The Great British Seaside Marathon 2024 Report

Report by: Laura Fletcher

Date: 23rd March 2024

Myself, Lucy and Ruth went on a weekend adventure t’seaside.

Ah where to begin?! It’s a long one get a brew.
I took on Skeggy marathon last year as a personal get my fitness back challenge. The training was awful and I just wasn’t ready. I ended up with a DNF at mile 14. This ended up having the worst effect on my running ever and I got stuck in a deep dark rut that I just couldn’t get myself out of. I was falling out of love with running and what was there to help my mental health took a turn and started affecting it.
Then my lovely big sister decided she wanted to tackle a marathon, she’s always been a runner but just never managed to get up to the big distances, So I came up with the idea of us going to skeggy for the weekend, I’d battle my demons, but at the same time have a lovely run on the coast with my sister.
So the plan was on and we slowly after Worksop started building up our running. Everything was going to plan and by NYE we were at a solid 14 miles for our long runs and both feeling great and super comfortable. Time to start upping those long runs.
January and RSR winter, both nervous but looking forward to a good 15 mile race, we set off and just before the end of stage 1 I was rolling around in agony with my calf.
A slight tear to my calf meant weeks out from running, my Skeggy race was over.
Lucy continued and got stronger and stronger, our friend Ruth was running the long runs with her and signed up to the race to run with Lucy.
After weeks out I tried a little run, everything felt fine so I naturally did the sensible thing after a 5k and headed out a few days later for a 12 mile run. Still everything was fine so I carried on with this sensible decision and each weekend heading out for a longer run/walk, 16miles, 17 miles followed by 2 x 18 miles (thankyou to Jemma and Kim for coming along on these with me) I decided Skeggy was back on! Even if I walked I really needed to get this race done.
We headed to Skeggy on Friday evening and ate pizza and sat filled with the anticipation of what the morning would bring!
Saturday morning and after a carb filled breakfast we had a short drive to the start area, the sun was out, it was a little chilly but nice race conditions.
After a little chat and race briefing we were off!!
7 miles of coastal path terrain with a little sand and beautiful sea views and strong winds that appeared pretty much as we set off. There was a stretch of sand which after last year and trying to run it I walked. First fuel station at the observatory and it was a buffet of snacks and treats!
Then the next 7 miles was on an open flat road, with no shelter and a brutal wind that was either blowing you into the road with traffic or into the edge of the field and a ditch. This went on for approximately *70 miles (*actually 6 miles!).
Finally we arrived at Sutton on sea and after a little incline (lots of people moaning it was a hill, they know nothing of hills there!) you were directed down the coastal path for about half a mile before the turn around point. Lucy and Ruth were way ahead of me by this point, but all I needed to do was just keep moving. I passed half way and almost cried to myself that I felt ok and compared to last year, I felt strong enough to continue. We were treated to a mini hail storm for about 10 mins at this point. In the time it took me to put my jacket on it had stopped.
Well things then took a turn for the worse about mile 16ish, the path turned downwards into a muddy, boggy path and oh what joy then more sand! This continued for a couple of miles before they decided to throw some steps into the mix as well. A bit more sand and finally road, I was just about losing the will to carry on and a surprise pop up from my brother in law and nephew spurred me on, he told me Lucy and Ruth were doing really well and there was some great snap at the next fuel station just round the corner. Head down and power through.
The fuel station was a delight and between crisps, sweets, chocolate, pop and water I was quite happy to stay there.
Right I had about 6-7 miles to go, my legs were like jelly and I was tired but knowing my sister and Ruth were ahead and flying towards the finish I knew I just had to keep going. The run/walk was working well but there was a little more walking than running by this point.
Back onto the coastal path and plenty of people are about to cheer you along or just look at you like some absolute nutter running along on a Saturday in the wind and rain for fun.
I texted Lucy and they had 1.5 miles to go, I had 5k. The coastal path went on forever until finally we turned off and back in towards Skeggy centre. The last turn before heading to the finish was super busy with people and was difficult to make out where we should be going. Up towards the clock tower and then turn right back down into the carpark and the finish. No tears, just absolute sheer relief it was done and I finally got over the DNF last year.
Lucy and Ruth had an absolutely amazing run and both finished in a super strong time. I don’t even care about my time. It was just about  finishing. We all went for Fish and Chips straight afterwards at Tony’s (the best chippy in Skeggy in my opinion). Followed by a hobble to the car and back to the caravan for an afternoon in pjs and prosecco.
This marathon isn’t an easy course, I’d certainly say it should be advertised as a trail one rather than a road one. Some great points to the run, the seaview along most of the route is lovely. The marshals were really friendly and supportive. But open roads and lots of people with little notice of the run going ahead makes for lots of dodging about on the busier sections towards the end. Also the Finish when tired can be confusing to get to.
Along with the marathon there is the 35 mile ultra option to Mablethorpe and back.
Skeggy I will not be returning..It’s been emotional to say the least….
Ruth Thomas Marathon 04:50:11
Lucy Mottram Marathon 04:50:26
Laura Fletcher Marathon 05:31:32
Winner  Tom Penzer Adams Marathon 03:02:11
1st Female  Paula Downing Marathon 03:41:52
Full results here.
Great tip for a leg loosener the day after is to visit every single gift shop around Skeggy for a very specific fridge magnet that was never found. (Rumor has it it exists in Ingoldmells).
scroll to top