Runners will arrive at Washington via the alternative SDW route as explained in the course page, bringing them to the Village Hall which will be the major aid station/ half way point in the race. On exiting the Village Hall runners will run uphill on School Lane and be brought to a T Junction with a road called 'The Street' where you will turn left. 300 yards later you will come to a T Junction and turning right there brings you immediately to a sign post on the road side detailing 'SDW Alternative Route' and showing you a path through a field. Making your way over the stile and up a steep path through some woodland, you are brought out a short while later on to a chalk track, at which point you are back on the SDW proper. This route emerges just above Washington Car Park. The climb here is short but severe and running it wil leave you winded. After a few switch backs you are brought out onto a path leading up around Chantonbury Ring, a lovely smooth and open meadow at the top of the downs. Runners who have run the Three Forts Marathon will recognise this as a reverse of the route over that stretch. Continuing on through the other side of the meadow, another descent follows as you look down onto Steyning to the left and Steyning Bowl to the right - the scene for the Steyning Stinger Marathon held each March.
Runners follow the path alongside the road here and having passed Steyning Bowl, make a left down the hill into the village of Botolphs. The track comes out on to a road at which point you turn right, heading down the hill. Through the village, the SDW becomes tarmac for a short stretch before cutting off left as you reach the end of the houses, heading up to a footbridge over the river Adur. Once across the bridge, you will be brought out to a public water tap adjacent to a layby off of the busy Shoreham Road. This is the site of Botophs Aid Station. Washington Aid Station to Botolphs Aid Station is 7.15 miles.
Leaving the layby runners must take EXTREME CARE in crossing the busy Shoreham Road. Directly opposite the end of the path on the left hand side of the carriageway, the South Downs Way continue uphill on the other side. The track is rutted and rocky here and a gradual climb here quicly becomes a steep ascent. Through a field at the top and you find yourself on the tarmac again on route to Tottington Barn and a Youth Hostel where there is another public tap. At the top continue straight ahead on the wide path, passing by Truleigh Hill and the Radio Station. The track then drops steeply downhill again the terrain is rocky here, and comes to a gate at the bottom. Turning right through the gate you make your way uphill and around the edge of a field to another gate at the far end. Turning right through that gate sends you up a steep short climb to Devils Dyke, some of the most fantastic views the downs afford.
Devils Dyke is 4.25 miles from Botolphs and there are public buses from there down to Brighton.
A common mistake at this point is to head through to Devils Dyke Car Park and visitor centre. The correct path stays well to the right of the buildings and heads up alongside the road. You cross over a small road once past the buildings and immediately downhill through some woodland and then more steeply down a more open track. You come out at the bottom into a gravel car park where the SDW crosses another busy road. Take EXTREME CARE here and make your way into the Farm opposite - the site of the Saddlescombe Farm aid station. If you follow the SDW exactly at this point you will miss the aid station, it is in fact nestled to the right against the barns and farm buildings but will be signed on race day. If you hit a gate the other side of Saddlescombe Farm and begin to climb, you have gone too far. Saddlescombe Farm Aid Station is 5.45 miles from Botolphs.
On leaving the aid station, you proceed back up through said gate and climb up West Hill, another steep ascent. It does not last long however before you are descending with the busy A23 ahead - the road from London to Brighton and vice versa. There is a footbridge over the road, and you come out the other side up a short road (blocked as a dead end) into Poynings Village. Through the village brings you down to the Pyecombe Road where there is another public tap. At this point you run up with the road on your right but must then cross taking EXTREME CARE the busy road here, heading up the hill past the Golf Club. Between the various gof holes either side, the path is chalky and rocky and climbs slowly to bring you out at the top onto a left hand turn. Continuing slightly downhill, you are brough to a finger post indicating Jack and Jill (Clayton Windmills) left and SDW right. You must at this point and as per the course instructions, take the left turn down into the Windmills Car Park to the aid station. The distance from Saddlescombe to the Windmills aid station is just 3 miles - the shortest distance between two aid stations.
Link to Garmin Read out here.