50/50 marathons

23. Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon

14th March 2020

Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon

Friday the 13th strikes

Friday the 13th came with bad news, due to Corona Virus, mass gatherings are being stopped, so far, London, Brighton, Manchester and Edinburgh are postponed. I have no doubt that more will follow. This puts my little challenge in a bit of a quandary as most of the marathons for the year are booked. Just 10 left to book. But this news throws everything up in the air, and of course there is a financial element that is bothering me too. Generally speaking the no refund policy is standard!!! But I can’t dwell on this, I’ll see how things pan out.

Regardless, today’s marathon did take place, hurrah! This week took me back to Eastbourne and Beachy head territory. The Beachy Head Marathon was one of the tougher of the marathons so far, so I wasn’t relishing the prospect of today’s Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon.

The start was in Birling Gap, surrounded by the seven sisters one side and Beachy Head the other. The weather was suitably wet and windy.

Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon

The Seven Sisters revisited

At 9 o’clock the marathon set off towards the Seven Sisters and within half a mile we were struggling up one side and trying not to slip up going down the other side. The climbing was an energy sapping start. There was a bit of respite once the sisters were done, but not much. The terrain was pretty much the same as the last few marathons, very muddy and slippery, making it difficult to get a good pace. The hills were constant too, but then I guess that’s just what you get from a trail marathon. The first half was very similar to the Beachy Head Marathon, other than we didn’t start on a ridiculous hill in Eastbourne and we were going the other way.

The route eventually looped back into Birling Gap, leaving the hardest section, up over Beachy Head and onwards towards Eastbourne, where the aforementioned ridiculous hill reared it’s ugly head. I found this section quite demoralising, not least because you pass the start section, but also knowing how hard those hills would be coming back from Eastbourne.

Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon

The final sting in the tail came with 2 miles to go and you pass the finish line again, this time close enough to hear cheers as people finish, but then you’re sent away and up a rather harsh hill to do a final loop, but it was only 2 miles, so it wasn’t too long before I was heading back and into the finish.

Endurancelife did an amazing job, the organisation was impeccable, especially with all the precautions they’d taken to avoid ‘touch points’. Their volunteers were brilliant, keeping an up beat atmosphere in difficult times. The course is mapped out and sign posted perfectly, leaving no room for error.

If you’re interested in taking part in this race, or one of their other future events, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Go take a look at Endurancelife.

Next week, the challenging races continue with The Lulworth Cove Trail Marathon, that’s if it isn’t cancelled! Take a look and see.

Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon
Endurancelife Sussex Trail Marathon


Time taken





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.