Taking care of both your physical and mental health and wellbeing has become more important than ever. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of islanders have taken up running along with other outdoor activities, making the most of Guernsey’s stunning scenery and nature and recognising the benefits exercise can offer both body and mind.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner looking for your next challenge or a beginner wanting to train for your first 5k, Guernsey has a vibrant and supportive running community ready to welcome runners of all abilities.
Guernsey offers a multitude of landscapes with varying levels of difficulty for your training. The Northern part of the island is home to flatter routes with a popular run along the East coast between St Peter Port and St Sampson, (where you can catch the sunrise and show off the pictures you took to your co-workers whilst they were fast asleep in bed!). In comparison, the South of the island, which is home to dramatic cliffs with their criss-cross network of cliff paths, provides challenging and varied running terrain for those looking to increase both fitness and stamina.
For those that have recently relocated to Guernsey, running offers an excellent opportunity to explore the Island and meet and connect with likeminded individuals through one of the many on-island running events hosted each year. Whatever your ability, you can be assured there is a route and challenge for everyone. Here are some of the many running events taking place this year.
1. Guernsey Parkrun – Weekly on a Saturday
A free, fun and friendly 5k community event which occurs every Saturday – come rain or shine – where participants have the choice to walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate! The course takes place at L’Ancresse Common next to Pembroke Bay and is run entirely by volunteers who take part for their own enjoyment, so there is zero pressure to run a personal best or even complete the course.
2. EY Easter Running Festival: 15 – 18 April 2022
After a 2 year break due to COVID-19, the EY Easter Running festival is making a return in 2022. The four-day festival will be held over the Easter weekend and each day offers a different style of race for both experienced and aspiring athletes.
The events comprise of 5k and 10k road races, the Keith Falla Memorial full course cross country and a 4×1 mile relay race. The relay race will be taking place at Delancey Park to enhance the spectator experience as well as to showcase the island further to visiting athletes.
For updates and further information on the event, please visit the EY Running Festival website.
3. Butterfield Half Marathon: 18 September 2022
For those looking for a more challenging experience, 2022 will mark the 22nd anniversary of the Guernsey Half Marathon. A stunning 13.1-mile flat coastal road route, starting in the south-west corner of the island running along the town seafront, culminating in a grand finish outside the Tourist Information Office in St Peter Port. Not only does this run provide an enticing challenge for new runners, it is also a fantastic community event as spectators line up throughout the course to cheer on participants and hand out sweets and water.
For updates and further information on the event, please visit their dedicated Facebook page.
4. Sure Guernsey Marathon: 3 April 2022
This weekend sees the return of the annual Guernsey Marathon. Starting and finishing at the South Esplanade, St Peter Port the 26.2-mile-long course takes competitors through some of the island’s most scenic areas of country lanes, picturesque valleys and the beautiful coast of Guernsey.
Welcoming a variety of runners from elite and semi-professional athletes competing for the top prizes, to friends and colleagues taking part as a team in the relay, to families having fun whilst raising money for their chosen charity – this is an event for every type of runner!
For further information, please visit the Guernsey Marathon website.
5. Guernsey Ultra Marathon: 15 May 2022
Finally, for those who are wanting to step up to ultra-distances there is the Guernsey Ultra Marathon! A 36-mile mixed terrain race around the island with checkpoints further apart than a standard marathon, this will accustom runners to the more self-sufficient way that most ultra-races are run.
GUN31: 19 November 2022
Alternatively, for those looking for something a bit different, you can run the South coast of Guernsey’s cliffs in a challenging night trail. Starting at midnight with an immediate ascent of around 2300m and a cut off time of dawn, if you think you can run all of Guernsey’s cliffs, twice, and be back by dawn this is for you!
For more information about both races and how to sign up, please visit the Guernsey Ultra website.
Both local and overseas runners alike can sign up to any of the above events. If you would like to participate from overseas, you can also read our recent blog post about How to travel to Guernsey.
For further information about accommodation in Guernsey, please go to Visit Guernsey’s website.
Please note, Guernsey is not a part of the UK or the EU, you are advised to check that your travel insurance includes medical cover for Guernsey. There is no NHS or reciprocal agreement with the UK.
If the quality of life enjoyed by islanders, our community feel and beautiful scenery make you want to stay please get in touch to find out more.