THE dash to enter one of the country’s most spectacular races is coming under starter’s orders.
Alnwick Harriers announced that entries for the 2012 Northumberland Coastal Run, which takes place on Sunday, July 22, will open at just after midnight on Saturday, January 21.
The 1,150 places for one of the most popular races in the north of England are expected to be filled by the Sunday, so be quick.
Entries will be accepted via www.entrylive.com only, and the details, including costs, can be found on that site.
There will be no refunds if runners are unable to take part and no deferrals.
Also if entrants wish to take advantage of the bus from Alnmouth to the start at Beadnell, they must book places when they enter the race, as there will be no facility to book a place on the bus at a later date.
The first Beadnell to Alnmouth race was held 1979 and there were only 12 competitors.
In the beginning, competitors had to choose their route starting in the sandy bay next to Beadnell Harbour and then heading south, running to Alnmouth (approximately 14 miles).
The winner of the first race was Archie Jenkins who ran for Morpeth Harriers. The winning time was 1hr 22:30.
In the first two to three years, many changes were made to the route as runners found the short cuts and quickest routes.
Apart from one or two sensitive areas, the course is unmarked and competitors are still responsible for choosing their own route.
The course is however, now well-established as it makes its way from Beadnell to Alnmouth using public footpaths and roadways.
The course which most competitors choose to run is approximately 14 miles long (depending on whether the tide is in or out) and makes its way as follows:
Start at Beadnell Bay and head South via Newton Links, Low Newton By The Sea, Dunstan Golf Course, Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster Village, The Heughs, Cullernose Point, Howick (Sea Houses Farm), Sugar Sands, Boulmer, Foxton Beach and finishes on the beach at Alnmouth.
Last year’s men’s race was won by Morpeth’s Ian Harding whilst fellow Morpeth runner Jane Mooney won the ladies race.
First male Alnwick Harrier was Geoff Campbell, with Jo Gascoigne-Owens first female.
In 2007, the event was named Britain’s Best Race by Runner’s World magazine.
This year’s event is once again sponsored by Eclipse Translations.