What's it all about?

Here's a taster of what you can expect from the Grizzly:


Grizzly Race Information - Sunday 18th March 2018

Please read this information carefully

Axe Valley Runners welcome you to the 31st Grizzly “May the Course be with You”, which is held under Association of Running Clubs rules with permit numbers ARC 18/043 (Grizzly & Cub) and 18/044 (Junior Race & Fun Run). Over the previous 30 years, there have been well over 80,000 completed runs, with more than £364,000 of race proceeds being donated to numerous different charities.

IMPORTANT: PARKING IN SEATON WILL BE LIMITED AS USUAL THIS YEAR. Parking marshals will be on hand to direct you to available parking. We strongly recommend that you arrive early, as it may take a time to get parked and get to the start. Please share a car if you can. Please note that there is a charge for the EDDC public car parks. Further details below.

New Grizzlers be warned: The Grizzly has over 3,000' ascent in its 20 miles. There are two sections of beach, totalling well over a mile; two energy-sapping bogs, where runners are often up to their waists in water and mud; and the infamous “Stairway to Heaven”, a steep path up the side of a cliff (beware if you suffer from vertigo). Some of the descents are steep and often very slippery, so please take care. It will take roughly your road marathon time, perhaps longer if conditions are grim. Please also note that the route for the full Grizzly is new this year, so please study the route map carefully. There is no change to the Cub route from last year.

The good news is that this year we have taken our first big steps towards becoming a more environmentally friendly event. We will be using biodegradable marking tape around the course and runners will receive cups of water at the finish line instead of plastic bottled water. We hope to make further changes in the years ahead, so please help us in our drive towards an environmentally friendly Grizzly.

The DOs, DON'Ts and THANK YOUs


  • Enjoy the race and stay safe - only run it if you are physically and medically fit and not intending to walk most of the route.
  • Let us know if you've obtained someone else's number (using the change of runner form before race weekend).
  • Check out our accommodation list 2018 if you are still looking for somewhere to stay.
  • Look at the Seaton town map to locate where everything is.
  • Check the timetable below to make sure you are in the right place at the right time.
  • Complete the reverse of your race number with contact info and any medical details.
  • Wear your race number on your front and have it visible at the finish – please do not tamper with the timing chip attached to the back of your number.
  • Take your race number to the team at the finish line when collecting your race t-shirt.
  • Dress for the occasion - Grizzly weather varies year to year from very warm to bitterly cold and wet.
  • Keep to the marked route - especially going around field edges.
  • Please be patient if there is a queue - there may be some constrictions and you may be held briefly at road crossings to ease traffic flow.
  • Please respect the decisions and follow the instructions of the marshals at all times. Anyone disobeying instructions or being rude to marshals/back-markers will be deemed to have retired from the race and asked to hand over their number, and may receive a possible ban from future AVR events, including the Grizzly. There is a certain time gap between runners (see below) and at these points everyone beyond these times will be shortcutted (at the earlier points) or withdrawn from the race (at the later points). Anyone failing to follow marshal instructions to cut-off or withdraw from the race will no longer be insured and will effectively be trespassing on private land. Please note that shortcutted runners will still be able to claim their T-shirt.
  • Thank the marshals who give up a lot of their time and make the race possible.
  • Read the full race rules.
  • Wear shoes with very good grip and tie the laces well.
  • Be careful when running along the clifftops – we have added another section this year along the clifftop on the other side of Branscombe Mouth; the views are stunning but the drop is large!


  • Park in the supermarket car parks other than allocated spaces as directed by parking marshals. We have been allocated certain space in Tesco car park for runners only, but if you park outside these for more than two hours you may incur a fine. Parking anywhere in the Co-op car park for more than three hours will incur a fine (free ticketless parking for first two hours, paid ticket has to be purchased for third hour). Please also do not park in the Premier Inn car park unless you are staying there as a guest. Park considerately at all times and don’t block anyone’s driveway.
  • Use any private part of the Grizzly course at other times.
  • Cut-off Seaton beach in the first mile earlier than indicated by race markings and marshals.
  • Wee in front of members of the public - available toilets en route are on the course map.
  • Drop litter, especially gel sachets - marshals should have carrier bags so hang on to any litter until you reach them (drink cups within the water station area are acceptable).
  • Take dogs into Cliff Field Gardens or Seafield Gardens in Seaton (otherwise you may be fined).
  • Run with dogs or walking poles. Just to re-emphasise, anyone ignoring instructions to stop using walking poles will be immediately withdrawn from the race and may be banned from future events.
  • Expect to be able to change your race t-shirt size at the time you finish. We have a new policy
    regarding race t-shirts which will be explained further below and includes details of possible options for swapping sizes.
  • Start before the official race start or without a race number.
  • Expect to complete the course without running any of it (you WILL be pulled out).


