New race from Sidmouth to Beer - and back again - offers ‘ultimate burn’

Grizzly runners at Branscombe. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhf 4630-11-12SH

Grizzly runners at Branscombe. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhf 4630-11-12SH - Credit: Archant

Runners who think they can handle the ‘ultimate burn’ have a new challenge to take on along the South West Coast Path (SWCP) – the Big Dipper.

Organisers PureTrail plan to push participants to the limit on the 16-mile route from Sidmouth to Beer. But then they have to run back again. Co-director Mark Brooks said: “The concept of the race was initially to take the most precipitous part of the SWCP in the East Devon area and convert it into the most challenging trail race of any that had gone before along this part of the coast.

“There are other races that that use this section of the SWCP, such as The Grizzly – but we wanted to concentrate on the most vertiginous stretch. We wanted the steepest ascents and the most quad-destroying descents to get the ultimate burn. The Big Dipper is really what it says on the tin.”

He said the route has ‘awesome’ views, but also a kilometre of ascent as it moves between coast path and beach.

Mark predicts the winning times will be around two-and-a-half hours, the ‘relentless’ challenge is comparable to a marathon.

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The Big Dipper will leave Sidmouth at 11am on Sunday, October 16. Entry starts at £37, with £10 going to upkeep of the SWCP. Participants get t-shirts from PureTrail and the SWCP, plus a medal and a memento. Visit

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