This summer, North Devon’s Heddon Valley hosts a set of trail runs perfect for all abilities
In September The South West Outdoor Festival brings a range of activities for outdoor fitness lovers, including a set of runs around the stunning Devon coastline
The festival offers three distances for trail hounds to choose from:
- A full off-road marathon-length race
- A half-marathon event
- The popular 10km challenge.
The running routes take competitors around North Devon’s stunning coastal paths, an area famous for its secluded coves and secret beaches. Route architect and race director, Ceri Rees describes the marathon course as, ‘one of the most scenic and toughest coast-and-country trail-running marathons in Britain.’
The long course follows a roller-coaster cross-country and cliff-hugging route, wending its way to Woody Bay, Lynton and wonderful Waters meet before looping though the Valley of the Rocks and tracing the coast back to Heddon, where it heads out towards the Hangman Hills for a last hurrah. Highlights along the way include views out across the Bristol Channel towards Wales and Lundy Island, but it’s not just the vistas that are breath-taking.
“The marathon involves more than 6,000ft of elevation gain,” says Rees, himself a highly accomplished endurance trail runner who has completed most of the iconic races around the South West region, including the legendary Grizzly, which he has won for the last four times in the last five years.
However, there are plenty of alternative routes for runners looking for something a little gentler. The 10K; a fast and fun route follows a sensational circuit out towards Woody Bay and back, offering stunning views along coast
The races take place on Saturday 23 September. Discounted early bird entries for all distances are open until Friday 15 July.