To enable this race to go ahead, many, many thanks go to the sponsors, landowners and more than 500 members of the support crew, obviously too many to mention, but here are our supporters in no particular order (apologies if we've forgotten anyone):

  • Scimitar Sports (T shirts)
  • East Devon Sports Therapy & General Injury Clinic (main sponsor and goody bags)
  • Lyme Bay Winery (race prizes and goody bags)
  • Quarterdeck Confectionery (race prizes)
  • Tesco, Seaton (car parking and bananas)
  • Photo-fit.net (Event Photography)
  • Axminster Tools (postage)
  • SAK Logistics (van hire)
  • Quicks Engineering (SW) Ltd, Axminster (trophies)
  • Axe Skip Hire (waste skip at finish)
  • Seaton Town Council (Marshlands building – First Aid centre)
  • Safeguard GB (traffic management)
  • Branscombe Cricket Club (runner pick-up vehicles)
  • Axe Yacht Club (safety barriers)
  • Seaton Jurassic (discount offer to Grizzly runners)
  • Darkplace Brewery (Grizzly beer)
  • Sunshine Samba (recycling)
  • Seaton firefighters (hose down)


Race HQ - At Seaton Town Hall - known as "The Gateway". Here you will find the info desk for any race queries and number issues (no number changes after 10.00 a.m. on race day). There will also be a stall selling Grizzly merchandise (hoodies, snoods, beanies and car stickers) and a shop run by Run Venture selling bargain priced items of clothing and shoes together with running accessories. See below for opening times and further details. Note that this year, entries on the Saturday for the Fun Run and Junior Grizzly will be in the Hook & Parrot on the Esplanade from 10.45 up until 13.45.

GRIZQUIZ – the popular Grizquiz will again be held on the evening of Saturday 17th March at The Gateway, Seaton Town Hall, 6.30 for 7.00pm. Teams of 8 max, licensed bar (including bar snacks), prizes for winning team. Get your tickets from The Gateway box office, £5 per person, either by phoning the box office on 01297 625699 or online through their website at The Gateway. All profits will go towards The Gateway’s fundraising efforts to buy new chairs. Don’t miss this great fun social evening.




What and when

Sat 17th March


Seaton parkrun at the Esplanade (5k run) – Seaton parkrun

10:00 – 14:00

Artisan Market opposite Town Hall

10:30 – 16:00

Information desk, AVR sales and running shop (Run Venture) open in Seaton Town Hall.

10:45 – 13:45

Entry desk open at the Hook & Parrot for Fun Run, Junior Cub and Junior Grizzly.


2K Fun Run (for Under 8s) start/finish on the Esplanade (outside Hook & Parrot). Entries on the day in the Hook and Parrot.


2K Junior Cub (for Over 8s) start/finish on the Esplanade (outside Hook & Parrot). Entries on the day in the Hook and Parrot.


4K Junior Grizzly start/finish on the Esplanade (outside Hook & Parrot). Entries on the day in the Hook and Parrot.

18:30 for 19:00

Grizquiz at The Gateway, Seaton Town Hall - Tickets from the Gateway Box Office (Tel: 01297 625699). See above for details.



Sun 18th March


Grizzly Cafe open for breakfast at The Gateway, Seaton Town Hall.


08:30 – 15:30

Information desk, AVR sales and running shop (Run Venture) open in Seaton Town Hall. Note Info desk is upstairs today.


09:00 – 10:20

Pre-race massage available near start/finish line, courtesy of East Devon Sports Therapy & General Injury Clinic.



Baggage store open at Race HQ.



Grizzly and Cub start together on Esplanade; finish in same place.



Race HQ closes – please ensure all belongings are collected from Race HQ before this time.


PARKING – As stated above, parking will be at a premium, so lift share if you can. Please note there is a cost to park at the East Devon District Council car parks at Orchard, Seaton Town Hall, Seaton Jurassic and the overspill on The Underfleet West. A £2 ticket purchased at any time on Sunday 18 March 2018 from any of these pay and display car parks will be valid until midnight on that day, regardless of the expiry time actually printed on the ticket. Please note - this offer is valid through the payment machines only - unfortunately it cannot be extended to parkmobile (pay by mobile phone) customers.

