Women Can marathon returns in new format

FORCE will again be involved as East Devon welcomes hundreds of runners next spring when the UK’s only marathon exclusively for women returns to the county.

Entries are now open for the third Women Can race on Sunday May 26 2019. 

FORCE were among the charities to benefit from this year’s race when Jane Martin and sisters Hannah Ackford and Leah Jackson (pictured above) ran for us.

Five-time Olympian Jo Pavey has again thrown her support behind the event, which encourages women to walk, jog or run through some of the region’s most spectacular scenery. 

Next year’s Women Can event has a new format with three challenges, three start lines and one finish in Sidmouth. 

There will be full, half and quarter marathon options available, all predominantly off-road and taking in the stunning East Devon countryside and coastline.

The 26.2-mile route will start and finish at Sidmouth Rugby Club, runners tackling the 13.1-mile option will set out from Tipton St John and quarter marathon entries will go off from Budleigh Salterton.

They will all start at 9am with the aim of creating a steady stream of finishers throughout the day at Sidmouth RFC’s Blackmore ground.

No fewer ups and downs

The previous two Women Can events have had Tipton St John as their base but with founder Jo Earlam having a break this year, race organisers Pauline Beare and Peg Wiseman took the opportunity to tweak the format.

“There will be no fewer ups and downs as we take in parts of the South West Coast Path, the Coleridge Link and the East Devon Way. Linking women to the outdoors is an important part of this event,” said Pauline Beare.

The organisers have chosen FORCE as their primary charity for 2019 after a successful initial partnership with the event this year.

FORCE provides support for anyone affected by cancer with a Support and Information Centre in Exeter and weekly outreach sessions in Tiverton, Okehampton and Honiton.

Inspiring and unique event

Naomi Cole, FORCE Community Fundraiser said: “It’s great to be working with the Women Can team again this year. It’s inspiring to see so many women challenging themselves at this unique event and supporting our charity. We are particularly pleased to be raising our profile in East Devon as we are now able to offer support in Honiton each week.”

Women Can is also supporting the South West Coast Path Association, which protects, improves and conserves the 630-mile stretch of the National Trail.

IP Office Ltd, which provides award winning IT and communications solutions to businesses of all sizes, are headline sponsors of the event for a third year running.

Allie Alton, Network Services Administrator, said: “This event has been empowering for so many women. The atmosphere on the day is great with hundreds of family members and friends cheering on the runners. There are smiles and happy people everywhere you look – well, nearly everywhere, a few grimaces as people crossed the line! But those grimaces soon turn to grins when they absorb the atmosphere and reflect on their phenomenal achievement. We cannot wait for the next big day and what can only be described as the nation’s greatest women’s event!”

For more information go to www.womencan.co.uk