Sweetcombe Scramble Marathon

Sweetcombe Scramble Marathon

Exmouth to Seaton, 2nd April 2023. Start 09:00. Cut off 17:00

Runners rules, information and route details

We are indebted to Polly, Alex and Tracy, a local family and owners of Sweetcombe Holiday Cottages, who are not only sponsoring the marathon but taking part as well. Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays, a local, family run self-catering agency. Click here to browse their selection of holiday cottages across East Devon.

Please be aware that a number of previous runners have classed part of the route you will be running as an extremely tough course. The second part of this race from Sidmouth is very challenging. If you do not make the cut off time at Sidmouth you will be withdrawn as you will have no chance of finishing in time.

With around 4000feet of ascent, Runners World has previously described that event as a “…brute of a race with some outstanding views…” and has previously been voted one of the best races in the country.


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The Route

This is a self-navigating race.

The GPS trackers provided by Geo Tracks www.geotracks.co.uk  can be linked to a smart phone or watch app. This app is designed for navigational use. It centres on your tracker and shows the course to follow as a red line.

During the race the live view tracking map will be available here. A written description of the course can be found here.

Remember that maps and apps are just an aid to navigation. You need to interpret these against the ground and make your route selection. Time getting lost is time wasted. Refer to your map/app constantly.

The route will have no specific markers relevant to this race. This ensures that we have the minimum possible impact on what is a beautiful and natural environment. Be advised that club’s 22 mile JP’s Exe to Axe race will be using marshals and markings running in parallel to this event using only the Coast Path.

If you are not already familiar with the area you can get the general idea by looking at an ordinary road map and following the coastline from Exmouth to Seaton.

OS Explorer Maps 115 (Exmouth and Sidmouth) and 116 (Lyme Regis and Bridport) provide more detail. Apart from a loop inland along the river Otter, the route follows the Coastal Path from Exmouth to Seaton, sections 44 and 45, with its Acorn logo embossed on all signposts.

The simple rule for most of the route is: keep the sea on your right and follow the coast path acorn symbols.

Due to the works for the Lower Otter Restoration Project there is a slight diversion at the end of Budleigh Salterton promenade which is not on the GPS route. At Lime Kiln car park, continue along Granary Lane on your left which leads into South Farm Road. Follow this road around a sharp right hand bend and continue on towards White Cross bridge. Do not cross the bridge but take the riverside footpath on your left to Otterton.

Safety on the South West Coast Path.

Keep a safe distance from the edge of the cliff at all times. If the ground is loose or slippery and you feel unsure at any time head inland.

The nature of the Coast Path means on certain sections you will be close to the edge of the cliff. This represents a ‘significant’ risk and extra care must be taken. You are to make your own dynamic risk assessment.

You must carry a fully charged mobile phone with the ‘What3Words’ app loaded so you can be located in case of accident.


All entries are through SiEntries and close on the 20th March.

Race numbers will be posted prior to the start.

The Geo Tracks GPS trackers will be collected at the start.

Start time 09:00. Cut off time at Seaton Yacht Club 17:00.

Check points and water stations

White Bridge, Budleigh Salterton after inland loop. Open 09:15. Cut off time 12:00.

Sidmouth Sailing Club. Open 10:30. Cut off time 14:00.

Branscombe Beach Open 11:15. Cut off time 15:45.

Seaton. finish at Axe Yacht Club Open 11:45. Cut off time 17:00.

On arriving at a check point make yourself known to the marshals with your name and race number. This is a safety point so we can make sure you are on route.

If you miss a check point or expect to arrive late you must call the Race Director on 07445 956937.

Kit list.

To be carried on your person at all times whilst on the course.

    • Means of navigation, either a physical map or a GPS device with the GPX route loaded.
    • Waterproof map case or bag to hold maps or phone.
    • Check point closing times.
    • Water
    • Energy bars or gels
    • Waterproof
    • Warm layer


If you are undertaking this race you will no doubt be an experienced runner who understands how the weather can change and deteriorate quickly especially on the coastline. Check the weather the day before and come prepared.

Back pacer

There will be pacer who will run at 18 minutes miles to complete the race in 8 hours, the cut off time. This is NOT a back marker. Anyone behind the pacer at a check point will be removed from the race.


Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays have a brilliant range of properties to stay in across East Devon. Recuperate in the comfort of your home away from home.

There is a Premier Inn very close to the finish. I have spoken to one of the managers and she tells me the cheapest way to book is online: Seaton.PI@premierinn.com. Telephone 01297 300176.

You can order a breakfast for 0700hrs and the coach will pick you up in their carpark at 0740hrs. The coach must be booked in advance at: events@sidmouthrunningclub.co.uk Get a parking voucher from reception and that will last until you return form the run.

Pre race transport

This is an optional £10. Leaving Seaton coach park, opposite Seaton Tramway at 0745hrs taking you to the start at Exmouth. This is available only on the condition that you book your place in advance. If you did not book a place on the SiEntries form and now want to you can do so at: events@sidmouthrunningclub.co.uk

Baggage van

A bag can be transported from the start to the finish for you if required. You must attach the label from your race number to your bag.

Be aware

This is a tough race, please only enter if you are capable of running this distance and able to cope with the hilly and varied terrain. You take full responsibility for your welfare, preparedness and must medically self-authorise yourself to run. If in any doubt at all please contact your GP.

Completing it is an achievement so please ensure you are prepared for this challenge.

Prize draw

Our main sponsor Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays have also offered a £150 voucher to be use at one of their holiday cottages. The voucher can be used on any booking until the end of 2023, subject to availability. All marathon runners’ numbers will be entered into a draw. The draw will take place during the run so the voucher can be presented at the finish,

T&Cs and exclusions apply. Competition closes on ‘date of race’ and ‘race start time’ The prize includes a £150 voucher to spend with Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays between November 2022 and December 2023. Prize is subject to availability and does not include travel to and from the holiday cottage. The competition is open to UK residents only. The voucher cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers”.


There are a number of places along the route where your family or friends can support you. Some good places are. Budleigh sea front, Sidmouth Esplanade where there are a number of cafes. Branscombe Beach. The Sea Shanty is a great place to watch from. Beer at the bottom of the village by the slip to the beach. Along Seaton seafront to the finish.

Public toilets

These are located at the start, Budleigh Salterton, Otterton Mill (not public), Sidmouth, Branscombe, Beer, Seaton

And last but not least.

Please remember that not only are you out to enjoy yourself there will be others not participating in the event enjoying the route too. Both the Coast Path and the paths along the river Otter are public spaces, you do not own them. Be considerate to others, let them know you are coming up behind them with a “runner coming behind” “runner passing on the right/left etc.” and beware of those walking dogs. The future of these events depends on you and your behaviour.