WITH just two weeks to go until the New Forest comes alive with the thunder of footsteps, the Daily Echo takes a look at the birth of a local sporting event.

The first New Forest marathon was planned for 1982 but due to an absence of sponsors, was put back until the following year.

The first New Forest Marathon took place on September 18, 1983, started in New Milton but missed a section of just over a mile at Burley when the lead car took a wrong turning.

The run was organised by New Milton Lions, in conjunction with the New Forest Runners and raised several thousand pounds for Stoke Mandeville Hospital fund.

Footballer Alan Ball was in the line-up in Station Road and completed the 25 miles in a little over three hours.

Strong winds and driving rain earlier in the morning made many of the competitors late for the half-marathon.

The marathon was won by veteran Royal Navy AC member, G Wilson, while the first lady home was Chrissie Gray.

P Carter was first to cross the line in the half-marathon

The Daily Echo wishes everyone competing this year the very best of luck for the big day.