Competitors show woman can in first women only marathon.

wcm marathon start 4.

wcm marathon start 4. - Credit: Archant

Some 400 women took on the course across East Devon in the first women-only marathon.

Competitors from across the world have pulled on their running shoes to complete the first women-only marathon.

The event was organised by Jo Earlam to mark 50 years since Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1967 - despite rules saying women could not participate.

Some 400 women took on the 26 mile course from Tipton St John playing field on Sunday taking in the sights of the Otter and Sid Valleys.

Participants could also take part in a relay category and a Nordic Walking challenge.

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Jo, who is from Tipton St John, said: “It was absolutely incredible. When I came up with the idea 12 months ago, somebody said we’d probably only get half a dozen entries.

“So to have 400 women from across the country and around the world come and take part is beyond my wildest dreams. The amount of positive support has been totally overwhelming. And it’s just been a wonderful, wonderful day.”

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The winner of the race was Elizabeth Dyson from Chudleigh with Sidmouth resident Jessica Raynor coming second.

The 32-year-old finished with a time of three hours, 53 minutes, despite giving birth to her son Artie nine weeks ago.

Jessica said: “It’s been a brilliant event, amazingly marshalled. If there was another one I reckon I’d do it again.”

The race was backed by Olympian Jo Pavey and also became the first UK partner event for Kathrine Switzer’s non-profit social women’s running movement, 261 Fearless.

Organisers were also raising awareness and money for Free to Run, an international charity which has programmes to enable women to take part in sport in countries where traditionally, women are banned from doing so.

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