Last updated: 31/3/2014.
We are pleased to announce that 2014 will see the return of both the 33-mile and 20-mile Marlborough Downs Challenge races.
The Marlborough Downs Challenge is a beautiful yet demanding event, mostly off-road along tracks and footpaths, and takes in some of the finest Wiltshire countryside, including:
- The Wansdyke Path, Tan Hill Way, White Horse Trail, and Mid Wilts Way
- Two of the highest points in Wiltshire at Knapp Hill and Tan Hill
- The Kennet & Avon Canal into Devizes
- Cherhill Monument and White Horse, and Avebury's pre-historic stone circle.
The 20-mile Marlborough
Challenge race incorporates the 2014 UK
Athletics Trail Running
Championships (Middle distance).
Feedback from previous events has been excellent and will give you a flavour of what to expect – click here to see the feedback on the Runner's World website.
Where: Marlborough Leisure Centre, SN8 1PB (map). Toilets, showers, changing facilities and bag drop available.
When: Saturday 10th May 2014. 33-mile race starts 09:00. 20-mile race starts at 10:30.
Entry Fee: £22 EA/TRA affiliated, £24 non-affiliated. Please note: minimum ages are 18 years (20-mile race) and 20 years (33-mile race) on the day of the event.
Closing date for entries is 30th April 2014 or when the event is full. No entries available on the day. Unfortunately, we cannot offer refunds although you may transfer your place to another runner by emailing MarlboroughDownsChallenge@googlemail.com by Thursday, 8th May.
By entering this event you declare you have read and agree to abide by the conditions and rules. Click here for a copy of the conditions and rules – we try and keep these as simple and short as possible.
Navigation: The Marlborough Downs Challenge course is unmarked although there are some arrows for assistance at a few key points. All entrants will receive a route description document by email before the event; these will also be posted on this website nearer the time. (Click here for a previous example of the 33-mile route description.) You are advised to carry a map – the most appropriate is OS 1:25,000 Explorer Sheet 157 – and compass. GPX files for the routes are downloadable from here (20) and here (33). (Right-click and Save link as... to download.)
For the 33-mile race a cut off time will be applied at Checkpoint 3 (9.2miles) – anyone arriving after 11:15am will be redirected onto the shorter route. Other cut off times may be applied for safety reasons.
First Aid: Paramedics from St John Ambulance will be on standby throughout the event. Please note that mobile phones may not work in all locations; if necessary, go to the nearest checkpoint to call for help.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY
Clothing: Suitable footwear and clothing must be worn or carried. This is a primarily an off-road event, often remote from public roads, and parts of the route can be very muddy! Remember, if the weather is wet and/or cold at the Leisure Centre then it will be very wet and very cold on the Downs. If it is sunny then don't forget to apply sunscreen.
Refreshments: Cold drinks and refreshments will be provided at checkpoints along the route. The entry fee includes a hot meal (including a vegetarian option) and drinks at the Finish.
Prizes: There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Men and Ladies as well as 1st M40, M50, M60, M70, F35, F45, F55 and F65 (subject to a minimum of three entries in each category). All finishers will receive a souvenir from the White Horse Pottery – www.whitehorsepottery.co.uk.
Race Permit: The Marlborough Downs Challenge is held under UK Athletics Rules (Permit number: TRA/106-13). Note that distances are approximate only.
Dogs: Due to the amount of livestock around the route, dogs are not permitted.
Accommodation: Marlborough Tourist Information Centre – www.marlboroughwiltshire.co.uk.
Please continue to visit this website for regular updates.
You can email us at MarlboroughDownsChallenge@googlemail.com.