Entries for the 2019 event will open Saturday 27th September 2018 at 1000. Race Date is Saturday 3rd to Sunday 4th August 2019.
The course is 103 miles long and has 10,000 feet of climb/ gain and a similar level of descent. Roughly translated both routes vary between undulating and hilly. There are no ascents lasting more than a few minutes except for Box Hill, however sections of the course are technical and make for hard running. There are some short sections of stairs involving climbs or descents from the steepest points. In terms of terrain, roughly 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 real mixture underfoot including road, pavement, soft woodland trail, mud, sand and more hard packed chalk trail. The scenery on some sections of the North Downs Way is really quite stunning. There are individual sections particularly early on that show off some of the best of the English Countryside. Overall, 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.
Principally you get a fully supported race including:
13 fully stocked aid stations
A marked course.
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
Yes there are 420 places only - 50 of which will go to 2018 Volunteers as free/ guaranteed entries. There will be no entries on the day under any circumstances. The race will be limited to the first 420 entrants. No waiting list will be held for this event. A starting field of 275 is expected.
In order to start the race, you must have completed a minimum of a 50 mile distance race within 15hrs, between 1st January 2016 and 31st July 2019. As organisers, we reserve the right to refuse anybody entry who does not meet this standard. Unqualified runners may enter but should they not complete a qualifer within the requisite time frame, they will not be permitted to start. There are further conditions to what may be used as a qualifier.
Click here to read more about what counts as a qualifier.
Yes. There will 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. Please refer to this page for explanations on the inclusion of the below items.
There are many options regards kit for fulfilling these requirements and those of other events. We stock what we believe to be the best options at our online store available by clicking here under the Mandatory Gear Section. Please ask us if you have any questions.
Strongly recommended but not mandatory:
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.
Live times will be published as runners come through each aid station and photos and videos uploaded to the site. A link to the live site will appear on the homepage in the week leading up to the race.
A full aid station list is available here.
There will be a minimum of 14 aid stations including the finish.
Race HQ for 2019 is at Farnham Leisure Centre, Dogflud Way, Farnham, GU9 7UD. This has been changed from our previous HQ at St. Polycarps Primary School to give us more space. It is an 8 minute walk from Farnham station and 10 minutes from the School so there are no changes to accomodation recommendations. The race itself starts at the trail head of the North Downs Way. Runners will commence the 5 minutes walk down to the race start following the race briefing as we have in the past.
The finish is at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. Full address: Julie Rose Stadium, Willesborough Rd, Ashford, TN24 9QX.
Parking is available at Farnham Leisure Centre - Riverside Car Park at a cost of £4.20 for the day (Sundays are free). If that fills up then the best place for parking is Farnham Station which has ample spaces and a weekend ticket option.
There is free parking at the stadium in Ashford.
Start: Toilets, Water, Indoor/ covered area, Pop-Up Centurion Running Store.
Finish: Free On Site Parking, Toilets, Free Hot Food and Drinks (Runners only and includes vegetarian option), Sleeping is possible in the indoor track.
There are NO sleeping facilities at the start.
You must register 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.
Pacers are permitted from the 50 mile point, but only one pacer can travel with a runner at any time. Pacers must travel on foot only. Handovers are permitted. Pacers may NOT join runners anywhere other than areas deemed 'crew access permitted'.
Yes. If you want to have your crew, friends or family meet you you may have them do so but only at the points listed on the crew page here. Nowhere else.
Our race permits and the future of the race depend on our positive interaction with the environment and communities through which we run. Any runner found to have crew violating this will be subject to the rule violation procedure.
Yes. Runners are permitted drop bags for Knockholt Pound mile 50, Detling mile 82 and the Finish. Runners need to leave a different drop bag for each aid station, each bag will be transported to the aid station listed and then the finish only. The exception is your finish line bag which will go directly from the start to the finish.
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.
Your drop bags will be taken to the finish for latest, 12 noon on the Sunday, they may be available before but this cannot be guaranteed. They must be collected at 12 noon from the finish otherwise they will be disposed of after that time.
Carrying a map is not mandatory but it is strongly recommended. We recommend the Harveys Map which is concise, easy to read and waterproof at a discounted rate here.
There will be toilets at the start and at the finish line and further toilets at Reigate Hill, Knockholt, Wrotham, Detling and Dunn Street aid stations.
All finishers will receive a medal, 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 mile - Finisher' buckle. The male and female winners will take home first place prizes, there will also be separate vet category prizes.
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. You will be then be asked to hand in your bib number. 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.
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, Crisps, Nuts Fruit, Sandwiches/ Wraps and other sweet and savoury snacks. All aid stations from Knockholt onwards will have hot drinks including tea and coffee. There will be hot food available at Knockholt, Detling and the finish line.
Medical support is of paramount importance to us. 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.
Withdrawals up to 4 weeks prior to race day (0600 GMT Saturday 28 days prior) are eligible for a 70% refund. Withdrawals after that time will not be refunded as all race day costs have been incurred by that stage and you will not be replaced. There are no deferals or transfers to alternative/ later events. Exception to this is ONLY for pregnancy and in which case you must notify us by email of your pregnancy no later than 4 weeks prior to race day to be eligible for a 100% refund. You must acknowledge that you understand and agree to this policy during the registration process.
If you do not agree with the refund policy please do not enter the event.
To withdraw please simply email to request by clicking here.
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 but we will always look for the best all around alternative. 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 may 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.
The race is an official qualifier for UTMB and Western States.
The race is also on the list of preferred qualifiers for Badwater.
Please email us at [email protected] for any questions at all.
The Trailblazer guides available here are excellent overall resources on the trail and include detailed maps of each section.