Centurion Running

North Downs Way 50®

13 May 2017

Course Records

Craig Holgate (M)



Holly Rush (F)



What date is the next event and when do registrations open? 

The 7th edition of the North Downs Way 50 will take place on Saturday 13th May 2017. Registrations open on Saturday August 13th 2016 at 1000.

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 5-10 minutes. 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:

6 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

Finishers Medal

Finish Line Hot Food and Drinks

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 will not be refunded for any reason 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. 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. 

Full details of our refund/ transfer policy can be found here. 

Is there a limit to the number of entries/ Can I enter on race day/ Is there a waiting list?

Race entries open on Saturday August 13th 2016 at 1000. There will be no entries on the day. The race will be limited to the first 300 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 start the race, you must have completed a minimum of a marathon distance race within the cut off time between 1st January 2013 and the 2016 race date. You may enter the race without having first qualified. If you fail to qualify prior to race date you will however, not be permitted to start. As organisers, we reserve the right to refuse anybody entry who does not meet this standard.

Click here to read more about what counts as a qualifier. 

Is there mandatory gear to carry on race day?

Yes. 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.

There will be kit checks prior to the race as well as potientially during and at the finish. 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.

  • 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
  • Waterproof Jacket: Gore-tex or similar, minimum 10000mm+ & must have sealed seams. 
  • Whistle
  • Headtorch or Primary Light Source (Minimum 75 lumens)
  • The race is cupless which means you must bring a cup with you. Soft cups are available at the store here

Strongly recommended but not mandatory: 

  • Route Map - Should be a hard copy that you are able to navigate from and not a map on your phone. The Harveys Map available at a discounted rate here is strongly recommended.
  • Compass - This should be a separate physical compass and not electronic/ on your phone. 

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 plan is availble here.  

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, at the NDW trail head itself.

Where is the finish?

The race finishes on the sports pitches behind Knockholt Village Hall, Main Road, Knockholt Pound, in the centre of the village. Postcode TN14 7LE.

How do I book the Bus from the Finish back to the Start and what time does the bus leave?

The shuttle bus will leave the finish at the conclusion of the race only: 2115 on Saturday. You can purchase a ticket for the bus by heading to this link. Cost is £10.35 plus a small fee levied by the registration company. The bus will make one stop only, back at the Race Registration Location. 

Where should I park?

The best option for parking at the start is Farnham Station Car Park. There is some limited free parking in the roads surrounding the school. There will be no parking at the school itself as the gates will be locked after the race start.

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 facilities are there at the Start/ Finish? 

Start: Toilets, Water, Indoor/ covered area, Pop-Up Centurion Running Store.
Finish: Toilets, Showers, Male and Female Changing, Free Hot Food and Drinks (Runners only and includes vegetarian option). 
There are NO sleeping facilities at the start or finish. 

What time does the race 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 time is 8am.

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 you may have them do so but only at the points listed on the crew page here.

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.

Will I need a map or compass?

It is not mandatory to carry a map and compass, however 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 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 Newlands Corner & Reigate Hill Aid Stations. 

What are the prizes/ awards

All finishers will receive a medal and a race shirt. Male and Female winners will be awarded the Centurion Trophy

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, Gu Gels, Chocolate, Crisps, Fruit, 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.

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. 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.

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.