This weekend we look at the geographical spread of events in the south, with races available from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex to Torquay in Devon via the Isle of Wight in Hampshire. In fact, if you were to link all three featured race venues you would cover in excess of 600 miles by road plus a bit of swimming in the Solent!
Thankfully, no-one has designed an ultra-triathlon that links these traditional holiday resorts (yet) so lets take a look at what is on offer at each location in turn. All of our featured events are on Sunday, 20 August.
Clacton Half Marathon and 10K
saw 350 finishers across both events last year and is steadily gaining traction on the Essex coast. Part of the annual Clacton Carnival, the half marathon is held on a flat, out and back course on the seafront from Gainsford Avenue Sports Ground. The 10k is a cut down version of the longer race and there is also a Clacton Carnival Golden Mile fun run in a full package of runs.
Torbay Royal Regatta 10K
has an unusual start time of 6pm but that does not put anyone off as there were 556 finishers last year and the race limit of 700 has been reached this year with no entries on the day. This is a traditional club event from the pavilion near Torquay Harbour, finishing on Corbyn Head in Torquay. The race has been held most years since 1976 and the course records are 29:58 by Bob Wise in 1991 and 34:12 by Claire Hallissey (Bristol & West) in 2009.
Isle of Wight races always have a relaxed, holiday feel about them and Isle of Wight Half Marathon
is no exception. Host club Ryde Harriers are a friendly bunch and mean no offence when they refer to non-islander tourists as “grockles”, a term stolen from the West Country! The club was established in 1886 and is based at Ryde Rowing Club where the half marathon finishes.
The course comprises two unequal laps on quiet country roads and includes some gravel trail, bridleway and plenty of testing hills, with fantastic sea views at...Seaview. Last year's winners were Joe Wade (Aldershot, 1:12:26) and Rosanna Andrews (Northampton, 1:26:35) and there were 388 finishers in 3:25:08.
Image courtesy Torbay Royal Regatta 10K