South Downs Marathon & 5K

So, who else has entered this then...

About 4 months out from this one, and i'm thinking about training programmes to keep some structure to training - will a regular marathon schedule suffice (with liberal dashings of hill training), or would anyone recommend something more specific?

 Looking forward to the day!



  • Hi there. Not entered this yet but will do soon. It's a great race and will be my 4th running. I reckon you'll be fine with std mara training schedule. Try and do most or some of your miles off road and include some hill training. You'll love it!
  • I'm intending to do a lot of off road marathons this year.  I've only done road marathons prior to that, and very little off road at all.

    I'm following a basic marathon plan, but trying to do at least half of my long runs off road.

    I did one leg of the South Downs Relay last year, and the terrain isn't that bad.  It was mostly well worn trails and paths rather than plowed fields or long grass.  There are hills, but most people walk some or all of them.

  • The kids and I are all looking forward to this one.

    It will be my furthest distance yet and theirs (5k)

    Hope to start upping the mileage once new shoe aches and pains subside.



  • Yep - familiar with the terrain - did 100km (starting at Queen Elizabeth Park and going toward Brighton a couple of years ago).  As long as its dry, then should be ok (i wore trail shoes then, but a guy i ran with wore regular running shoes).

     There's a couple of steep bits, but walking is the way forward - trying to run up to save time is a false economy IMHO.

    Need to start upping the miles (whilst I'm still grinning from the PB at Wokingham half yesterday)

    *heads to marathon training schedule section of website*

  • how are the directions on the route - am a bit concerned with the 'point to point' comment! will i get lost on the way??? are there a lot of people that do the full marathon? was thinking of this one or the new forest half but 25 Sep not a good date for me.

    No traffic appeals to me too - as long as not too off road!  Don't mind tracks like in the new forest though so should be fine!

     Doing half marthon on Sunday so should have time to up the mileage to get  me through it image she says hopefully image

  • The signs and marshalling are very good Ang B. You shouldn't get lost.
    The whole thing is 'off road' but not cross country. It is tracks, trails, footpaths etc.
    It's well attended enough that you will probably always be able to see another runner!

    It's one of my 'locals' so I'll be doing it again this year.

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭

    Ang B - this was my first mara and I've done it every year since and it never even occurred to me to get lost image It's extremely well organised and ,as Limper says ,you are rarely, if ever out of sight of any other runners.

    It is very much offroad but the terrain is chalky downland which is generally hard and dry in midsummer so suitable for road shoes.Quite a lot of people do the full marathon but I believe there are three wave starts this year depending on your expected time in order to avoid congestion at the relay points.

     The things to watch out for are  heat (as it's quite exposed) and hills (which you can't avoid so be prepared to walk). It's a lovely run.

  • I've covered the terrain before in a team of 4 - 3 of us wore trail shoes, but the fourth wore road shoes, and didn't have an issue - if it's been wet before hand though, trail shoes might stick a bit better...
  • I've done it in sunshine and in rain and have always coped ok in my road shoes.
    I run various sections of it for fun image and sometimes use my trail shoes. Personally I find it better suited to the roadies.

    Wear a hat. It'll be useful whatever the weather!

    The feed stations have adequate water and gels available.

    It's an excellent event image

  • OK on a scale of 1 - 10 how much harder is Beachy Head, or is it in fact harder.

    Kinda doesn't matter cause I'm gonna sign up anyways, just though a bench mark would be niceimage

  • Beachy is harder.
    South Downs has a couple of tough hills that (for the majority of folk) have to be walked up and probably compares with the 'general' part of Beachy. Nothing as daunting as the Seven Sisters though!

  • It's a really nice race Tommy, see you there!
  • Just entered.  The full marathon this time.
  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭

    Hmm, I'd rate it about equal with Beachy, the hills are just in different places. I do seem to have a standard South Downs time whatever the race.  There are flattish bits in the middle but also some energy -sapping undulations  after the 20 mile point which I tend to forget about till I hit them.

    As long as the weather is nice (and the chip van is there) the finish is always good as you can sit around on the grassy slopes snacking, watching everyone come in. Good for picnics if you have support crew or family.

  • The hardest part of the course?... Running the final mile or so through QE Park past all the picnic and BBQ sites!
  • suspect i'll need to line a willing supporter up to run that final mile, a few feet ahead of me and carrying a burger... motivation!

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭

    I love that part limper, it's slightly shaded, slightly downhill and people often look up from their picnics to cheer you on. Then you get that odd little squiggly bit through the wood with a couple of absolutely unnecessary undulations before you hit the road / car park  and turn the corner for your grand finish.

  • Thinking about this one, did Grizzly in March and loved it.......anyone done do they compare (apart from South Downs being 6 miles further obviously!) ?? I have run several stages in the relays over last couple of years and every time I wish I was doing it all! Just a bit worried about the challenge....HELP

     fc x

  • Mr SC has done both and says that Grizzly is much harder.  South Downs doesn't have the mud, bog or hills that you have to crawl up.  The extra 6 miles aren't anywhere near as hard work.
  • Helly - one hot year there was a party of folk drinking Pimms as we went past. I'm still astonished that I pushed on to the finish and didn't just give up there and then! I love that final section.
  • Most encouraging, thankyou for that. Perhaps I'll take some Pimms of my own for last mile image 

    Gonna see how training goes in April and then enter if all ok

    Thanks for help

    FC x

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭
    Forget training - enter now, I doubt you'll regret it... Not entirely ure how you do Pimms in a bottle or camelbak but it could be quite refreshingimage
  • Maybe we should all rendezvous 2 miles from the finish and make a massed raid on the Pimms-drinking picnickers!
  • Marvellous idea limper...that'll learn em!

    Pretty sure I'll sign's a shame they've changed the starts as I seem to remember marathon runners getting lots of support last few years at the changeovers. Not sure there will be many people left at these points by the time I get through if we are starting after the relays......would be looking at 5 hrs ish.

    Hey ho

    Thanks for the encouragement x


  • Chubs - I've done this event in around 5 hours and around 6 hours! There were always people at the relay points - some of those who had finished their leg were then picnicking with the family / supporters that had met them - plus the marshalls are friendly and encouraging. Plus the great common public who are out enjoyig the area give you a cheer. I've never thought it lacked support en route, even when I was practically last!

    I'll also be expecting 5 hours-ish this year. We can storm the Pimms Party together!

    << prays for a sunny 11/06 >>

  • Ok sounds the idea of the PP assault...looks like South Downs Marathon here we come! Hold on to your Pimms have been warned! image


  • Hi folks

    OK ..... is this extremely hilly or just mildly hilly as I'm looking for another marathon to run in between the New Forest Marathon.

    Just run the London Marathon and finished in 3hrs 27mins so looking for another one to finish in under 3hrs 15mins so is this a recognised marathon distance race and has it been properly measured as 26.2 miles.

    Or should I just enter it 'cos its a great one and very scenic and you need recruits to your Pimms raid. image

  • Darkman - yes it is an 'official' marathon, but it's unlikely to be a PB course. It's mostly off-road and it definitely has some real hills!

    You should do it because it's great and you are pretty speedy so you can recce and secure the Pimms area for when Chubster and I crawl past!

  • Just short of 6,000 ft up and 6,000 ft down.image

    That is just a "tad" hilly in my book.image

    3.15 will probably be a top 10 finish.

    It is a freakin' killer of a course but very well organised etc etc!

  • Hmmmm

    Reminds me of the Belper Rugby Rover 30k that I run every year thats got a total ascent of 2,319ft which is hilly, if its 6,000ft up in total then thats fu**ing hilly.  But looking at the photos I'm really tempted as the scenery looks fantastic, not bothered about hills as I always train with hills anyway.

    This will be good to keep me in constant marathon training ready to murder the New Forest Marathon course which I reckon is flatter than London and far quieter which suits me down to the ground.

    At £30 the race is reasonable when you consider you get a technical t-shirt and there's a Mens 50 Masters category, might even get another trophy to put in me cabinet if I run as well as I know I can. image

    Will bring my Toffs Pimms Extractor with me (commonly know as a baseball bat) to persuade 'em to hand over the goodies ready for Chubster and Limpers arrival at Pimms O'Clock. image

Sign In or Register to comment.