Churches, bead pudding and beer... Rye's race with a difference is back

After a blank year in 2020, the Rye Ancient Trails - a unique and action-packed 30k and 15k race – returns to the town this month.

A special T-shirt has been designed for the Rye Ancient Trails race
A special T-shirt has been designed for the Rye Ancient Trails race

It takes place on Sunday, September 12, with a 9.30am start outside The George.

The town crier will get proceedings under way and a fantastic spectacle for the visitors and locals is expected.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Runners will experience a challenging but beautifully scenic course, marshalled by volunteers who will be cheering and clapping all the way.

The multi-terrain route includes 1,500ft of climb with numerous gates and stiles to be negotiated – a true steeplechase.

The route links the churches of Rye, Iden, Beckley, Northiam and Peasmarsh. All finishers receive a bespoke medal which showcases the five churches – it is certainly one that many will want to add to the collection.

Perhaps one of the most popular reasons for entering the Rye Ancient Trails is the famous aid stations on route.

Water in a cup? Not this race. Previous races have seen local apple juice from Dengate’s Farm Stall on the approach to Peasmarsh, fresh bread pudding from Will’s Bakery in Northiam and even homemade biltong from The Bell as the runners dash through Iden.

And at the finish, runners get a well-earned free beer from Ashford-based Curious Brewery.

The race’s finishing area is on the green at Rye Sports Centre, where Curious Brewery will have their beer truck, Podplus will have a massage station and shop, and there will be a cake and tea stall from the Girl Guides.

The event is organised jointly by Nice Work and Running Forever, raising money for the Oliver Curd Trust.

Sponsors are Curious Brewery, Knoops, T8, The Rye Cookshop and Wideye. Tickets are on the Nice Work website.