Marlborough Downs Challenge

Hi All,

Just signed myself up for the 33 miler, anyone else done it before?  I have done the South Downs Marathon before but never anything this far? Any tips or route info would be gratefully received.

 Many Thanks



  • Hi Greg,

     Did this race last year, really enjoyed it! The course is definatley "undulating", and has the potenial to be quite muddy if the weather is poor, but great scenery and friendly marshalls.

     Also, the map given out last year was pretty clear, leaving little chance of becoming too lost. 

  • Hi

    Just put my entry in for this. Sounds like itn will be fun, the navagation aspect worrys me, but fingers crossed it will be alright.

  • I did the 20 miler 3 years ago & I'm thinking of the doing the 33 this year.  Is it much the same type of terrain as the 20?  I know the 33 milers join up with the 20 milers at some point.  Looking forward to it, long off-roaders are my fave events.

  • Greetings. I have just entered the 33 mile event, which will hopefully be my longest run to date (on the back of Doyen of the Downs 30 in December and London Ultra 50K in February). I too hope that I will manage to muddle my way through the course with hardly any map reading skills. However, the event looks well organised and very promising.


  • Hi guys - mind if I join you?  I was about to do Edinburgh marathon but cannot get up there so am thinking of doing this runinstead.  Question is should I do the 20 or the 33?  Have run marathons in the past but this year have beenhampered with shin splints - better now but stil get a bit of an ache after a run.  Not run longer than 20 this year in training.  Any advice - do i go for the 20 and have a ball or go for the 33 and expect to hurt?

  • Hi all,

    I think I got the last 33 mile place ... I think thats good news!

    Manfromindia, I did DOTD in Dec too, this can't be so muddy! I missed the London Ultra but did the Country 2Capital 45m which was a great run.

    MrGuy, seen you on a few forums before but not sure which ones ... which ultras/maras have you done?

    I did Great Welsh on Sunday and have Shakespeare and then Neolithic prior to this so will not be pushing it!

    The directions look complete but is there a map too .... or does anyone have one from last year?

  • Hi Dave I did the DOTD and Jurassic Coast Challenge, some marathons but I don’t think I joined the threads for them. I was planning on doing The Pilgrims challenge too but some friend rather inconsiderately decided to get married that weekend! I remember you from the DOTD thread I think. Good luck at Shakespeare, I did it last year and really enjoyed it.   

  • I have just looked at the instuctions properly and they recomend we take our own maps: OS Explorer Sheet 175 and a compass. My map reading skills arn't up to much to I might not bother, I have a Garim to give me distance so hopfully with that and the instructions I'll be fine. Not sure I have done enought training though which could be a problem!   
  • Sorry that should be OS Explorer Sheet 157
  • Mr Guy, don't worry about navigation, just take Miss Ellie along. She has an 'app' for that!

    I though you would be using the handle 'Ultra-Guy' by now. I'm thinking of using 'Sahara-John', or 'Florence of Arabia'.

    I'm only doing the 20 so chances are high there will be no pasta left when you finish.

     F'nar f'nar!

  • Alright John! Still thinking about the Ultra Guy thing, do think I have been doing enough running recently so justify it.
    Ellie and I are doing the Bognor Regis 10k the day after this and she wants to beat me, I think she stands a pretty good chance as well give that I have never ran this far before.

    Looking forawrd to hearing some MDS stories from you well done on geting through it and raising all that money.  

  • The instructions they supply are quite detailed. I have searched and found a route of it on MapMyRun and they seem pretty easy to follow. Just hope the rain holds offf for the next couple of weeks. 


  • Hi everyone,  I was just wondering if there are any places for the 20 mile race left?
  • Piranha,

     from their website:

    The 33-mile Trail Race, 20-mile Trail Race and 20-mile Challenge Walk are FULL. Online entry is CLOSED. We cannot accept any further entries, so please don't ask! There is no waiting list for standby places. THERE WILL BE NO ENTRIES ON THE DAY.


  • ok, I understand thank you, I will have to be quicker next year.  Have fun everyone. image
  • Piranha.

    It might be worth contacting the organisers as Martin Loveless will be seeing his son off to Australia and has withdrawn from the event. Also, Paul Blundell was hit in the chest by a swinging-gate (stop laughing you lot) on the 3 Forts Half and has been advised not to run for a while.

     Chop chop, I hope you get a place.

  • Thanks Sole Man, unfortunately I can't do it now as I am doing the Moom Walk now on Saturday night. Good luck to everyone. image
  • I trust everyones training is going well for the 33 .... I am still recovering from the Neolithic and think this one is going to be a struggle - please don't eat all the goodies at the checkpoints before I get there ..
  • No guarantees, I simply cannot resist a Jaffa Cake !

    A word to the wise: Try to stay in front of Mr Guy, or at the very least (if he is eating) keep your fingers off the table.

    You have been warned...

  • Greetings. Just recovering from the Halstead Marathon on Sunday. Hope to be comfortably at the back of the pack for this one with an enlarged copy of the directions. I assume trail shoes are in order. I hope this is easier to navigate than the Fairlands Valley Challenge Marathon in Stevenage. 33 rural miles without markers - should be interesting !


  • Sole man makes a good point. I think this is going to take me about 6 hours and I can't sit still for that long without stuffing my face!

    I did Fairlands Vally last year and didn't find it too bad navigation wise... but I did just tag along with clever people who knew what they where doing and ocasionaly said "Yeah, I think your right"     image

  • Heyloooo - only just starting to get myself organised for this one. Hoping I don't get lost, but I also normally end up following clever people who know where they're going image doing Windermere the day after, so should be a fun weekend image
  • Heyy cragchick - yess I remember talking to you before the Beacons Ultra & on here image I've really got into my ultras since Dec. Haha, I's a bit of a trek, but Windermere was my first marathon last year & I really iked the look of this one too, so I thought, why not! See you tomorrow image
  • Good luck tomorrow everybody, hope it goes well for eveybody image
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