AN ULTRAMARATHON finishing at Winchester Cathedral will take place this summer.

Now in its second year, Race to the King is a 53-mile walk or run along the South Downs Way to Winchester Cathedral on June 24 and 25.

The double marathon, organised by Threshold Sports, is for anyone regardless of age or fitness level and it’s a way for anyone who lives near the South Downs to see and explore the area.

Walkers and runners will set off from the Slindon estate in East Sussex along the historic route past Iron Age forts and Bronze Age burial grounds to the Cathedral, the burial place of the earliest kings of England.

Some will take it non-stop, while most will spread the journey over two days, staying overnight at the base camp where they can enjoy a hot shower and dinner.

Julian Mack, CEO of Threshold Sports said: “Race to the King is a fantastic way for anyone who lives locally and enjoys being outside to explore the local area.

“The South Downs Way is a stunning route and the ideal place to challenge yourself whatever your age or ability and it’ll be a fabulous and dramatic finish line at Winchester Cathedral.”

Winchester resident Christina Hutchings is doing Race to the King for the second time with her sister. “We took part last year and absolutely loved it,” she said. “We had a blast and jogged and walked most of the route in 14 hours. Camping overnight made it more of a weekend away and a break from the kids. Plus Because the finish is ten minutes away from my house there’s no hassle getting home – although we still got a taxi as we were shattered!

“I think we’d like to beat our time this year, but who knows what will happen. I am running the London Marathon next month for the British Heart Foundation, so it’s tempting just to walk Race to the King and enjoy all the stunning scenery.”

Paul Elliott, a resident house parent at Peter Symonds College, Winchester College, said: “I chose Race to the King because I liked the idea of covering a large part of the South Downs Way and because I live in Winchester so I can crawl home afterwards.

“I’m only doing day two of the race because this is my first attempt at a long distance off-road race and I’m using it to see if my body can withstand the rigours of training with a view to entering the Atlantic Coast three-day event in October. I’m promoting BEat, which supports young adults with eating disorders.”