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Stour Valley Marathon - 3rd June 2018
TRA Permit Granted.

A trail marathon through Constable Country - the Stour Valley along the Essex / Suffolk border. A no-frills club marathon - just come along and enjoy the run. As is common with trail runs, the paths rarely permit a textbook distance and this measures just a fraction under 27 miles on most Garmins, arguably therefore also qualifying as an 'ultra'. Entry is now open to finishers of the previous race so we need to hold back enough places to deal with that, meaning that more places will be released in December. We may also release a small batch of newbie places during September once we have a feel for the number of runners returning. We do expect the event to sell out - probably during January, so late entries may be disappointed. There will be a waiting list in operation, but only once the event is full - ie, not before January.
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The route is vaguely circular, using both sides of the River Stour between Bures and Stratford St Mary. This is scenic and surprisingly hilly for East Anglia, featuring over 1,500ft of climbing. It will be challenging but very worthwhile and could also serve as a training / route recce opportunity for the Stour Valley Path 100k in August, which (obviously !) shares part of the same route - this is one of the hilliest and toughest sections. We are not in any way associated with the SVP100, but feel free to try us out before you decide to do more than double the distance in August.

The route will not be specifically marked (apart from a few spots to reinforce the paper directions) and you can choose whether to use a narrative route, LDWA style, on paper or a downloadable Garmin GPS track. Everyone should carry and refer to the paper instructions, but it will be much easier than most LDWA events as most of the route follows waymarked national trails which are more clearly marked than 'standard' footpaths. The route will be the same as before and many of last year's runners will be back again so you should have people to follow too.

This area is famous largely due to the paintings of John Constable, and we have to thank him for the fact that planning laws attempt to preserve the views as they existed in his lifetime. It is often called Constable Country, or more officially the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Once running, you will see only a handful of cars and many of the (few) houses you pass will have been there for centuries.
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This event is tough - always hilly and usually hot. It is not suitable as your first marathon and we now require a qualifying marathon before you enter. Details on the rules page. You can only enter if you have already qualified - we have done this to ensure that the people entering have a good chance of finishing, and to reduce unnecessary admin by later processing numerous requests for deferrals or withdrawals. If you believe you should be a special case, please contact us via our Facebook page.
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The Stour Valley Path waymarkers used on the footpath signs.

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The St Edmund Way waymarkers.

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And the Essex Way