Whether you're looking for a new challenge this year, missed the boat on Brighton Half general entry, or plan your holidays around races you want to complete (there are more of you than you think!), we hope these four Sussex races inspire you to choose Horsham District for your next running weekend.
Our most well-known half marathon is Barns Green Half Marathon, which has taken place in our District every September for 36 years: this year it's on September 27. The closed-road route loops through countryside and takes in Christ's Hospital school grounds, offering an opportunity to see the historic building in all its glory. Expect a few hills and live music along the route. There's also a 10km race.
Newer to the Sussex race circuit is the British Airways Run Gatwick Half Marathon, which won Best New Event at the 2019 Running Awards. Another fully closed road event, this one takes place just north of Horsham District. The race route starts in Crawley and heads out through the countryside to Charlwood, a village next to Gatwick Airport. Expect a mix of town and countryside views, the chance to run on a car-free A23 dual carriageway, and a thriving race village when you finish.
Further south is the Worthing Running Festival - a great opportunity for PB-chasers as the course is flat as a pancake. On Sunday February 9 there will be a half-marathon and 10k race along the seafront, and a mini mile for children. Expect fresh sea air, closed roads and glorious coastal views. It would be rude not to stop for a '99 or a portion of chips on the beach afterwards, wouldn't it? Worthing is just 7 miles from Steyning in the south of Horsham District, a lovely town to visit if you're making a weekend trip for the race.
Now for two events that are a little different. Another September race is the Bacchus Marathon and Half Marathon at Denbies Vineyard, Dorking. Just a 20 minute drive from Horsham town centre, this race has wine tasting stations and encourages fancy dress. You'll be able to sample six English wines on the route (and as the marathon is two laps, that means you'll get 12 wine tasters), and there's a post-race hog roast and party. This probably isn't one for PB-chasers - but it's certainly a fun run! Limited places mean you need to sign up fast to bag your spot.
Last on our list but first in the calendar is the Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend, a truly unique three-day event. The idea is simple - run a marathon over the May Bank Holiday weekend by completing three races. The East Grinstead 10 mile on Saturday; Haywards Heath 10 mile on Sunday; and finish with Burgess Hill 10k on Monday 25 May. You can also enter any race individually, but the draw of the special medal and the opportunity to say you've completed a marathon in a weekend is too good for many runners to pass up.
So what are you waiting for? Get those entries in today and book a stay in Horsham District to get to the start on time.