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Eventide Races at Abbotsbury – Flying Fox Running

April 18th, 2020

Eventide Races at Abbotsbury

Evening & Sunset Races

5k, 7k, 6.5k and 13k

Multi Terrain

Join us in Abbotsbury for our second adventure on the beautiful Dorset Coast. Our first races of the evening take place in the daylight before sunset. This year as well as a flatter 5k we have a daylight 7k which includes St Catherines Chapel but ascending from the village side to take in the magnificeant sea views on the descent. While the latter races will take in the sunset (we hope) and visit St Catherines chapel but running in the opposite direction, and the hill it sits on.

The race courses feature St Catherines chapel, the Swannery, the Chesil Beach and starts and finishes in the stunning Subtropical Gardens. Which also acts as our race HQ.

>>>Entries Here<<<

More about Abbotsbury

Abbotsbury is a village located a stones throw from the chesil beach in Dorset. The Chesil beach is a large pebble beach which stretches for many miles from West Bay to Portland. The Subtropical Gardens and Swannery sit just outside Abbotsbury and are part of the Ilchester estate on which our races will take place.

The race starts at the Subtropical Gardens whose facilities also forms our race HQ with it’s restaurant, car park and pavilion. The Gardens started life as a Kitchen Garden for a now demolished stately home known as Abbotsbury Garden. Growing from a small sheltered garden into a collection of plants from all around the world and now a major tourist attraction on the south coast full of plants and intriguing follies and sculptures around every corner. For more information visit here.

From the HQ we run towards the beach. All races will now start on the other side of the road in the over flow car park before ascending a small hill before going by the former site of Abbotsbury castle, a former stately home that was demolished. We have about 800m on the beach before heading inland and up to St Catherine’s Chapel (the 7k course diverges from the other race at this point to take on the chapel from the other side).  The chapel is on a hilltop overlooking the Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland, the 14th century chapel was built by the monks of the nearby Abbotsbury Abbey as a place of pilgrimage and retreat. Now it offers splendid views of the coast and the start of the Fleet – the inland lagoon behind parts of the Chesil Beach and the mainland beyond.

After descending from the Chapel we run along scenic lanes and tracks before we head towards the Swannery. Unfortunately we probably won’t see the swans as we do run through here without disturbing the lake areas. From the grounds of the swannery we head into fields under St Catherines Chapel before heading back towards the tropical gardens via the woods behind it.

The details

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Times TBC

5:20 5k

5:30 7k

Fun Run (tbc)

7:45 13k

7:55 6.5k

Sunset is at 8.10pm so head torches will be needed for the 13 and 6.5k’s

Race HQ is Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Buller’s way, Abbotsbury,
near Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4LA

All races except the 5k start in the car park on the other side of the road from the Subtropical gardens. Runners will be led the short walk from the Subtropical gardens to the start. The races finishes in the Subtropical gardens which makes it a great place to spectate. All races take in the Chapel. Some parts maybe muddy. The 5k starts at the Race HQ.

Aid Stations

There will be refreshments at the end for all races. This will also serve as the half way aid station for the 13k. Other aid stations will be present. Twice on the course for the 5k, 7k and 6.5k. 5 on course for the 13k. Aid stations include water, sweets, fruit and savoury bits to.

Course Markings

The course will be well marked with plenty of signs with reflective elements, as well as marking the turning we also have signs to warn a turn is coming up and to block off wrong directions. As well plentiful signs we have a breadcrumb style trail which lets you know you’re on the course.

Terrain & Course

The 5, 7 and 6.5k races are single laps. The 13km race is 2 laps.

The course takes in a wide variety of surfaces. Stone, pebbles, tarmac, concrete, grass, gravel and mud all feature. Most areas of the course are wide except in the Gardens so we exit the Gardens out of one of the gates straight after the start of the race.

The OS Route planner puts the ascent for the 5k, 7k and the 6k at approximately  140m of climb so 280 for the 13km race.


Please note these may change

5k Daylight Route

7k Daylight Route

6.5k Night Route (twice for 13k)


Spectators and Runners will have some access to the Gardens in Abbotsbury including the colonial restaurant. The race starts can be watched by following the runners to the start. And then returning to the gardens to watch the finish of the one lap races while also seeing the 12k at the half way point.

The races do have a cross over point on the course where runners could be spotted twice per lap. This is on the south west coast path between Stavordale Wood and Chapel Hill.

Age limits

12 and over for the 5k. 16 and above for 6 and 7k races. 17 and above for the 13k. The age limits have raised due to the increase in distance and more offroad terrain. We hope to have shorter fun runs at this race with lower age limits.

Time Limit

1hr 20 mins for the 7k, 1hr 30 for the 5k, 1hr 50 mins for the 12k and 1hr 40 for the 6k

More Information

The 5 and 7k will start and finish in the daylight, and you do not need to wear a head torch unless you really really want to.

You will need to wear a head torch or equivalent for the 6.5 and 13k as these races start just before sunset. Please carry spare batteries or a backup torch, a limited number of which will be available to hire or buy on the night.  We recommend emailing to book.

All finishers will receive a finishers medal for the races unless they elect not to do so (can save £4).

Race Limit 600 (combined total across all three races)


5k is £16 affiliated or £18 unnaffiliated

7 & 6.5k is £17 affiliated or £19 unaffiliated

13k is £19 affiliated or £21 unaffiliated


Canicross -yes, limited entries, likely to be available on 7k and 6.5k races

Childrens Race

We hope to announce a childrens race of around 800m all in the gardens. Stay tuned for further information.

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Enter Here


Medals for all finishers and race crew and marshals with different ribbons for each race race and marshals.

If you fancy marshaling we’d love to hear from you. Marshals also get a discount off a future race or a donation to a charity or organisation such as Guides or Scouts. Entry discounts are transferable. Contact us for more information.

Prizes and

Best dressed runner

1st, 2nd and 3rd Men and Ladies and then 1st in age cats for men and women, 40+, 50+ and 60+

Team prizes for the speediest teams/clubs on the course.  With four runners to count (including at least one women).

Race Parking

Parking is available at the Subtropical Gardens.


Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens has a restaurant, toilets but no showers or changing facilities.

We hope you can join us

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© 2017 Nathan Gardiner. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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