Two runners complete their 50th marathon at Eastbourne’s Beachy Head
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The runners from Dover, Odette Collard-Walmer and Kirsten Mueller, travelled to Eastbourne to take part in the 40th Beachy Head marathon on the blustery race day.
The route covers the South Downs and the Seven Sister Cliffs, with more than 3,700 ft of elevation.
Odette completed the race in 4.32:01, and Kirsten in 7.56:17.
Both women said how ‘tough’ the marathon is, especially in the windy conditions they had to deal with on Saturday.
Kirsten said, “The Beachy Head marathon is a great, but very tough, event. I don’t think there can be many events where your start is practically vertical!
“I would say this one definitely ranks amongst the toughest! The wind on Saturday was just evil, constantly changing direction and trying to push us off course. It is a very hard course anyway, but the wind just added an extra challenge.”
Odette, who has done the marathon six times now, said, “It’s a stunning course, really well organised, excellent marshals and very tough.
“I am always really glad to see Birling Gap because I know I’m nearly home.”
They are both aiming to complete 100 marathons.
Odette said, “I want to run 100 marathons by the time I am 50 - so I still have a few more years to go. A few of my running club friends have achieved this and it has made me think - I want to do that!”
Kirsten said, “It is a test for body and mind, and I would like to see if I am strong enough to do this another 50 times.”
Marathons have taken the pair all over the country, which they say allows them to see lots of beautiful areas, and meet lots of ‘wonderful and inspiring people’.
Odette has a few more marathons this years, and will be returning for the South Downs Way 50 in April 2021 - a 50 mile race beginning in Worthing and finishing in Eastbourne.
They both said how much of a positive impact running has had on them - both physically and mentally.
Kirsten said, “It is just a great way to de-stress, keep fit, and spend time outdoors, discovering unknown parts of the countryside - even on your doorstep.”