Seaton, Beer and Branscombe set to welcome The Grizzly runners

PUBLISHED: 12:36 26 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 05 March 2020

The Grizzly 2019. Ref mha 11 19TI 2019 1010258. Picture: Terry Ife

The Grizzly 2019. Ref mha 11 19TI 2019 1010258. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Runners from all parts of the UK and overseas will gather in Seaton on Sunday, March 8, to take part in the tough Grizzly race.

This year's run is set to be one of the muddiest yet, following recent visits from storms Ciara and Dennis.

But undeterred, the hardy 2,200 runners will leave Seaton seafront at 10.30am ready to tackle the hills, beaches, woods and bogs of East Devon.

Around 1,800 will run the full 20-mile Grizzly route with another 500 the shorter, but still challenging, 9.5 mile Cub race.

The multi-terrain route is tough but must be one of the most picturesque races, as runners leave Seaton for Beer Head and on to Branscombe and beyond.

Once again the heavily oversubscribed event continues to attract competitors from across the UK and beyond, with runners due from the USA, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Carol Austin, for the organisers, said: "The Grizzly is really putting Seaton and East Devon on the world map.

"The town of Seaton will come to life over the weekend with Grizfest, parkrun, the Grizfest quiz and a special Grizzly pasta night all taking place on Saturday, March 7."

Last year's Grizzly winner, Ceri Rees is back aiming for his sixth Grizzly crown and faces stiff competition from two ultra runners making their Grizzly debuts - Damian Hall, the current South West Coast Path record holder, and Tayeb Mahi, from Team Chamonix.

Grizzly runners range from aged 80 to 18 and a day. Amazingly, 12 runners are celebrating their birthday by getting muddy, wet and exhausted.

Carol said: "As ever, the Grizzly could not happen without the generosity of the landowners and the many, many local community groups and individuals who give up their time to marshal and help keep the runners safe.

"A big thank you to sponsors, East Devon Sports Therapy Centre and Lyme Bay Winery as well as the thousands of spectators who cheer the runners on whatever the weather throws at them."

This year the Grizzly has chosen the South West Coast Path Association as its charity partner to help support the protection of the Coast Path.

The event is also working towards being plastic free and at a recent test event, runners undertook a litter-pick.

After the Beast from the East in 2018 and last year's ferocious north westerly winds organisers are hoping this year the sun will shine on the runners.

For more details from the organisers, visit http://axevalleyrunners.org.uk/grizzly/

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