Marlborough Downs Challenge 33-mile Trail Race

Hills & Route

15 messages
21/01/2013 at 11:29

Hi everyone

I'm considering entering the event in May 2013 as the Glos Ultra 50K was cancelled however have a couple of questions:

 i)How hilly is it?! I've run the manchester marathon and that was flat but given that this is an additional 9miles im not sure how well i could cope with hills.

ii)How easy is the route to navigate? Im concerned that Ill end up lost since im likely to be entering solo. I looked at last years route instructions and they look quite onerous to follow when running.



21/01/2013 at 12:44

It is hilly in a chalk downs way, rather than a fell race.

I did for the first time last year. Finishing half way down the field I found no problems navigating. There were always people to follow. At some points I had to check the route directions, but I found them very good.

21/01/2013 at 12:47

Ok. By 'chalk downs' way meaning reasonably gradual climbs and ascents?

Thanks for your comments.

21/01/2013 at 14:21

RT, I also was entered into the Glous 50km, hopefully they will reschedule on a weekend I can run!

I have entered this for the 3rd year running now, really enjoy this run.  Relatively flat first half then a couple of hills - one being the Cherhill monument and then undulating to Avebury, a drag over the ridgeway and a nice fast last 3 miles that you can enjoy.

Navigation is not too bad, only place you need to watch for is on top of the monument - I have run around there both years to my embarrisment!  Arrows tend to be out at trickier points and feed stations are about 4 miles apart.

Edited: 21/01/2013 at 14:21
21/01/2013 at 17:52

Rather than have your nose in route instructions best to plot the course onto a map and follow that (although take instructions round as well).  This event is an ideal first foray into offroad/ultra running - very attractive course over lots of different surfaces.  Nothing too alarming and the distance manageable and there will almost always be somebody ahead in view.


Must do it again myself sometime.

21/01/2013 at 18:03

It was fun running it with you on my first Ultra T-Rex, hope to do that again one day!

21/01/2013 at 18:19

Hi RB.  What sort of ultras have you been doing since then?

22/01/2013 at 08:51

Hi TRex, not many at all, mostly Marathons or just over.  Wessex Ridgeway was good.  Did Marlborough again last year, hope to get around 5H30 this year if the weather is good.  Really need to step up to some 50 milers, but not getting the time at the moment... bad excuse I know.

Doing a few races earlier this year, Glous 50km was going to be the first ... North Devon Mara will be good and then I will look at some of the Enduralife ones on the coast later in the year.

You have had a tough time over the last few months I hear from the SNOD forum?

22/01/2013 at 13:09

Thanks for the responses guys. I think Ill give it a miss this year as the Cardiff 50m is on the same day but hopefully do it next year!

22/01/2013 at 15:06

RB - well, this Cardiff ultra 50-miler is probably the "easiest" 50-miler in the calendar.

In terms of friendly events I also recommend the High Peak 40 (miles), Buxton, which has about 15 miles road and good offroad elements.

22/01/2013 at 21:49

RB - I'm doing Endurancelife Flete ultra at the end of May if you're interested?  Includes an interesting estuary crossing.  Without a boat.

07/04/2013 at 08:03
I've entered this race but had no email confirmation, tryed email but have got no response from the organiser. Has anyone here had a confirmation of race entry yet?
07/04/2013 at 21:25

I have entered online through Runners World and got their standard acknowledgement. But nothing more yet. There was an entry list put up before the race last year. It is a low key event and I would not be concerned if you have not had confirmation yet.

The fact that the event has been reduced to only one race distance and the change from Saturday to Sunday may mean that they have lost organisers. However Marlborough are a strong club and I am sure it will be great on the day.

04/05/2013 at 10:18
Edited: 04/05/2013 at 17:12
07/05/2013 at 13:31

Hello All - not long left to go.  Weather looks normal!  By normal I mean no idea what it will be like!

Couple of days rain forecast, hopefully light so it can dry up before Sunday ...

See you all there.


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