The Purbeck Running Festival
Part of the Purbeck Outdoor Weekend, Marathon and 16 mile events, both predominately off-road courses. Starting and finishing in Swanage from the Downs overlooking the beach, both races head out along the Jurassic coast path, up and up and along the ridge of the Purbeck Hills, with their spectacular view. This is where the routes go their separate ways, eventually meeting up as they head towards the finish on Swanage seafront. With hard climbs, uneven paths and over 2000 feet of climb (marathon), this is an event that is both challenging and rewarding. The 16 miler is a great step up from a half marathon.
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The Purbeck Marathon takes place in Swanage, Purbeck and the Jurassic Coast which has spectacular history, landscapes and views. The course, with around 3,000 feet of climbs provides a predominately off-road marathon that is both challenging and rewarding.
Please note that this is more than just a marathon in more ways than one!
The course is closer to 27 miles rather than the conventional 26.2. Don’t worry, the extra mile is the easiest bit of the course!
The Purbeck Marathon starts and finishes in Swanage in Dorset. From the Downs overlooking the beach, it heads towards Durlston Country Park and the Jurassic coast path, before going through the villages of Worth Matravers and Kingston.
It then heads towards Swyre Head, to pass Heavens Gate and along the ridge towards Tyneham Cap. From here it leaves the coast path and runs through the deserted village of Tyneham. The route then continues up onto and along the ridge of the Purbeck Hills towards Corfe Castle, to pass below the battlements of this 11th century castle and into the village square. The route then returns to the hill Ridgeway and heads towards Swanage, to finish back on the seafront.
The entire route has spectacular views which will help to combat fatigue. Weather permitting there will also be stunning views of Portland, Poole Harbour and the Isle of Wight. The Purbeck Marathon has a number of hard climbs and uneven paths but is signposted and marshalled throughout. It is not, in any way, comparable to running a city marathon. It is tough, but where else can you do your post race icing by going for a swim in the sea?!
There is a time limit of 7 hours, with progressive course closures, so please bear this, and the course profile in mind when applying. The Purbeck Marathon is the main event of The Purbeck Running Festival – a local community event, put on by volunteers, with the proceeds being distributed to charity.
Swanage is reached by one of two routes;
Toll Ferry from Sandbanks (£3.50 per car incl passengers), along Ferry Rd and the B3351, through Studland Village and then take the left onto Ulwell Rd, signposted Swanageor
From Wareham, take the A351 heading south through Corfe Castle and Harmans Cross.
There is no specific parking for marathon participants; however there are several public pay car Parks which are shown on the Swanage map below. Charges are as follows:
Long Stay: Broad Rd, Main Beach (Victoria Avenue) – 1hr £1.50, 2hrs £3.00, 4hrs £5.00, 6hrs £6.50, Up to 24 hrs £8.00
Long Stay: North Beach (De Moulham Rd) – 1hr £1.50m 2hrs £2.50, 4hrs £4.00, 6hrs £5.00, Up to 24 hrs £6
Short Stay: Mermond Place (closest to finish) – 1hr £1.20, 2hrs £2.10. Parking is free between 10pm and 8am
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