Devon’s first women-only marathon will return for third year to Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 September 2018

The route for the 2019 Women Can Marathon. Picture: Peg Wiseman

The route for the 2019 Women Can Marathon. Picture: Peg Wiseman

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Entries are now open for Devon’s first-ever women-only marathon, which will return in 2019 to Sidmouth, supporting FORCE Cancer Charity.

(L-R) Allie Alton-Vanderstay from IP Office Ltd, Genevieve Hinchliff and Becky Millington from South West Coast Path Association, Pauline Beare, race director of Women Can, Peg Wiseman and Jo Earlam of Women Can and Trina Lake from Force.(L-R) Allie Alton-Vanderstay from IP Office Ltd, Genevieve Hinchliff and Becky Millington from South West Coast Path Association, Pauline Beare, race director of Women Can, Peg Wiseman and Jo Earlam of Women Can and Trina Lake from Force.

The Women Can Marathon will return for the third year running on the May bank holiday weekend - on Sunday, May 26.

Some 400 women from across the UK took part in this year’s run at Tipton St John, with a course that included the Otter and Sid Valley and a stretch of the South West Coast Path.

At an event on Monday to launch next year’s marathon, organisers revealed two new courses – a quarter and half marathon – alongside the full Women Can Marathon.

Peg Wiseman, one of the event’s organisers, said they had also decided to change the routes completely.

(L-R) Allie Alton-Vanderstay from IP Office Ltd, Genevieve Hinchliff and Becky Millington from South West Coast Path Association, Pauline Beare, race director of Women Can, Peg Wiseman and Jo Earlam of Women Can and Trina Lake from Force.(L-R) Allie Alton-Vanderstay from IP Office Ltd, Genevieve Hinchliff and Becky Millington from South West Coast Path Association, Pauline Beare, race director of Women Can, Peg Wiseman and Jo Earlam of Women Can and Trina Lake from Force.

Next year, the full marathon will start at Sidmouth, the half will start at Tipton St John and the quarter will begin at Budleigh.

All the courses will finish at Sidmouth Rugby Football Club, at Blackmore Field.

Peg said each year the event has had a theme. The first, in 2017, was the 50th anniversary of the Tipton St John Playing Fields and the 50th anniversary of the Kathrine Switzer, who was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry, despite organisers trying to stop her. This year’s marathon marked the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.

Speaking to the Herald, Peg revealed that in 2019 the theme would be celebrating the South West Coast Path and women connecting to the outdoors.

The day will also be raising money for FORCE Cancer Charity.

Peg said: “All three challenges will go across Peak Hill, on the coast path, to celebrate the theme of this year’s event.

“There will be 250 places for each course so we are hoping even more women will take part in the event next year.

“And, hopefully the shorter distances will make the event more accessible.

“This event was launched to show women that they are capable of taking part in extreme challenges on off-road routes, in the spirit of enjoyment and with support.

“We get so many comments about how good they feel afterward they have done it.”

Visit womencan.co.uk to enter.

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