Temperatures may be dropping but the runABC South race calendar is hotting up with more than 50 events listed for the first full weekend of September. Possibly the stand out fixture is New Forest Marathon on Sunday (8 September) – an event with a 35 year history.
New Forest Marathon started in 1983 and quickly became one of the most popular in the world, sold out every year. The first race was held at New Milton and ran successfully until 2013. No race was held in 2014 but the event was reborn at New Forest Park Showground in 2015, with a modern race village and new events, retaining the community ethos and values of the original concept.
New Forest Marathon has donated over £1.29 million to more than 100 local good causes and community groups through the New Forest Marathon Community Fund. The focus for charity donations this year is tackling inactivity and obesity, now recognised as the 4th biggest killer in UK, costing £27 billion and causing 37,000 deaths every year – food for thought.
New Forest Marathon's race programme includes a full and half marathon, 10K, 5K, Junior 1K and Junior 200m, plus the popular Woodland Walk…there really is something for everyone!
New Forest National Park is one of the most beautiful locations in the UK in which to host a major sporting event. All the races start and finish at New Forest Park Showground, near Brockenhurst, and wind through the heart of the New Forest. The multi-terrain courses provide some of the most scenic running experiences in the country, with forest enclosures, open roads, far reaching views plus, of course, the famous New Forest ponies!
Last year there were 774 finishers in the marathon in 6:50:02 with winning times of 2:42:35 for Lee Baynton (Benfleet RC) and 3:14:06 for Karen Hacker (Chippenham Harriers). Up to 4,000 runners and spectators are expected, with many camping for the weekend. Attractions on site include music, entertainment, food and drink and children's activities.