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Date(s) - 07/02/2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy



portlandbanner Enter this event The Portland Coastal Marathon will be taking place from the iconic Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on Sunday 7th February 2016. Here is the latest 2015 race update with times, kit list etc. please read 2016 will be very similar –  Along with the full distance event there will be a Half marathon and a 10k so all abilities can take part in this festival of running in a what is possibly the most stunning of coastal trail locations.

This is a run of dramatic, rugged cliffs, nationally rare plants, hidden coves and stunning views. The Isle of Portland is a large mass of limestone which is linked to the mainland by the shingle ridge of Chesil Beach. Centuries of quarrying and military presence have altered the natural landscape, leaving visible records of the history of this important part of Dorset. The Isle’s white limestone has been used for construction since Roman times. Nature has reclaimed some of the disused quarries, which become a stunning mass of grasses and wildflowers in the spring and summer months.

The run will take you clockwise around the SouthWest Coastal Path for the first loop of the island, taking you past the recently built Osprey Quay around to Portland Castle, heading up Merchants Railway to the Verne  – The impressive architecture of The Verne Citadel: now used as a prison, the citadel was designed by Captain W Crossman of the Royal Engineers and enclosed an area of 56 acres on the highest point of Portland. Work began in the mid 1800s and the Great Verne Ditch took 30 years to complete.

The run continues along behind the back of the YOI and down Goat Hill. You will be running past one of the best places and most popular areas to climb in Dorset along the old disused railway line until you reach the back of Rufus Castle. The remains of the striking Rufus Castle, which is thought to have been built originally for the red-headed William II, who was nicknamed Rufus. Much of what remains dates from the 15th century. The views stretch out to the English Channel for miles to sea and you may get a welcome message from your phones provider welcoming you to France! I kid you not 😉 Heading along from the Castle you will descend in to Church Ope Cove: this is the only beach on the eastern side of the island and is a peaceful, sheltered spot with soft sands, making it a good place for a picnic.

The next prominent point will be Pulpit Rock and Portland Bill: especially dramatic on a rough day, the southern most tip of the island fills you with an exhilarating feeling of space as you take in the spectacular views which extend to Start Point in Devon and ahead to Durlston Head in the east. On a clear day you can actually see more of the coast from here than from any other part of the entire South West Coast Path. The distinctive red and white striped Portland Bill Lighthouse is at the tip of the Island where the centre is open to visitors from Sunday to Friday between 11.00 and 17.00 from April to September, and it is also possible to climb the 153 steps to the top of the tower for some exceptional views. Heading back towards the Sailing Academy you will encounter breathtaking views from the top of West Cliff back along Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon, which is the largest tidal lagoon in Britain and a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the extraordinarily rich variety of wildlife found here. The ‘Spirit of Portland’ sculpture which depicts a fisherman and quarryman to represent the two main industries of the Isle can be seen before descending down Lankridge Hill on the Southwest coastal path – towards the Cove Inn – one of the finest pubs in the land (We’re not biased in anyway but Friday nights in the summer, after swimming, just wouldn’t be the same without the Cove!)

The final section of the first loop will take you out along Hamm Beach before a 180° turn sending you back to the Sailing Academy. At this point you will cross the half way split and you will be sent on your way for loop 2. This loop will be run in an anticlockwise direction making you retrace your steps giving you the opposite views to what you may have seen on your first time around. With this naturally stunning location, Olympic facilities, brilliant course support and rewarding finishers mementos, you can enter any of the races and you will be guaranteed a stunning day out.

Portland Coastal Marathon

Early entry £35 from now until end of July 2015 Normal entry £40 from 1st August till end December Late entry £45 from 1st January 2016

Please note – entries will close when we reach 500 or 4th February 2016, which ever comes sooner. There will be NO guaranteed entries on the day. This is a No Kit NO Race event, please read all of the information before entering, you will have random spot checks of your mandatory kit, if you are found not to have it you will be DQ’d – this is for your own and others safety and it really isn’t very much to carry.

Enter this event

Portland Coastal Half Marathon

Early entry £25 from now until end of July 2015 Normal entry £30 from 1st August till end December Late entry £35 from 1st January 2016 Enter this event


Early entry £15 from now until end of July 2015 Normal entry £20 from 1st August till end December Late entry £25 from 1st January 2016 Enter this event

There is a cut off time of 6 hours for the marathon – starting at 09:00 and finishing at 15:00 – the 10k and Half will not have a cut off time as we expect you to be finished within this time scale, if you think you won’t be then please enter something else! 😉


Kit List – Having had a look at what we will be providing on the day and to minimize the kit you will need to carry we have come up with a slimmed down version to keep you all safe for 2016.

The following items are mandatory to wear or carry for all those participating in the event – All of this I’m sure you already have and race with and can be easily carried in a small bag/bum bag or hydration pack.

Windproof Jacket
Water Bottle or Hydration System – 750ml capacity
Basic First Aid Kit – (blister) plasters; antiseptic wipes; 1 x wound dressing
Emergency Foil Blanket
Energy Bar / Snacks – lots of these will be provided on course too.
Mobile Phone -waterproofed in a sandwich bag or Gucci case, your choice!
Hat or Tech headwear

Windproof Jacket
Water Bottle or Hydration System 500ml
Energy Bar / Snacks – lots of these will be provided on course too.
Mobile Phone -waterproofed in a sandwich bag or Gucci case, your choice!

This kit is also highly recommended for 10K runners.

Have a look here for some ideas for bags/hydration etc


All competitors will receive a high quality tech tee shirt, medal and full bragging rights at future events. Getting to us – By Car From Dorchester: Take A354 to Weymouth From Poole and Bournemouth: Take A352, which then becomes A353 to Weymouth From Bridport: Take B3157 to Weymouth When you arrive at Weymouth   Take the A354 to Portland. This will bring you to the causeway linking Weymouth and Portland. Halfway along the causeway you will reach a mini-roundabout. Turn left, we are signposted ‘Sailing Academy’.   By Bus The number 1 bus from Weymouth to Portland Victoria Square runs every ten minutes during the day. Please click here to download the local Bus Timetable For National bus timetables and routes, please visit National Express or call 08705 808080   By Rail Direct hourly service to/ from London Waterloo (2hrs, 40mins) Direct regular service to/ from Bristol Temple Meads (2hrs, 45mins) Direct frequent service from Southampton Parkway & Southampton Station (approx. 1hr) For Train journey times and information please see www.nationalrail.co.uk or call National Rail Enquiries 08457 48 49 50   By Air There are regular flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, and more locally Bournemouth, Exeter, Southampton and Bristol.