We have a number of allocated spaces in Tesco car park for runners only, but you are likely to get a ticket from the car park operator if you park other than in the allocated spaces as directed by parking marshals (unallocated parking spaces have a maximum stay of 2 hours). Please do not park on the roads outside the new houses next to Tesco. Follow the parking marshal instructions and car share if you can! Please park considerately and don’t block driveways etc.

BAGGAGE STORAGE –will be at Seaton Town Hall. There are no changing, washing or toilet facilities available. Please note that all baggage must be collected from the Town Hall before 6.00 p.m. on race day.

TOILETS - Marked on the town map, public ones at Tramway, next to Town Hall, West Walk and supplemented by portable loos on the esplanade near the start/finish and close to the Riverside Units.

REFRESHMENTS – there will be plenty of places in Seaton, including Race HQ, where runners and spectators can enjoy refreshments before, during and after the race.

GRIZZLY BEER – Darkplace Brewery in Colyton have brewed a special Grizzly beer this year. Look out for Darkplace over Grizzly weekend, possibly even on the Grizzly course on Sunday! A percentage of profits raised from the sale of the Grizzly beer will be donated to Grizzly charities.


The Course – the route has been changed this year for the full Grizzly but is the same as last year for the Cub. See this hand-drawn map with distances, water stations, good spectator points and more; a more detailed map will be placed on the Grizzly website closer to race day.

Bio-mat – A biosecurity disinfectant mat will be placed at the entrance into Gays Farm after approximately 11.8 miles. Runners will be funnelled to run onto the mat and a marshal will also be present at that point, but please ensure that you run across the bio-mat as instructed.

Terrain - The usual tough and uneven terrain and lots of "girt" big hills, some steep and/or slippery. It will be very muddy in places - you may struggle for grip in some places so wear suitable footwear and take care, especially on the steep downhill sections.

The race starts at Seaton Esplanade before doubling back for your first run on our lovely pebbles. Please note that runners must stick to the race markings on the beach and must not cut off the beach any earlier than indicated.

The route then follows Beer Road (largely) on the way out of Seaton. The road will be closed to traffic outbound but since it is a fairly major route it will need to be re-opened promptly. Anyone walking the whole route to that point will not make it through ... be warned. It will be open to traffic for the return run so please keep inside the cones. Remember that vehicles have right of way.

Bogs – It has been well over knee deep in the past, so tie your shoe laces tight - be warned.

Drinks - There will be ten water stations on the Grizzly and three on the Cub Run, all serving water and some serving food as well.

Dropping Out – hopefully you won’t get ill or injured, but if you do need to drop out, contact the nearest marshal and, if you are able, make your way to the nearest water station or designated pick-up point – the marshal should be able to tell you how to get to the nearest one. Mobile phone signal is poor/non-existent at some points on the course but water stations will all be in contact with race control and first aid is available at most.

Dogs – although runners aren’t allowed to run with dogs, the course is open to the public during the race and dogwalkers may be on the route. Please take care when running near dogs, particularly on narrow sections of the course, and walk past them if they appear to be agitated.

Toilets – available toilets en route are on the course map. Please note that the public toilets at Seaton Hole after approximately 2.4 miles will NOT be open this year, so the first toilets en route after the start line will be at Beer Head Caravan Park after approximately 3.5 miles.

Finish – We have chip timing again this year which will hopefully make the results more accurate and quicker to compile. Please still have your number clearly visible on your front at the finish. Do not cross the finishing line a second time eg with another runner, as this can play havoc with the recording and may lead to a ban for future races.

Post Finish - After the finish line, pick-up your water/banana/flapjack, collect your well earned technical T-shirt and get a hose-down by Seaton Firefighters on The Esplanade. You can also have a massage, courtesy of East Devon Sports Therapy & General Injury Clinic East Devon Sports Therapy (£5 for a local charity). Pre-race massages are also available near the start/finish line from 9.00 a.m. on race day.

