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Logo for Virtual Chariots of Fire Beach Race 2021

Virtual Chariots of Fire Beach Race 2021

31 May 2020

Virtual Chariots of Fire Beach Race 2021 has now closed and you will not be able to sign-up for it. Please check the Organiser's Description for any organiser updates.
This event is in a testing state, and is not open for public sign-ups until the organiser has launched it.

Organiser's Description


And finally we're back again!

Celebrating our tenth year, Sunday 31st May 2020 sees the return of Chariots once more on the silver sands of St Andrews. Come back and join us for a fun day on the beach, celebrating St Andrews' cinematic past. Chariots 2020 gives you the chance to run resplendent all in white on the very same beach that featured in the film Chariots of Fire, and so memorably with Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, complete with the memorable soundtrack that we've all played in our heads at one point or another...

The race continues to attract both new and returning runners from all corners of the globe who love the friendly, local community welcome they receive in this enchanting corner of Fife.

Don't believe us? Here's what some of our Charioteers have said about us over the years; 

'Best 5k in the world'

'Set to be one of the biggest and most loved running events in Scotland. So many unique elements - the incredible location, the iconic outfits, barefoot running on sand, incredible donuts and a free beer. What's not to love?'

'Great fun, fabulous location... We will be back'

If you’re reading this, slightly bemused, check out these links and start dreaming of running barefoot through the surf.

Mr Bean on West Sands during the London Olympics

And the original scene from the 1981 film that started this all off:

Chariots of Fire Opening Scene, West Sands

The race is a simple out and back 5km. Runners do not have to be barefoot but are welcome to run through the waves should they wish (it may affect their time though!)

The children's 1 mile fun run (11 and under only) race is scheduled to start at 11.30am (subject to the tides!), with the main 5km kicking off promptly at 12 noon. Prizegiving 1pm.

The event welcomes everybody, from the club runner looking for a Sunday shakedown, the parkrunner looking for a unique and individual event, the first time runner looking to try the sport for the first time, or just somebody wanting to relive Vangelis and run in an unique race in a very special location. You're welcome to sprint your heart out for glory, although some may find the urge to run in a slow-motion Vangelis-induced stupor may make setting a PB somewhat challenging.

We enjoy fantastic support from local businesses and thus you will be some of the best rewarded 5km runners known to man - the past four years every adult finishing has received a free locally-brewed bottle of beer, alongside the infamous fudge doughnut and medal, OBVIOUSLY!

**EARLY BIRD ENTRY FOR FIRST 200 ENTRANTS £16/£14 with Scottish Athletics membership**

Entry is £18 (£2 discount if you are a registered member of Scottish Athletics) and after card fees and race expenses, all proceeds will go to our charity partners - RNLI, Home Start and Families First. Last year saw us hit £10,000 for the first time and we'd love to beat that this year. Please note, no refunds or transfers on race places (except in exceptional circumstances).

1 mile children's fun run for 11 and under, entry £4 on the day and a Jannetta's Gelateria ice cream at the end. Chip timing means everyone, from first to last will be timed.

Check us on Facebook - Chariots of Fire Beach Race.


T shirt sizes are unisex - details are available on the entry form ahead of ordering. T-shirts will be available to order and then collect on race day. You'll see folk wearing them on the Facebook page for an idea of what to expect. T SHIRTS WILL NOT BE POSTED OUT AHEAD OF THE RACE - COLLECTION ONLY ON RACE WEEKEND.


Perfect to keep the early "summer" chill off your neck. As seen on all the most stylish necks ("so hot right now") available in white and fluo yellow.

Online Entries
Please note that online entries close on Wednesday 27th May at midnight (if there are still spots available by then). Subject to availability there may be spaces left on the day although given the popularity of recent years (the past three years we have sold out well in advance of race day!), there is no guarantee of this...

Start & Finish location
The race starts and finishes on West Sands, at the near/town end with the race HQ and marquee adjacent to the West Sands Cafe which itself is located opposite the Links Clubhouse, just past the coach parking on West Sands Road. The route itself is pretty much flat, out and back and run entirely on sand and in surf and runners start and finish to the strains of Vangelis, just as the runners do in the film that inspires the race – Chariots of Fire. Marshals will be on hand to direct anybody unsure as to the exact location. Runners will run out along the beach for 2.5km before turning and sprinting for the finish (a piper will be at the turn)!

