Up & Down In Sussex

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Pell Hell Mud Runners

Running in Sussex is like life in Sussex, greatly influenced by the physical landscape. From the commuter belt in the north to the towns on the coast, you're never far away from striking countryside that provides a great resource for runners. The scene is extremely varied with big clubs and big races - both London and Brighton marathons have a huge impact; to small groups and modest events that offer a friendly local dimension.

Firstly we look at the races. Brighton is a real race hotspot - Tim Hutchings launched Brighton marathon in 2010, now it is an annual sell-out with 10,000 entrants. Brighton half marathon is one of many popular 13.1 mile events - others are Eastbourne and Hastings - scheduled ahead of the big April marathon dates while the Worthing 20 is an important prep run.

Not that racing in Sussex is all about long distances; parkrun - the free weekly 5k event - has a big following in Brighton, Eastbourne and Crawley with its low-key approach. The Rye Summer Classic - three Friday evening 10ks, and the recently-introduced Pebbledash runs - two laps of a fast out-and-back route from Hove Prom to Hove Lagoon - add depth to the programme.

As does the club-based competitions like the prestigious Sussex Grand Prix and the West Sussex Fun Run League. The Fun League has 17 races held at regular intervals throughout the year, starting at different locations in the county from the Lewes Leisure Centre in the east to the village of Lavant, near Chichester in the west.

Scenic Sussex has dozens of other events staged throughout the year - which you can check out in our Race Listings.

There's a lot happening at the grassroots level too. Run England is currently looking to expand its network of groups in both East and West Sussex and this is a great way for people who want to improve their fitness and have a bit of fun to get involved in running.

There's a great mix: cross-country - East Sussex Sunday League offers open downland to very muddy woodland courses, all abilities welcome; the classic South Downs relay - a 100mile team relay from Beachy Head to Winchester; a flourishing hash house culture - refined drinkers with a running problem; and a good women's scene - races like the 8K Undercliff Run for Women and clubs like Brighton & Hove Womens RC. This colourful jigsaw all comes together to create a multi-dimensional running scene where there's a place for everyone.

Clubs

The best way to improve your running - join one of Sussex's active running clubs.

Services

Where can you find local physiotherapy, sports massage & other services for runners.

Groups

A friendly introduction to running with other people.

Facilities

The sports centres and health & fitness clubs.

Retailers

A quick look at some of the specialist running stores in Sussex