Dramatic cliffs, beautiful coves, a stately home, a world-famous pop festival site… the Isle of Wight Festival of Running boasts an unparalleled location. Now in its third year, the festival has become one of the biggest sporting events on the Island and a favourite of runners from all over the South of England. Over two days, athletes of all levels can choose from four circular cross-country routes, in the breath-taking west of the Island. These start and finish at West Wight Sports & Community Centre, which has excellent facilities for competitors and spectators.
The biggest draw of the weekend is the famously tough Needles Half, which follows a spectacular trail along the coast from Colwell Bay to Totland Bay, over the heathland of Headon Warren to The Needles. Runners then traverse rugged Tennyson Down to Tennyson Monument, before descending to Freshwater Bay and across Afton Marsh, to the finish.
The Tapnell 10K takes runners on a circular route through fields, past Afton Down, where Jimi Hendrix played his last performance in England, to more than 600,000 people at the 1970 pop festival.
The Freshwater 5K passes another historic site, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s magnificent home, Farringford.
Younger members of the family can join the Junior Fun Run, around fields adjoining the West Wight Sports & Community Centre.