Maybe it was just that easy....!?!
“After pulling up last year on the first hill due to a back / hamstring issue, the Beachy Head marathon was a demon I had to slay. It turned out to be much more than that on the day though.
Simply it's a race that delivers way more than its fair share of endorphins per mile than most others. That's not just me but everyone I have spoken to that has completed it.
If you've run or know the SDW relay you'll be familiar with big chunks of legs 1 and 2. Picture staggering views from the ridges around Eastbourne, the support through Jevington, Alfriston and Exceat, taking in the best parts of Friston Forest and then finishing over the 7 sisters, all on a cool clear day in near perfect running conditions. I forgot the excellent marshalling, aid stations and camaraderie and the fact that you get to do most of your training before it gets too dark in the mornings and evenings.
My favourite shout out was an enthusiastic Phoenix supporter reminding me after 20 miles of hills it was 'only the sisters and then you're home mate'. I've heard similar welcome shouts at 20 miles in the Brighton marathon, but compare Basin Rd South with the view of the 7 sisters stretching ahead of you towards Belle Tout lighthouse, turquoise waters against those intensely white cliffs, a spitfire doing a fly by (no joke) - and and you may be able to understand why this race should be considered by anyone who is toying with the idea. Each time you crest one of the sisters it's like a shot in the arm to get you over the next one. It is simply an all round winner.
I want to thank Pete and Phil for most of the shared long runs and encouragement. In the weeks leading up we discussed multiple theories and tactics for the >3500 ft of elevation gain - but for me it was summed up by Milan who had just nailed a sub 3 and a position on the podium. When I asked him how he tackled the bigger hills his advice was just to run it hard all the way. Maybe it was just that easy... “
Thanks Richard - great report!