atmosphere on the day is always so upbeat and so supportive. We make it lots of fun with things like a beer stop along the way and even a Devon cream tea at the finish.”
Jess added: “As if that wasn’t enough motivation to sign up, those who take part can also feel proud that they are helping to raise funds for North Devon Hospice, which means local people can get the care and support they need when facing a life-limiting illness like cancer. The North Devon AONB Marathon & Half Marathon has sold out every single year, so we encourage runners to sign up now to avoid missing out. Give yourself a challenge to look forward to, enjoy the stunning landscape we are blessed with here in North Devon, and register today.”
The event is the brainchild of Woolacombe resident and keen runner Simon Oliver. He said: “There is something very special about this race, because every year we attract runners from far and wide, which is all based on word-of-mouth and other runners talking to each other to say how much they have enjoyed it. That makes us very proud, because we work hard to make sure it is a really great experience. We’re also proud to work with Plastic Free North Devon and Hydrapak to make the event single-use plastic free. The Hydrapak Speedcup means we now don’t need any disposable cups and this is just one of many steps we are making to ensure the event has a positive impact on our wonderful environment. The race takes its AONB name from the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in which it takes place, and we are very fortunate to have this on our doorstep. It is one of the reasons that the event sells out every year, so please do sign up now and set yourself a challenge for 2022.”
Register now at northdevonmarathon.co.uk
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