There are no changing facilities here although the council run toilet block is close by and competitors will be able to park their cars on the grass verges close by. Increased runner numbers in recent years has led to the provision of several portaloos, a mens urinal and an additional disabled access toilet, although the council-maintained block opposite is also open for use.

The course, being a simple out and back, has minimal marking/marshalling, but the turn (further than you might think!) is clearly marked and very obvious. Flutter flags and a piper will mark the halfway point.

Once again we will be staging a Children's (11 and under) fun run of 1 mile, scheduled to start at 11.30am. Entry fees are £4 on the morning or at Saturday registration (1400-1600 by the West Sands Cafe) and are restricted to the 11s and under. Adults are welcome to accompany their child although this doesn't automatically entitle you to their ice cream!

Registration ***NEW FOR 2020***
Registration is spread across both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning and it can make for a much more relaxed Sunday morning if you are able to register and collect your race number (with inbuilt timing chip) the day before the event. This year, both Saturday and Sunday registration will be down on West Sands - in the marquee erected adjacent to the West Sands Cafe. Registration will run from 1400-1600 on Saturday. Each runner must register with the organisers before the race where they will receive their race number (with inbuilt timing chip) - please affix this to the front of your running top with the safety pins provided.

On raceday, Sunday, registration will run from 0930-1130. Whilst there may be spaces available on the day we strongly advise pre-entry to save time on the day and ensure you get your place. Registration will close at 1130 (1115 for the children's race).

Water Stations
No water stations – it is a 5km after all! All over 18 finishers will receive a bottle of locally-brewed beer from Eden Mill. Please respect local byelaws and don’t crack them open outside. We hope to have more refreshments available and the West Sands Cafe would be glad of your custom. (Under 18 participants/tee totallers we will have some soft drinks in lieu for you.) Gluten intolerant runners - we have gluten free doughnuts and there will be a vegan treat for those of you for whom that applies.

(We will of course have a supply of fresh water, but we would prefer that competitors brought their own in the interests of minimising plastic usage.)

Please proceed with caution
Please run clockwise to avoid running into incoming competitors at the turn. Once clear, take the most direct route down the beach – even run barefoot through the surf if you choose (tide-dependant - it could be a long way out!). All runners must wear their race number on the front of their vest. Please use four safety pins (spare pins available at registration) to assist in identification of number at the finish line.

Dress code

All white – no one will stop you running if you don’t…but it’s much more fun…and makes for better photos if you run clad in all white. Also saves a lot of time retouching photos later on! An official race tee will help and can be ordered as you enter online.

Plentiful free parking behind the sand dunes. Marshals from Rotary St Andrews will be on hand to direct you - please allow them to do so as we have A LOT of cars to fit in! The later you arrive, the further from the start you will be parked - please be warned!

Charity and other
All proceeds after essential costs will again go to the RNLI and two local St Andrews-based charities (Families First St Andrews and Home Start NE Fife). The prizes, post race goodies and all services have been supplied free of charge by many local businesses and we are incredibly grateful to them for their support.

There will be a presentation for the top three male/female in both 5km and Children's race and we aim to have this no later than 1pm at the race marquee. Age category prizes will also be awarded for the first time this year. We hope to have some local live music to keep you entertained as you wait with bated breath. You lucky, lucky people…

Hope that has answered most questions – contact details should be readily available elsewhere on this website and you can expect a response within a few hours via Facebook.

And that, fellow Charioteers, is that! Train hard, but remember to go out and enjoy yourselves first and foremost.

We can't wait for you to join us all down on the sand on Sunday 31st May, "...with hope in your hearts, and wings on your heels..."



First 200 places£0.00
27 May 2020£0.00

To sign-up for this event, the Service Fee is2% (min 25p) for each sign-up. The organiser also pays 2% (min 25p)

Dates and Status

Date: 31/05/2020

Status: Closed

Total Places: 700

Places Available: ??



Ben McLeod

07939 559396


West Sands, St Andrews