Entries have opened for what must be one of the country’s most iconic running events: the Chariots Beach Race in St Andrews (Sunday, 31 May). The ‘unique event in a very special location’ commemorates the unforgettable ‘beach run’ scene of the 1981 movie, ‘Chariots of Fire’.
Now in its tenth year, all 200 early bird discounted entries to the May event were snapped up within a few hours of entries going live on Monday.
The event itself is simple: an essentially flat out and back chip-timed 5k along the shore, run entirely on sand and in the surf. And just like in the movie, runners will start and finish on the same West Sands location to the sweeping strains of Vangelis’ famous theme tune.
Runners don’t have to run barefoot like their cinematic forebears, but they are encouraged to dress all in white, movie-style. Organisers say, “No one will stop you running if you don’t … but it’s much more fun … and makes for better photos if you run clad in all white!”
An official race tee (white, of course) can be ordered as you enter online; this year, an official ‘Chariots Buff’ is also available.
Runners of all standards are welcome to take part, from first timers to club runners and everyone in between – but between the challenge of the sand, and the surf, and the general good spirit of the event, don’t count on achieving your quickest 5k ever.
As the organisers say, “You're welcome to sprint your heart out for glory, although some may find the urge to run in a slow-motion Vangelis-induced stupor may make setting a PB somewhat challenging.”
For those who are able to tear up the beach, organisers are pleased to announce that age category prizes will be awarded for the first time this year.
All finishers over 18 will receive a bottle of local beer (or a soft drink) and a doughnut, with gluten-free/vegan options available too.
A 1 mile fun run for children 11 and under will be held before the main race, with entry £4 on the day.