The traditional 26.2 mile marathon is often seen as the holy grail of distance running and the gateway to ultra-marathon endurance events. However, for many inexperienced runners the prospect of running this far in one go is simply too daunting. Step forward Nice Work race management and the Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend – a marathon in bite sized chunks!
Three races – three towns – three days. That is the basic premise of the Mid Sussex Marathon Bank Holiday Weekend. Held over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend there are three main races: 10 miles on Saturday, 4 May at East Grinstead; 10 miles on Sunday, 5 May at Haywards Heath and a concluding 10K in Burgess Hill on the Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May.
The combined distance adds up to a full marathon and last year there were 262 finishers of the full distance in just over seven hours of hard running. Three men ducked under three hours: Ciaran Forde (Horsforth Harriers, 248:31), Aled Anderson (Arena 80, 2:50:14) and Daniel Quinn (Lingfield, 2:56:51).
Equally impressive were the three women inside three and a half hours: Katie Morgan (Haywards Heath Harriers, 3:09:45), Linda Schofield (W45, 3:18:32) and Rosa Lavelle-Hill (3:22:10). Finishing in less than four hours was celebrated by 64 runners, with Miranda Huisman (W50 Horsham Joggers, 4:00:06) just missing that threshold.
One of the great things about stage races like this is the friendly rivalries that build as runners of similar standards battle together on consecutive days. Some will get stronger as the race progresses; others will fade as the mileage begins to take its toll on tired legs.
Our image of previous finisher Tammy shows the joy, relief and pride in one's achievement you could experience by entering the 8th Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend. Individual race medals are awarded plus commemorative bling and technical T-shirt for completing the marathon challenge of all three races.
Using undulating roads, trails and pathways in and around Mid Sussex, the races are run over mainly traffic-free routes and would suit runners of all standards, including those new to 10 mile races.
Image courtesy Nice Work/Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend