Centurion Running

North Downs Way 50®

17 May 2025

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Course Records

Patrick Wightman (M)



Holly Rush (F)



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

The 14th edition of the North Downs Way 50 will take place on Saturday 17th May 2025.

Registrations open at 1000 on Saturday 15th June 2024. 

How tough is the course? 

The course has 5600 feet of gain. Roughly translated the route varies between undulating and hilly. There are however, no ascents lasting more than 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 wet 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 Tracking through open tracking. Click here to see a replay/ tracking of the 2024 event

Live timings across race weekend for friends and family to track your progress.

Finish Line Hot Food and Drinks


Finishers Medal

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

There will be no entries on the day. Once general entries are sold out (the event has sold out every year) then no further places will be available and no waiting list will be held.

There are an additional 40 places for 2024 volunteers.

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 2020 and the 2025 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 
  • Cup
  • GPS Tracking unit supplied and attached at registration

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. Road crossing are 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? 

All runners will carry trackers allowing their location to be followed by race HQ, but also by friends and family throughout the race. Click here to see a replay/ tracking of the 2024 event.

In addition, a leaderboard will be available at the Live link shared on the homepage in the days leading up to the race.

Social media updates and images will be shared in addition to these, across the race.

How many aid stations are there?

A full aid station plan is available here

There will be 7 aid stations including the finish.

How do I get to the start?

Race HQ is at Farnham Leisure Centre, Dogflud Way, Farnham, GU9 7UD. It is an 8 minute walk from Farnham Railway station and is in Farnham town centre. The race itself starts at the trail head of the North Downs Way. Runners will meet for the race briefing at the leisure centre at 0640 or 0725 depending on their starting wave. Runners will then walk to the start together following the briefing and begin at 0700 or 0745, again depending on their wave.

Where is the finish?

The race finish is in the fields behind Knockholt Pound Village Hall. All cars must park at Coolings Lifestyle, Main Road, Knockholt, TN14 7LJ (note this is different to Coolings Garden Centre on Rushmore Hill). This is a 5 minute walk from the finish, almost directly opposite the village hall. This car park will stay open until the last runner finishes. Do not park anywhere elsewhere in the village, or park at the finish the night before.

How do I book the coach from the finish back to the start and what time does the coach leave?

Coach 1 will leave the finish at 18:30 and Coach 2 at the conclusion of the race, around 2100 on Saturday. You can purchase a ticket for the specific coach during registration or by returning to the registration site via your email confirmation. Cost is £20.

The coach will make one stop only, back at the Race Registration location. You need to book either Coach 1 or Coach 2 when booking your transport. If you miss Coach 1 we will endevour to get you on to Coach 2 (and visa versa). If you expect to finish after 18:00 do not book Coach 1.

If bookings for the coaches are low we will only have a single coach leaving at the conclusion of the event.

Where should I park?

Parking is available at Riverside Car Park at a cost of £6.70 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 no parking or dropping off in the Leisure Centre car park.

The race finish is in the fields behind Knockholt Pound Village Hall. All cars must park at Coolings Lifestyle, Main Road, Knockholt, TN14 7LJ (note this is different to Coolings Garden Centre on Rushmore Hill). This is a 5 minute walk from the finish, almost directly opposite the village hall. This car park will stay open until the last runner finishes. Do not park elsewhere in the village, or park at the finish the night before.

What facilities are there at the Start/ Finish? 

Start: Toilets, Water, Pop Up Store, Changing.
Finish: Toilets, free hot food and drinks (Runners only and includes vegetarian option). 
There are NO sleeping facilities at the start or finish.
No dogs are allowed at the finish field.

What time does the race start?

You must register within the times listed on the schedule tab. Nothing will be posted to you prior to race day. You will collect your bib number and tracker at registration.

The race will have two starting waves. 

Wave 1 will go at 0700 and Wave 2 will go at 0745.

Waves will be decided based on estimated finish times. If you wish to run with your friends, training partner or clubmates ensure you all put the same finish time. There will be no changes between waves once they are set and published. This will be 3 weeks before the event. You can change your estimated finish time anytime before the waves are set.

Only runners in Wave 1 will be eligible for overall awards in both the men's and women's races. Age group awards can be won from either wave.

Cut offs will remain at 13 hours for both starting waves. 

Are pacers allowed?

No pacers or unofficial runners will be permitted in the race. For clarity, this means you can have noone run with you on the route for any length of time. If you are found to be running with a pacer you will be immediately DQ'd. 

Are crews allowed?

No crews are permitted at this race at any location. For clarity, you can not give or recieve anything from anyone outside of the race. If you are caught doing so you risk DQ or time penalties.

Are drop bags/ finish line bags allowed?

A Finish Line Bag can be deposited at Registration and it will be taken to the finish at Knockholt Pound for you. Maximum bag size is 50 litres and PLEASE no suitcases!

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 Puttenham (Mile 7), Newlands Corner (mile 14.7), Westhumble Fields (mile 24) & Wray Lane Car Park, Reigate (Mile 32).

What are the prizes/ awards

All finishers will receive a medal. Male and Female winners will be awarded the Centurion Trophy. 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed men and women will also receive additional prizes.

Age category prizes will be awarded to Male and Female V40, V50, V60 and V70.

Overall winner, second and third place prizes in both the mens and womens races are only available to those starting in Wave 1 eg. the fastest 50% of the field of both races, as indicated at time of registration. There will be no chance that someone from Wave 2 runs on to the podium if the estimated finish times entered at time of registration are accurate.

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 of public transport options. 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, Tailwind, 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.

I need to Withdraw, what is the Refund/ Transfer Policy?

Withdrawals up to 4 weeks prior to race day (0700 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. 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 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 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. 

What happens if the event is cancelled or abandoned?

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. 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 no refund will 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 all entry fees against costs incurred. 

How do I get in touch?

Please email us at [email protected] for any questions at all.

Is there any recommended reading?

The Trailblazer guide available here are excellent overall resources on the trail and include detailed maps of each section.