Three Forts Marathon

Who's up for this? It certainly is tough, but the scenery is stunning - not that I am biased, of course! Only aspect of the route that I am not so keen on - apart from the steep climbs - is the out-and-back to the Dyke, but this would be difficult to avoid if all 3 Forts are to be included.


  • maybe tempted by the half image
  • I'm in did it last year didnt mind the out and back and the views make all worth while.
  • I am doing it with a vengance this year. Only the half, but i  had to walk one or two bits last year, since i went a bit too fast to start with, and didnt appreciate the hills, and there are lots of them. But i know whats coming up now, and i cant wait to do it. Wish it was 6th May now. Its a hard race, but very enjoyable.

    For anyone not done it. My advice is, take it slow and consistent, wear something very light since it gets very hot out there, and bring your own water. And dont worry about your time. If you can do it without stopping, walking at all, then you are doing well. It is bloody hard, but it is a beast that one must face.

  • Sounds like a great race, I think i'm in although i'm not to keen on hills but do like a challenge !!!
  • I've done it several times and, unless you are an elite runner, it can be counter-productive to try and run all the hills. The really steep parts are all relatively short and I try and view them as an opportunity for a few minutes walking that you don't get with a road marathon. Once at the top - your legs having benefited from a change of action - you can really take off! 
  • I will not try to run the hills, but will just keep on jogging, even if it is a slow pace. I hear what your saying though. Good advice.

  • My favourite Marathon.

    I'll be there!

  • RedheadRedhead ✭✭✭
    I'm in again - full marathon of course image
  • I'll be there too, number 6 I think.
  • Done the half a few years ago and now for the Marathon
  • RedheadRedhead ✭✭✭
    Dressed as a gorilla I hope image
  • I'm up for the marathon! WIll be my first fully off road marathon.

    Strategy will be to walk the hills and try and run as much of the rest as possible, but mainly to keep moving forward the whole time.

  • Just run the Brighton full yesterday and considering running the half Have done lots of hill work in training over truleigh hill and the dyke. Hopefully should be manageable. Does anyone know if this half is tougher than the steyning stinger half?
  • I'd say pretty similar to the Stinger, hopefully with better weather but no cooked breakfast.

    Cheers - Raymond

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭

    Hello Suffolk Punch - I remember you trying to help me sort out my transport problems to Halstead a couple of years ago image You have a good strategy there.

    I've done it the last two years and I don't mind the out and back to Devil's Dyke as it's a good turning point cos it's uphill, turn around, downhill.  

    Hmmm Ghostrider, it wasn't that hot in 2010 ,  I came down those last two miles like a downhill skier as I was so desperate to finish before I succumbed to hypothermia.That was possibly the only negative split I have ever done.

    Great race.  

  • GuyGuy ✭✭✭
    Can anyone offer a comparison between this and the Greensands Marathon? I did the Greensands last October, in just over 4:30. It was great fun, but thanks to the 70 minute cut-off to get up Leith Hill, I set off too fast, and ended up with a massive positive split of 2:00 for the first half, and 2:30 for the second half. My Garmin recorded climb/descent of a bit over 3,000 feet for Greensands, so on paper the races look pretty similar.

    I would be interested in anyone's thoughts on how the two compare, so that I can try and pace this one better.
  • RedheadRedhead ✭✭✭
    Oh crikey Helly, I remember 2010 as it just poured with rain from start to finish and I fell over on a slippery downhill bit and skinned my left hand! At the finish the first aid tent was full of people wrapped in foil 'cos they'd been underdressed for the cold weather.

    Guy, sorry but I haven't done the Greensands marathon but I do know Leith Hill image
  • Weather can't be any worse than it was for the Stinger this year..........can it ????

    Not done this one before but as it's local I'll be there. Really looking forward to getting back to a proper run after plodding the streets of Brighton and Hove last week image

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭

    I felt sorry for those marshalling in 2010. At the Chanctonbury waterstation the full cups of water were just being blown straight off the table by the wind which had joined the freezing rain to make it a memorable event.

    Guy - I've done both this and Greensands but I find it hard to compare . I think Greensands would be trickier in bad weather and has some narrower and more frequent ups and downs but a lovely almost downhill last quarter whereas 3 forts has long  stretches of typical South Downs chalk trail and is a mile longer.

  • GuyGuy ✭✭✭
    Helly - thanks for the response. I am not sure I appreciated the "lovely last quarter" at Greensands - thanks to my poor pacing, I took longer descending Leith Hill in the last quarter than I did climbing it in the first quarter; and the final climb over the Nower almost finished me off.

    From what you say it doesn't sound as though Three Forts is appreciably harder (apart from the extra mile), so I think I'll aim for the same sort of time, and see how it goes.
  • See you there. I'm doing Bewl marathon on Saturday and this on Sunday as a birthday treat for myself.

    Helly, be great to catch up!
  • RedheadRedhead ✭✭✭
    There's a marathon at Bewl?
  • Yes and it is the day before. it's 2 laps around the puddle.
  • RedheadRedhead ✭✭✭
    Ooooh, sounds fun. Better not join you though as I want to beat my last time for the Three Forts.
  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭
    UltraB, I'm also doing both, work permitting. This is the Kent Bewl rather than the Surrey one, isn't it ?
  • RedheadRedhead ✭✭✭
    Just looked up the Bewl marathon and it should be a good one. If it follows a similar route to the Bewl 15 there could be some muddy bits in the woods so be careful and watch out for the tree roots!
  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭
    Is it quite trail-y then? I'm quite good at falling over.
  • Any advice for a first timer ...?!

    I'm a half marathon runner , this will be my first off road . I did do the Bluebell 10 miler in Angmering last sunday and managed the hills !!

    I am familiar with parts of the route as i live on Hillbarn lane , so i'm lucky to be able to run and walk around Cissbury and Chanctonbury !!! However from what i've read above i'm expecting a huge challenge ?!!

    Are the aid stations adequate ? Is it just water ? Shall i take gels,beans ?

    I'm really looking forward to participaiting this year instead of watching everyone park and warm up from my window !!! 

    Thanks image

  • Looking forward to this one again.

    Couple of major steep parts but the worst parts are the long uphill beween where the marathon/half split up to Chanctonbury and then the mile or so uphill before you head back to Cissbury.

     I found that its 10-15% more on your time than a road race and will be a bit tougher than Angmering 10 because there is virtually no flat - all ups and downs so pace yourself and with the first climb up to Cissbury - dont go out too fast!!


  • I'm hoping to get an 'enter on the day' after the disappointing cancellation at Shakespeare yesterday.

    Not done this before lizzie so I can't advice on aid stations.....tho I'll tuck 2 or 3 gels about my person(!) for emergencies.

     Route profile looks gruesome, very similar to Steyning Stinger. I can't imagine it will be worse conditions than Steying or Shakespeare but I'm bracing myself......

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