How tough is the course?
The 50 mile course has 5600 feet of gain. Roughly translated the route varies between undulating and hilly. There are, however, no ascents lasting more than a few minutes except for Box Hill. There are also some short sections of stairs involving climbs or descents from the steepest points on the course. In terms of terrain, 80% of the course is on trail and around 20% on the road. If it is wet in the lead up to the race or on race weekend itself, some sections will become muddy and require due care and attention. Expect a mixture of road, pavement, soft woodland trail, mud, sand and more hard packed chalk trail. The scenery on the North Downs Way is phenomenal. There are individual sections particularly early on that show off some of the best of the English Countryside, however the extremely varied, sometimes difficult underfoot conditions as well as the number of sharp turns and short and steep climbs and descents make for slow going in places and push runners to lean on many different skillsets. Road running, crushed gravel, rocky trail and soft sand trail feature alongside smooth and rolling non-technical single/ double track running.
What do I get for my entry fee?
Principally you get a fully supported race day experience including:
7 fully stocked aid stations
Full Medical Support in the form of dedicated race ambulances and roving vehicles as well as static first aid teams.
Live timings throughout race weekend for friends and family to follow you online
A technical finishers t-shirt
Is there a limit to the number of entries/ Can I enter on race day/ Is there a waiting list?
Race entries open on Friday November 2nd 2012 at 10am. There will be no entries on the day. The race will be limited to the first 200 entrants. A waitlist will be in operation should the event fill up.
Is there a minimum qualification standard to achieve before I can enter?
In order to enter you must have completed a minimum of a marathon distance race within the cut off time between 1st January 2010 and the 2013 race date. As organisers, we reserve the right to refuse anybody entry who does not meet this standard.
Is there mandatory gear to carry on race day?
Yes. There may be kit checks prior during and after the race. Runners must carry the following mandatory equipment at ALL times. A time penalty of one hour will be imposed for any item found to be missing at any point on course:
- Fully Charged Mobile Phone including the numbers for the Race Medic and Race Director (on the number you have given at registration)
- Water Bottles/Bladder capable of carrying a minimum of 1 litre
- Survival Blanket: 1.4m x 2m minimum
- Light source (headtorch or flashlight) (store recommendation)
- Route Map (store recommendation)
Are there any road crossings or gates/ stiles to negotiate?
Absolutely yes. Whilst the North Downs Way is predominantly trail, some of it is on road. There are sections of the course where you will be running along both single and double lane carriage ways. The majority of these are very quiet country roads, however the trail does appear at busy road junctions, at some points abruptly and therefore you must be alert at all times. The busiest junctions will be signed but NOT marshalled. Runners pass along the course entirely at their own risk. Much of the NDW is on private land and as a result there are gates and stiles to negotiate throughout the length of the course. All gates must be closed properly after you make your way through.
Will there be live updates during the race for friends and family to follow?
There will be a live webcast during the event. Live times will be published as runners come through each aid station and photos and videos uploaded to the site. Twitter and Facebook updates will also be going out across the weekend. A link to the live site will appear on the homepage in the week leading up to the race.
How many aid stations are there?
A full aid station list will be available under the NDW drop down menu prior to race day.
There will be 7 aid stations including the finish.
How do I get to the start?
The registration is at Polycarps Primary School which is a 2 minute walk from Farnham station. The full address is St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School, Waverley Lane, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 8BQ. Runners will be walked down to the start from there.
Where is the finish?
The race finishes in Knockholt Village Hall, Main Road, Knockholt Pound, in the centre of the village and around 200 metres futher than the 2011/12 finish point on the common (Postcode TN14 7).
Where should I park?
For runners of both distances the best option for parking at the start is Farnham Station Car Park. There is a weekend tariff covering Friday 12pm to Sunday 8pm for a total cost of £7. Saturday parking is £3 and Sunday £2 for the day. There is some limited free parking in the roads surrounding the school. There will be no parking at the school itself.
There is parking in the car park behind the village hall and in the roads surrounding the Common at Knockholt Pound for the finish.
What time does the race start?
You must register for your chosen race distance within the times listed on the schedule tab. Your race number will not be posted to you before race day, you must collect if from registration. Start times are also on the schedule page.
Are pacers allowed?
