Eight circular routes around the city, making one full 26.2 mile marathon distance.
The Exeter COSY Route project is a community wellbeing and dementia awareness initiative created for Exeter Dementia Action Alliance to signpost people of all abilities to routes on the edge of the city where they can walk and run.
From its roots in an ancient Greek battle to mass participation events around the world, the marathon length of 26.2-miles is a distance that capture’s the imagination. Perfect for Exeter’s unique COSY route – COSY being an acronym for circle of somewhere yours as that’s what it is.
The full circle will take you to every compass and hill viewpoint around Exeter, following footpaths, quiet lanes, field tracks, over stiles, through woodland, paved roads, some busier parts of the city, along its suburban fringe and into neighbouring village communities.
You’ll cross the river and canal, go under and over the M5 motorway, step over both the Exeter to London rail lines, and pass churches, pubs, schools, and local businesses.
Whether you take on this challenge over months, weeks, days or in one strenuous go, you’ll see the city as never before, and complete a marathon in doing so.
The idea of creating this 26.2 mile route embracing the city was conceived by marathon runner and dementia campaigner Jo Earlam to mark the community caring and awareness raising role of EDAA, which in May 2020 marked its fifth anniversary.
The choice of route was chosen to encompass the widest area of the city as possible, whilst accessing the safest pedestrian options. At some points the route follows the city boundary exactly, in others it weaves a path in and outside the border, inspiring the COSY acronym, as those taking part walk or run around the central busy heart, which is the community and city of Exeter.
The route breaks down into eight shorter, also circular sections, of between four and seven miles, with dementia accessible suggestions for each.
The individual routes all have their own character, points of interest and history – these have been captured in a series of stunning illustrations by Private Eye cartoonist Tony Husband and photographed in detail by former BBC Radio Devon breakfast presenter and keen walker and photographer Vic Morgan.
As a full marathon distance, the COSY route format differs from existing city marathon concepts, by being away from the city centre, avoiding main roads and provide for a run or walk that could be undertaken in solace or small groups.
Photo: View from Countess Wear Bridge by Des Blenkinsopp https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5109466
Cosy Map, illustration by Tony Husband https://exetercosyroutes.wordpress.com/about/
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With return along canal bank 6.4 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Haines Watts, Chartered Accountants.
With return via riverside path 7 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Stonehaven Care Group.
With return via Duryard Valley Park 3.8 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Southern Healthcare.
With return via Beacon Heath and Mincinglake Valley Park 6.5 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Green Tree Court care home.
With return via Mosshayne Farm 4.5 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Cumberland Grange care home.
With return via Bishop’s Court 4.5 miles. This route is available for a business sponsor.
With return via Ebford 7.3 miles. This route is available for a business sponsor.
With return via University sports field and Newcourt Road 7 miles. Thanks to route sponsor Rodney Spiller Wealth Management.