How tough is the course?
The course is 100 miles in length and has 12,700 feet of gain. The ascents and descents do not exceed 800 feet in any one climb due to the highest point on the downs sitting at that altitude. In terms of terrain, 85% of each course is on trail and around 15% on the road. The trail varies between open grassland, woodland single/ double track, crushed gravel/ dirt road and paved roads. The South Downs are formed largely of chalk and If it is wet in the lead up to the race or on race weekend itself, some sections will become muddy and, where the chalk is exposed, slippery and require due care and attention. The path can on occasion be quite rocky underfoot making some sections moderately technical in the wet or dry. The ground along the top of the South Downs Way is exposed and in wet and windy weather can become very hard going. On hot days exposure to the sun is also an issue.
What do I get for my entry fee?
Principally you get a fully supported race day experience including:
15 fully stocked aid stations
Overnight camping at the start line
Live timings across race weekend for friends and family to track your progress.
Full Medical Support in the form of dedicated race ambulances and roving vehicles as well as static first aid teams and medical volunteers at aid stations.
Technical finishers t-shirt
What are the prizes/ awards?
All finishers will receive a a technical finishers shirt and a buckle. Finishers in under 24 hours will receive a '100 miles - One Day' Buckle. All finishers between 24 and 30 hours will receive a '100 miles - Finisher' buckle.
Petzl the title sponsor for the race will award prize money for both the first 3 men and first 3 women to cross the line respectively (total prize purse £1,800):
1st place Overall: £500
2nd place Overall: £250
3rd place Overall: £150
Prize money is open to all competitors.
When do general entries open/ Can I enter on race day?
General Entries opened on October 2nd and filled within 5 days. The waiting list is now also full. No entries will be accepted on the day.
Is there a minimum qualification standard to achieve before I can enter?
In order to enter you must have completed a minimum of on official 30 mile distance race within the cut off time of that event, 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?
There will be kit checks prior during and after the race. With the exception of lights which must only be carried from Washington onwards, 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 litres.
- Survival Blanket: 1.4m x 2m minimum
- Waterproof Jacket: Gore-tex or similar
- Route Map
- Required from Washington onwards: Headtorch (store recommendation)
- Required from Washington onwards: Back Up Light source
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 major aid stations 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.
Are there any road crossings or gates/ stiles to negotiate?
Absolutely yes. Whilst the South Downs Way is predominantly trail, some of it is on road. There are sections of the course where you will be running along single 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 runners pass along the course entirely at their own risk. Much of the SDW 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. There are a total of 95 gates or stiles on the route.
How many aid stations are there?
There will be 15 aid stations including the finish.
How do I get to the start?
The registration and race start is at Chilcomb Sports Ground. Directions can be found under the travel and accom tab.
Where is the finish?
The race finishes at Easbourne Sports Ground. Directions can again be found under the travel and accom tab.
Where should I park?
There is parking at the race start. Runners will be able to park their cars at no charge on site at Chilcomb Sports Ground from 5pm on the Friday until the bus returns with finishers at 3pm on Sunday. The car park will NOT be open through the night of June 30th/ July 1st for safety reasons. We will have a bus taking dropped runners from the course back to the start point throughout the weekend. If you need to access your car during those hours, you will be able to gain periodic access by traveling on the bus, or waiting for the bus to arrive. The car park will remain open only for a few minutes at a time before the bus departs back to the course to pick up stranded runners.
What time does the race start?
You must register for your chosen race distance within the times listed on the schedule page (drop down menu under South Downs Way). 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?
Runners are permitted pacers from the Washington aid station at mile 54, but only one pacer can travel with a runner at any time. Pacers must travel on foot only. Handovers are permitted.
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 listed as NO CREW ACCESS PERMITTED in the aid station table and crew instructions. 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 are available in the drop down menu.
Do I need a different drop bag for each aid station?
Yes. Runners need to leave a different drop bag for each aid station, each bag will be transported to the aid station listed and then DISPOSED OF. The excpetion is your finish line bag which will go directly from the start to the finish.
How big can my drop bags be?
Maximum size is 30cm x 20cm x 20cm or the size of a shoe box/ small backpack/ drawstring bag. Your finish line bag can be bigger than this.
When can I pick my drop bags up?
Your drop bags will not be returned to you, they must be DISPOSABLE and anything you leave in them having disposable too.
Will I need a map?
Yes. Carrying a map is mandatory for 2013. We recommend the Harveys Map which is concise, easy to read and waterproof and is available here.
Will there be toilets at the start/ finish or on the race route?
There will be toilets at the start and at the finish line and further toilets at QECP, Cocking, Washington, Alfriston and Jevington aid stations.
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. It may be that this is possible but that you have to wait some considerable time so please be patient with the volunteers. 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 fare and a whole lot more. At a minimum you will be able to pick up Water, Coke, Gu Energy Gels, Chocolate, Crips, Nuts, Sandwiches/ Wraps and other sweet and savoury snacks. All aid stations from Washington on will have hot drinks. Washington and Alfriston will also be serving hot food.
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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