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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > February 2019 > THE PORTSMOUTH COASTAL MARATHON


A winter solstice sunrise that lift ed a thousand spirits



With such a spectacular setting for an off -road marathon, the numbers keep rising for this annual ‘let’s run a marathon just before Christmas Day’ event. Th ere are excellent, indoor baggage facilities at the Pyramids Centre, meaning getting to the loos is easy, as is meeting friends and staying warm until the gun goes off just aft er sunrise. Th e start, by South Parade Pier, was a raucous aff air, with everyone cheering along the prom in shared madness at what was in store. And what was this? A flat course that follows the coastline? Yes – but don’t underestimate how tough the terrain is. Luckily, the aid stations along the way give you plenty of chances to stop, refuel, rehydrate and chat. Further along the route there’s mulled wine or beer to be sipped, as well as water, but at this time of year everyone’s enjoying every mile. Th ere’s an ultra available on alternate years, or a two-team relay for the marathon, which ups the ante and community feel. It can be wet, muddy and rocky underfoot, with miles of shingle, trail, puddles and grass, but the spell-binding views across Langstone Harbour are so good for the soul. Th is was a relaxed, friendly, beautiful winter trail race, with plenty of changes in terrain. You can expect to be thoroughly looked aft er – no, spoilt – at the food stations, too.

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About Women’s Running

Our new-look magazine is going from strength to strength, as are our tribe of happy runners! This issue we spoke to Mara Hafezi, a runner who is defying both her own and others’ expectations by sailing through the Marathon des Sables and by encouraging women of colour to take up running. If you’re inspired by Mara, our beginner’s guide will get you off the sofa and into your trainers in no time, and then for a bit of extra motivation, you might want to have a glance at our half marathon training guides. There’s one for beginners as well as for those of you who want to smash your PB at the next 13.1-miler. We focus on speedwork this issue too, and how building on your speed can power the rest of your running – even if it hurts while you’re doing it! Plus this issue, we’ve got the only core workout you’ll ever need: build it into your running schedule to see quick results with your strength and speed on the road. Then wind down with our feature on Sophrology: just how can this mindful practice help us live more in the moment and actually run better?