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Discussion Forum - Events - South Downs Marathon

Author: Peter Jull
Posted: Mon 8th Apr 2013, 11:48
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Kent
The ground conditions underfoot were as ideal as could be asked for, all that springy close cropped turf. The weather nearly so although that nagging cold wind that has plagued the country for so many weeks got up again in the afternoon to the extent that after Firle my sweatshirt was on and off a dozen times as the route moved between exposed and sheltered. The route description could not be faulted but turning to the last half page, optimism that the end was nigh was sunk on reading instructions 1600 yards, 800 yards, 1000yards. The extensive high downs I know are favoured by many but became a bit monotonous for my taste.

Kent Group know I am an advocate of running established routes in reverse sometimes to add variety but I have to take issue with the argument that if this event ran anti clockwise climbing over the Seven Sisters near the end would make it more arduous. The climb past Checkpoint 3 alone is 655ft of continuous ascent for 1.4 miles. That is after 608ft up to Firle Beacon at up to 1:7 and even the final climb out of Jevington is 396ft Against these at a total of 125ft the Sisters themselves are mere pimples and even including the climb out of Cuckmere and then away from the cliffs past Crowlink over 2.7 miles the total is only 655ft. Even though I was having an off day and trailed in at 9½ hours, this is not a complaint but a suggestion to tempt me back another year.

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