Popular half marathon ‘rat race' is back in the Peak District

A popular Peak District half marathon is back for 2020 after an enforced four-year absence – and entries are now open.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 8:02 am
Eyam half marathon

The Eyam race, which had to be stopped because of road subsidence, will return on May 17, 2020, and people are being encouraged to sign up and take part now.

A new committee has also been formed to organise the race.

Laura Hayfield, Eyam Half Marathon committee chairman, said: “The half marathon, known as a ‘rat race’, has not only become one of the most respected and popular road races in the country, but has raised a staggering amount for charity.

“This is a huge credit to all those involved in the event over the years and is a legacy we are keen to continue.

“Problems of subsidence on part of the course have been very frustrating and we’ve had so many people asking when Eyam Half Marathon will take place again. So, we are genuinely delighted and excited to be in a position to confirm that there will be a 2020 race.”

The route involves more than 1,200ft of ascent but rewards runners with stunning views over five counties.

The single loop circuit is run entirely on the road and passes through the hamlets of Bretton and Abney, skirts around Eyam Moor and returns to the historic ‘Plague’ village via Sir William Hill.

A range of prizes will be available, including £100 for the first male or female to beat the course records of 1:11:46 set by Adrian Clarke in 1999, and Philippa Leach’s 1:26:59 set in 1994.

The first Eyam Half was held in 1993 and since then thousands of runners, from throughout the UK and overseas, have descended on the historic Peak District village to take part in one of the most gruelling but beautiful courses on the road racing calendar.

The event, which is organised by Eyam Half Marathon Committee, has also helped raise more than £120,000 over the years, largely for local cancer charities and village organisations.

Road subsidence near Abney have forced organisers to cancel the half marathon since 2016, but now the race is firmly back on the map.

Entries to the 2020 Eyam Half Marathon are now open at special early bird rates of £25 affiliated and £27 non-affiliated.

Go to the race website at www.eyamhalfmarathon.org.uk for more information and to enter.