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Stour Valley Marathon - 5th June 2016
TRA Permit 16 / 15

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 will open on 1st August - 2015 finishers are guaranteed a place if they enter before 1st January so we need to hold back enough places to deal with that, meaning that more places will be released in January. We do expect the event to sell out - probably before April, so late entries may be disappointed. There will be a waiting list in operation.
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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 2014 and many of last year's runners will be back again (over 40% so far, which must say something) 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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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