A LONG-ESTABLISHED marathon festival is returning to the local area for its seventh year running.

Now a regular feature in Shropshire’s running and walking calendar, it has been confirmed that the SW80K Festival will return to Craven Arms on April 6 next year.

Hosted by the team at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and run as a fundraiser for Grow Cook Learn, the charity that runs the centre, runners and walkers from across the UK and beyond are set to gather in the Shropshire Hills to take part in one of four challenge events- the mighty SW80K, Mammothon, Half-Mammothon or Tusker’s 10K.

A festival spokesperson said that the festival offers stunning routes taking in the rugged beauty of this fascinating area, including Iron-Age hillforts, the jagged quartzite peaks of the Stiperstones, ancient woodlands, upland heath, beautiful river valleys and traditional market towns. The event is about supporting the charity’s mission to connect people to the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills and delicious local food is served at the checkpoints along the way, they added.

Grant Wilson, the Centre Manager and Event Organiser said: “We’re super excited to be running the event again next year.

“We just love showing off this spectacular landscape and hearing all the positive comments from our runners and walkers who discover them for the first time.

“For me though, the event is all about the food - we serve Shropshire Fidget pies, local cheeses and sausages, our famous Bara Brith and a local beef stew in barn high in the hills. This all gives the event a real taste of Shropshire and is the reason why people return year after year.

“If you want to challenge yourself and help raise some money for our Centre, why not enter one of our events?”

The event is fully insured, and entry fees include food and drink throughout the event, car parking, a rescue vehicle and a finishers medal and certificate.

For more information and to enter, please head to the Centre’s website at www.shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk.