Susan has been on the marathon trail again this month and shares her experience of this tough but scenic race
The first Saturday in February is the date of the South Devon Marathon. This year the weather was kind except for a blustery South West wind that made progress along the coastal path difficult at times, but nothing like the occasion I did it in hurricane Irene.
The route goes from Beesands along the coastal path to the Salcombe estuary where it turns inland for a couple of miles before going back along the coast for a few miles. At about 14 miles it turns inland again and so underfoot it gets easier with fewer rocks but more mud. It is mainly bridle paths and very quiet roads until you end up skirting Slapton lake and the last few miles battling against the wind along Slapton sands to to Ross and a last hill back to Beesands.
It is not undulating it is hilly, with over 1700metres of ascent. It is also a generous marathon, 27.5 miles, but the scenery is amazing and it is a friendly race. Like most off road races now you have to take your own water container but there are four stations for filling them up.
There are also 10k half marathon and ultra distances.
I would recommend it as an experience but I am not sure why I have done it four times except that I feel I should be able to do it faster.