Entries for the 2023 event will open Saturday 24th September 2022 at 1000. Race Date is Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th August 2023.
The course is 103 miles long and has 11,000 feet of climb/ gain and a similar level of descent. Roughly translated the route varies 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 day experience including:
12 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 and medical volunteers at aid stations.
Live Tracking through open tracking. Click here to see a replay/ tracking of the 2022 event.
Live timings across race weekend for friends and family to track your progress.
Finish Line Hot Food and Drinks
FINISHERS ONLY (Runners can opt out of awards and have a tree planted instead through Trees not Tees)
A technical finishers t-shirt
Yes the places are limited and available on a first come first served basis - with the exception of free and guaranteed entries for our 2022 volunteers. There will be no entries on the day under any circumstances. No waiting list will be held for this event. A starting field of 300 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 2019 and 31st July 2023. 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 tracking will be available throughout the race, so that all runner positions are available at all times. The tracking page together with a live leaderboard with check point times will be published as runners in the lead 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 is at Farnham Leisure Centre, Dogflud Way, Farnham, GU9 7UD. The race itself starts at the trail head of the North Downs Way. Runners will commence the 7 minutes walk down to the race start following the race briefing.
The finish is at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. Full address: Julie Rose Stadium, Willesborough Rd, Ashford, TN24 9QX.
Do not park at the Leisure Centre itself. Parking is available just around the corner (100 metres past the leisure centre car park) at Riverside Car Park at a cost of £4.20 for the day (Sundays are free). If that fills up which is extremely unlikely, 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 but sleeping pad and bag are recommended.
There are no sleeping facilities at the start.
There will be a shuttle bus operating from the Julie Rose Stadium back to Farnham Station, departing at 1315 on Sunday. You may purchase shuttle tickets during your registration, or by heading back to your registration via the link you received in your confirmation email upon entering. Tickets are limited and may sell out.
You must register within the times listed on the schedule tab. Your race number and tracker will not be posted to you before race day, you must collect them 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.
Drop bags must NOT exceed 45cm x 25cm x 25cm in size ie. the size of a large shoe box for any one aid station. Your finish line bag can be bigger than this but please keep it to 50 litres or under, absiolutely no suitcases.
Your drop bags will be taken to the finish for latest, 1000 on the Sunday, they may be available before but this cannot be guaranteed. They must be collected by 1300 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 Newlands Corner, Westhumble Fields, 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.
Runners who finish 5 editions of this event will receive a 500 Mile Buckle. Runners who finish 10 editions of this event will receive a 1000 mile buckle.
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 must hand in your bib number and tracker at that stage. 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. You must then arrange to bring your bib number and tracker to the nearest aid station, or to the finish. DO NOT go home with your tracker under any circumstances. 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, Tailwind, Coke, Gu 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.
To withdraw please find your entry here and click the Cancel button. Your card will automatically be refunded the 70% fee up to 4 weeks before race day. After this time, you can still cancel your entry, but without any refund.
Exception to this is ONLY for pregnancy/ postpartum 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
Race management reserve the right to modify, at any time, the course or aid station locations listed.
In the case of severe/ extreme weather conditions including but not limited to flooding after the event start, race management reserve the right to abandon the event at any time.
No refunds will be offered in that situation but a suitable alternative will always be sought. If the event cannot take place for reasons out of the control of race management including but not limited to flooding, severe weather or denial of access to the original course (foot and mouth outbreak for example), race management reserve the right to postpone the event to a later date and all entries will be carried forward to the new date. Full refunds may not be offered under these circumstances. Event cancellation due to reasons such as Coronavirus or other such pandemic, public health, local authority travel and movement restrictions and bans of any kind etc. are beyond our control and a full refund may not be given in such circumstances. If the event is cancelled for reasons which require the event to be postponed indefinitely, race management reserve the right to retain any 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.