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South Downs Way 50

Quick facts

Location Eastbourne, United Kingdom

Distance Ultra marathon - 80km

About South Downs Way 50

The South Downs Way is a long distance footpath and bridleway running along the South Downs in southern England. It is one of 15 National Trails in England and Wales. The trail runs for 160 km (100 mi) from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex, with about 4,150 m (13,620 ft) of ascent and descent. 

The South Downs Way 50 is a 50 mile foot race along the beautiful South Downs Way National Trail, beginning in Worthing and finishing in Eastbourne. Runners start by negotiating 6 miles of chalk footpaths and bridleways, climbing up to join the South Downs Way National trail at Chanctonbury Ring. The remainder of the course is identical to the final 44 miles of the SDW100 and remains on the SDW until the final turn off bringing runners out to finish with a lap of the track at Eastbourne.

Distances

South Downs Way 50

  • 80.467km

Practicalities

Accommodation

There are plenty of options for accommodation in both Worthing and Eastbourne. There are a number of hotels in close proximity to the track in Eastbourne and a huge number of other options closer to the seafront which is two miles from the finish.

After Race Services

Toilets, Showers, Male and Female Changing, Free Hot Food and Drinks (Runners only and includes vegetarian option).

Aid Stations

There will be 7 aid stations including the finish along the length of the course. A full list of the aid stations and all opening closing times can be found here. All aid stations carry as a minimum: water, coke, chocolate, sweets, sandwiches, nuts, lots of fruit, Gu gels, wraps, sandwiches and other sweet and savory snacks.

Award Medals

All finishers under the 13 hour cut off will receive a medal and technical finishers t-shirt. Additional prizes will be awarded to First place Male and Female.

Equipment Storage

Finish Line Bags can be deposited at registration and should be clearly labelled with runners name and bib number.

Maximum Time

13 hours

Parking

There is free parking at the race start. Runners will be able to park their cars at no charge on site either at Worthing College, or on surrounding roads, never more than a 10 minute walk from registration/ the start. Shuttle buses will take runners from the finish back to their cars at the start. There is also lots of free parking at the finish.

Qualifications

In order to enter you must have completed a minimum of a marathon distance race within the cut off time of that event between 1st January 2014 and race day.

Transport

Shuttle buses will leave at regular intervals from the finish at Eastbourne Sports Club Athletics Track. The shuttles will make one stop only, back at Hillbarn Recreation Ground for runners to collect their vehicles. Competitors who wish to take the shuttle will need to select that option during the registration process. There is an additional charge of £10 for the shuttle.

South Downs Way 50 Route Map

South Downs Way 50 Route Map

Start:

Hillbarn Recreation Ground

Eastbourne,gb

Finish:

Eastbourne Sports Club Athletics Track

Eastbourne,gb

Difficulty

hilly

Overview

The South Downs Way 50 is a 50 mile continuous point to point trail race from Worthing to Eastbourne. The course follows the beautiful South Downs Way National Trail for the majority of the race.

Mile 0: The Start is at Hillbarn Recreation Ground. 

Mile 41: 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 41.1: 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 46: 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 48 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. On exiting the gate, runners will see a trig point directly ahead - 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 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 flour on the ground. 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 bridleway behind Ratton Drive. Follow the bridleway down for 0.4 miles to the junction with Willingdon Drive and cross straight over diagonally 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 further 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 half lap around to the far side to reach the finish on the back straight.

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.