No pacers or unofficial runners will be permitted in the race. If you are found to be running with a pacer you will be immediately DQ'd.
Are crews allowed?
Yes. If you want to have your crew, friends or family meet you at any point on the course you are permitted to do so. The only exceptions are aid stations with limited access and these will be made clear to runners well in advance of race day. Please do not get your crew to set up in front of the aid stations but to either side so as not to impede the progress of other runners. If you want to have your crew meet you anywhere else on the route you are welcome and encouraged to do so.
Full crew instructions including estimated runner times and locations of every checkpoint will be provided before race day.
Will I need a map or compass?
In 2011, the course markings were vandalised - those with maps or prior knowledge of the NDW on the whole fared better in the time it took us to get out and correct the route again. It is now mandatory to carry a map and compass and carrying both will help you if markings become vandalised during the course of the event or if you haven't been able to recce the route prior to race day. The route will be marked for the entire duration using tape and arrows plus there are the pre-existing national trail way markers. If the markers do get removed or vandalised, runners will need to pay close attention to the way markers. Any significant change in direction will be made as obvious as possible. The relevant and most concise map is the North Downs Way West Harveys Map which is available at a discount here.
Will there be toilets at the start/ finish or on the race route?
There will be toilets at the start at the school and at the finish line. There are also toilets at the Reigate Hill Aid Station mile 31.8.
What are the prizes/ awards?
All 50 mile finishers will receive a medal and a race shirt. Male and Female winners will also be awarded additional prizes.
What happens if I need to drop out?
If you need to drop out of the race, it is your responsibility to get back to where you need to get to but we will endeavor to help you as much as we can. If you have to drop please do so only at an aid station. Please inform the aid station captain on arrival that you intend to drop and whether you need assistance. If you need to drop out away from an aid station you must phone the race director immediately on the number provided at check in. If you drop at an aid station, the Aid Station Captains will inform you if it is possible to get transport to the finish or public transport. There is a sweeper bus, however it may be that you have to wait some considerable time so please be patient with the volunteers. The bus travels with the cut offs. If it is imperative that you get away immediately you will be given other options involving local transport services.
What food and drink will there be on route?
All aid stations will have a full selection of the usual aid station fayre and a whole lot more. At a minimum you will be able to pick up Water, Coke, Gels, Chocolate, Crips, Nuts, Sandwiches/ Wraps and other sweet and savoury snacks.
What level of medical support can I expect?
Medical support is of paramount importance to us as organisers. Throughout the event there will be two ambulances on course, which will travel, one with the main group of runners and a second towards the back of the pack. There will also be a fixed medical team on hand at the finish line. Individual first aiders/ medical volunteers will also be present at some aid stations. Contact numbers for the medical team will be available at registration. They will be contactable round the clock for the duration of the race.
I need to withdraw, what is the refund/ transfer policy?
Withdrawals up to 4 weeks prior to race day are eligible for a 70% refund. Withdrawals after that time cannot be refunded for any reason as all race day costs have been incurred by that stage. The refund policy is listed on the e mail you receive upon registration. We no longer accept transfers because future races are filling up very quickly and we need to treat each one on a first come first served basis to ensure everyone has the same fair chance of gaining entry to any one event.
What happens if the event is cancelled or abandoned?
The organisers reserve the right to modify, at any time, the course or aid station locations listed on the course.
In the case of severe/ extreme weather conditions including but not limited to flooding after the event start, the organisers reserve the right to abandon the event at any time.
No refunds will be offered in that situation. If the event cannot take place for reasons out of the control of the organisers including but not limited to flooding, severe weather or denial of access to the original course (foot and mouth outbreak for example), the organisers reserve the right to postpone the event to a later date and all entries will be carried forward to the new date. Refunds will not be offered under these circumstances. If the event is cancelled for reasons which require the event to be postponed indefinitely, the organisers reserve the right to retain all entry fees against costs incurred.
Is the race a qualifier for UTMB, Western States or Hardrock?
The race is an official qualifier for UTMB and Western States.
How do I get in touch?
Please email us at [email protected] for any questions at all.
Is there any recommended reading?
The national trail guides are excellent and you can purchase them easily online. They contain maps of the entire route and accurate route descriptions if you would like or are able to recce the route prior to race day.
Centurion Running is sponsored by:
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