HUNDREDS of runners will race cross-country from Salisbury to Winchester tomorrow for the Clarendon Marathon.

Organised by the Rotary Club, the annual event raised more than £30,000 for charities chosen by Rotarians and runners last year.

The route follows the ancient Clarendon Way with a few extra turns to make up a full 26.2 miles. More than 90 per cent is off road, with the trail following country paths and tracks trodden by pilgrims for centuries.

In addition to full and half- marathon races, there is a five-mile fun run. The finishing line is at Kings’ School in Romsey Road.

“We had 1,106 runners book to run in last year’s event and of those 935 finished the course, 10 per cent up on the previous year,” said JJ Heath-Caldwell, chairman of the organising committee.

“One of the special things about the Clarendon is that we are providing an opportunity for participants to raise money for their own chosen cause.”

Among the charities to benefit last year was 4Louis, which provides memory boxes free of charge for bereaved parents who suffer a stillbirth or neonatal death.

Sam and Eric Woodward, who live in Harestock, ran in memory of their baby son, George, who died shortly after birth from kidney problems in July 2016. The couple completed the marathon as part of a relay team with their family to raise £10,000 for the charity which helped them cope with the devastating loss of their first child.

Worthy Runners is this year entering seven teams into the marathon. “It is a truly unique event with loads of cheery volunteers and some spectacular scenery albeit with a few hills too,” said a spokesman. “With seven teams running together, there will inevitably be a bit of friendly rivalry!”

The full marathon race starts at 10.30am from Wyvern College, Laverstock in Salisbury, the half-marathon from Broughton and the five-mile fun from Farley Mount Country Park.