Runners set for another gruelling Stinger race

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THE ninth annual Steyning Stinger cross-country hill run across the South Downs takes place on Sunday.

The gruelling race, which features a marathon and half-marathon distance, organised by Steyning Athletic Club, is an all off-road event, held during the coldest, muddiest and wettest part of the year, starting and finishing in Steyning.

The first official running of the event took place in March, 2002, and has since been held every year on the first Sunday in March.

The name, Steyning Stinger, using a scorpion on Chanctonbury Ring as the logo, refers to the many steep or long climbs on the route.

The race, devised during the summer of 2001, was thought up by Steyning members Geoff Cobby and Martin Ford-Dunn.

It is a particularly tough race and seen as a real challenge for even the seasoned runner.

In the past, organisers have had runners helped off the Downs with near-hypothermia, sprained ankles and broken elbows, and in lots of mud, pain and anguish.

Runners are provided with a sit-down meal with hot food and drinks at the finish.

The popular event is limited to 450 competitors with entries only accepted in advance.

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