WITH the New Forest Marathon taking place this weekend, we take a look back at when the event first began.

The first race 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.

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

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

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