50/50 marathons

21. Steyning Stinger Marathon

1st March 2020

Steyning Stinger

This weekend takes me back towards Brighton for the Steyning Stinger marathon. Last week’s Lenham Cross Trail Marathon left me feeling broken. I genuinely wanted to jack this challenge in and spent most of the week dreading the next marathon. One thing I have found whilst running marathons is that some days you feel great, others, not so much. I’m sure there are clever people out there who know the reasons for this other than the fact that some marathons are harder than others.

Last week’s was by far the hardest so far, but this one was no walk in the park either.

One of the nice things about this race is that there is no official start time. You basically turn up to race HQ at Steyning Grammar School, pick up your number and then start when you’re ready, which is great because I hate all the waiting around at the start.

Steyning Stinger
Steyning Stinger

The race takes you up onto the South Downs way, so as you’d expect there is a lot of hill work to do. The terrain was very muddy and slippery, so getting settled into a pace was pretty much impossible. There were a lot of competitors in the race, but that thins out when you get to a point where the half marathon splits from the full.

There is no doubt about it, the South Downs are stunning. It really is quite humbling to be up top and looking around at the scenery. The weather was perfect too, quite blowy, a bit of rain but that didn’t last. It was sunny pretty much the entire way. The only sound to keep you company is the bird song, and the grunts and groans of other runners, but that can be filtered out. Dare I say it, I was actually enjoying it!!!

There are two loops that are part of the marathon course. The first is the Chanctonbury Ring, the second I can’t remember, either way, they’re both hard. After the second loop you’re into the last few miles, by now my running was more of a shuffle, but I still felt ok, boosted by the scenery and the fact that I was heading back to the finish.

The last two miles are pretty much downhill, all the climbing is done, so it’s a good opportunity to stretch your legs a bit, if you’ve got anything left in the tank that is.

When you get back to the finish, you’re given a medal, and a menu!

One of the quirks that makes this such a popular race is that you get a cooked breakfast at the end. I ordered the vegan brekkie, but really couldn’t stomach it. Eating after a marathon is always the last thing on my mind.

As races go I would rate this very high. The organisation and marshals are all great. The route itself is very challenging, but it’s worth the effort. On a rainy day I would bet it’s not so desirable. The open start time is good, and the added extra of the breakfast is a great touch. At £30 entrance fee it’s at the lower end of the price spectrum, so great value for money, I’d definitely recommend it to any other runners looking for a good event.

Next week is the first of the Whitestar running events that I’ve entered, it’s the Larmer Tree Marathon. I’ve heard it’s another hard one, but I’m quite looking forward to it.

If you’d be interested in running the Steyning Stinger in the future, take a look at Steyning A.C.

Steyning Stinger
Steyning Stinger


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I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.