Technical race t-shirts – We have changed the policy regarding the handout of technical race t-shirts this year, so that the t-shirt size selected when the original runner entered the race will be the size that they receive at the finish line. Runners will not be allowed to try on different sizes and change their selected size at the finish line. Changes may possibly be made as follows:

  1. If a runner comes to the t-shirt team at the finish line after the race has finished at approximately 5.00 p.m. and hands back their t-shirt still in its plastic wrapper. There is no guarantee that t-shirts in other sizes will still be available.
  2. An unmanned area will be set aside at Race HQ after the race for runners to meet and swap t-shirts.

Please note that a letter has been manually written on each of the race numbers which will correspond to the t-shirt size to be handed out to you. These letters do NOT abbreviate to the size that you will receive (ie – if you have the letter “L” written on your t-shirt, this doesn’t mean that you will receive a large t-shirt). Please do NOT amend the letter that is written on your t-shirt.

Anyone arguing with or abusing members of the t-shirt team will run the risk of being banned from future events.

Goody bags – This year, runners will receive a cloth goody bag containing their race t-shirt and various other items, including a miniature bottle of alcohol. Please could any Under 18s identify themselves to the t-shirt team at the finish line as they will receive another item instead of alcohol.

Results – Provisional results should be available on-line at our timing provider’s website Results. It may still take a while to sort out anomalies etc. More information about results will be posted on our website near race day.

Memorial - If you would like to remember someone, something or a special occasion, you can bring a ribbon to tie to the memorial. We will endeavour to have this on the beach at Branscombe again at 16-17 miles (5-6 miles for the Cub), but this may change at short notice.

Photos – Official photography will again be provided by Photo-Fit.Net. You can register with them to be notified when the photos are on-line and can search with your race number. Prints and downloads will be available. We will also email all entrants when the photos are available. Please support them as we benefit from every sale. We don't condone any freeloaders selling photos of the race.

Cub Split - At Branscombe Mouth beach - anyone switching from Grizzly to Cub en-route should appear in the Cub results providing they ensure their race number is marked by the marshal (no guarantee so, ideally, please tell us before if you're switching).

Trophies – Will be awarded to the first three male and first three female finishers in the Cub and the Grizzly races as they finish or soon after (ie there is no formal awards ceremony). There are no race medals for participants in either run, just the Grizzly T-shirt for all finishers. It’s the taking part that counts!


The Grizzly is approximately 20 miles and the Cub Run 9 miles. The Cub split is at Branscombe Mouth, where this year Cub runners will experience the thrill of entering the stream on the beach before heading back towards Beer and Seaton. There are shortcuts/cut-offs on both routes, saving marshalling time. The cuts will be applied when there is a certain gap between runners as, due to conditions, we cannot predict absolute time at each point.  





1.0 m



Start/Finish – anyone who has made no attempt to run the first mile or more than 18 mins elapsed time

5.4 m

3 min

10.7 m

Branscombe Mouth Cub split - onto Cub back to finish

6.9 m


9.4 m

5 min


6 min

6.4 m


1.2 m

Junction of Hole House lane with footpath up to Northern Lane – turn left up footpath

Lane junction with Elverway Farm – ahead through farmyard instead of left to Baldash Cottage

12.7 m

13.8 m

7 min

8 min



Junction of Trafalgar Barton & Lockseys Lane


14.2 m

10 min

0.7 m

Junction of tracks Fountainhead/Kiln Lane – left along footpath instead of right

16.1 m

12 min


Branscombe Mouth

Anyone failing to follow marshal instructions to cut-off or withdraw from the race will have their race number taken from them, will no longer be insured and will effectively be trespassing on private land. Please note that shortcutted runners will still be able to claim their T-shirt.


Allow plenty of time to drive anywhere around Beer or Branscombe since the roads are very narrow and become congested, particularly where the race route crosses them, and there will be some road closures/ diversions in place. The best points are:

  • Esplanade (start & finish) or on top of the Moridunum.
  • Beer Head Car Park (now paying) or near the Anchor Inn in Beer (3m & 18m).
  • Sea Shanty at Branscombe Mouth in paying car park (5m & 16m).
  • Branoc (Branscombe) Village Hall (6m).
  • Fountainhead pub in Branscombe with almost no parking but great beer! (14m).

Note that Beer Head car park charges all year.

Note that the Branscombe Mouth car park has a camera operated payment system using car registration.

Please follow any diversions and road closures that are in place and please be considerate and park courteously, ensuring that you don’t block roads or driveways, or park in any passing places.

Lots of cheering, clapping and encouragement essential!

All enquiries to Tony Smith as per our contact page


Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

M. Kathleen Casey