The SDW100 course follows the South Downs Way for 93% of the race. The exceptions to this are listed below and are where our aid stations fall just slightly off of the marked SDW trail. Whilst every one of these deviations will be carefully marked on race day, it is YOUR responsibility to take note of them and locate them on race day. None of the deviations present anything more than mild and very short diversions off of the route, with the exception of the final 2 miles to the track once you are off of the South Downs Way for good.
It is strongly recommended that runners carry a map for the race. We recommend the Harvey Map as it is a concise and easy to use copy. It is important to note that OS Map 123: Eastbourne and Hastings is required for the final 2 miles if you will not have a chance to recce it before race day you might consider carrying that also.
The course is 100 miles in length. The total elevation gain is 12,700 feet and for posterity, there are 95 gates or stiles to travel through or over.
NOTE: PLEASE PAY EXTRA SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE ROUTE INSTRUCTIONS UPON LEAVING ALFRISTON, MILE 91. THE COURSE TRAVERSES THE BRIDLEWAY THROUGH JEVINGTON AS OPPOSED TO THE COASTAL PATH ACROSS SEVEN SISTERS - IF YOU MISS THIS TURN YOU WILL GO BADLY OFF COURSE AND END UP RUNNING A VERY SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONAL DISTANCE.
Mile 0: The Start is at Matterley Bowl. There will be a loop around the estate before runners join the South Downs Way. That section will be extensively marked and is not included on the race GPX as it is on private land.
Mile 52: At mile 52 runners will take the alternative South Downs Way route through Washington Village as opposed to the shorter more direct route straight over the A24. This is because the road is extremely fast and dangerous and our aid station at that point is in the village and will be missed on the direct route. If you miss this deviation and do not check in at Washington you will be DQ'd from the race. The alternative SDW route bears left at Barns Farm Hill exactly 1 mile before the A24 crossing. On taking this more minor branch of the SDW, you will be brought out onto a road which becomes a tarmac bridge over the A24. The route is well signed with waymarkers. Once you are over the bridge you will come in to the village and pass the church on your left. You will need to make a left hand turn into the next road - School Lane and the village hall aid station is at the bottom of this road. Once you have been timed in at the aid station, you make your way back up School Lane the way you came in. At the top of the road turn left and you will reach a major T Junction within 150 metres. You will be able to see a finger post on the opposite side of the road at this point, turn right at the junction and then turn left into a field following the way marker once again. Following the path up through a field and some woodland brings you out on the chalk path headed east up a steep climb, from just above the Washington SDW Car Park.
Mile 91: Upon entering Alfriston the SDW joins Star Lane and brings runners out to a T Junction opposite the George pub. The SDW takes a left here, instead runners will turn right at the pub and within 30 metres, make a left turn down a path signed with a brown arrow displaying four place names including 'St Andrews Church'. The aid station is in the Old Chapel Centre otherwise known as the United Reform Church, just 15 metres down the path on the left. Once you have timed in, leave the aid station by turning left down the path and you will be brought out to the white bridge across the river.
Mile 91.1: This is the most major navigational point on the course. Once you have crossed the white bridge over the aforementioned river, you will reach a junction and this finger post.
It is absolutely crucial at this point that runners take the blue arrow displaying 'Jevington 4 miles' as opposed to the yellow arrow right displaying 'Exceat 3 miles'. The Exceat route is the SDW footpath heading down through Littlington, West Dean and over Seven Sisters/ Beachy Head to Eastbourne. The blue Jevington route is the SDW bridleway that runners will be taking.
Mile 96: On reaching Jevington, runners will need to take a left through the churchyard just before the main road, as opposed to carrying on down the track to the road. Through the church yard will lead you to the front of the Village Hall on the opposite side of the road which is our aid station. You leave by running down the road (left out of the village hall) and rejoin the SDW 100 yards later where you would have emerged at the bottom of the track. Take a left then around 150 yards later at the Tea Gardens.
Mile 98 to the finish: On reaching Jevington, runners will be met with the final aid station. Once through the village, runners will head up the SDW which takes the form of a rutted chalk path for a mile until they reach a gate (as of 2020 that gate is rusting to the side of the path but will likely be replaced). On exiting the gate, runners will see a trig point directly ahead just over the brow of a small hummock - a concrete rectangular post approximately waist height as shown below. This is mile 98 on the course and is the moment you leave the South Downs Way for the finish. You will be able to make out the athletics track below you in the northern reaches of Eastbourne.
It is crucial that you select the correct path when leaving the trig point. It will be marked with arrows and marshalled. Continue straight on past the trig point in the direction you have arrived from. Around 20 yards later, there is a path running across left and away down the hill. You can identify it, in that it is a v shape sunken path.
Following it down will lead you down a relatively steep chalk path and alongside Willingdon Golf Club which you will look down on to your right. From the trig point to the road is 0.61 miles. The path leads straight onto a short road called the Linkway. About 50 yards further down is a right hand turn on to a footpath which runs behind and parrallel to, Ratton Drive. Follow this down to the junction with Willingdon Drive and cross straight over/ diagonlly left down Park Lane. When you reach the end of Park Lane you will see Kings Drive in front of you. Turn right at the junction and after a short distance, cross over at the lights. Continue south down Kings Drive and follow the path around to the left as it bends around and becomes a path alongside cross levels way - continue to follow it all the way round. DO NOT take a shortcut through the hospital or university to get to the track. Anyone caught trying to do so will be immediately disqualified from this and all futher Centurion Running events. At the top of Cross Levels Way you will see the university and athletics track car park ahead of you. Continue through the car park to the Athletics Track entrance.
Once you reach the track you will see a large open double gate to the right of the main entrance. You must enter through that gate and make a right onto the track. You will complete a lap around the track to the finish.
Here is a video detailing the full route from the Trig Point/ Exit from the South Downs Way - to the Track.
EVERYTHING ABOVE WILL BE CLEARLY MARKED OVER RACE WEEKEND - THESE NOTES ARE DESIGNED TO HELP YOU RECCE THE COURSE IN ADVANCE OF RACE DAY.