The second edition of both the Wendover Woods 100 Mile and Night 50km are upon us.

The 100 kicks off this Friday July 9th at 0800 and our small, hardy group of souls have 32 hours to complete 10 full laps of the 10 mile course. With 2000 feet of climb per loop, this is the toughest event we stage/ have staged. In the only previous edition of this race, we had 20 finishers from 45 starters, with only four women completing the course. We are expecting numbers to be close to identical this time.

The Night 50km begins between 2230 and 2300 on Saturday 10th July in a rolling start format and runners have nine and a half hours to complete three full laps. Many will be running their first ultra and it's such great fun for us to watch the race unfold around the course, with the woods closed to all other users and with the sunrise expected as the final runners begin their final loop.

Below is a quick preview of the main contenders for the overall positions. 

WENDOVER WOODS 100: MEN

Stuart Leaney: There really is only one man to beat. Crowned the King of Wendover in 2019, Stuart finished the 100 here in 18:56. He is twice winner and course record holder of the 50 mile here too. 

Alex Tate: Winner of three of the four ultras he has run. Alex also ran home fourth at the 2019 NDW100 in 16:54 which puts him 8th on the all time list for that race. 

Paul Radford: Paul is coming up on eight years of solid performances across a variety of ultras. Stand out's are a sub 30 hour finish at Spartathlon and his 224km at Barcelona 24hr. He has finished second at the Ridgeway Challenge three times. But he also has the pace over shorter distances too. He knows this loop well as this is home turf for him.

Kevin Shannon: Another local, Kevin knows this loop really well having placed joint third at the Night 50km here in 2019 and 6th at the 50 mile in 2018. He's had lots of really solid results over distances from 50km right up to 100 miles with strong finishes at events like UTMB and NDW100 in his resume.

Mark Shannon: Usually runs with his brother Kevin above, at the Night 50km he was joint third with him and then went on to run home in the top ten in the 50 mile as well. A similar resume to Kevin across the long events. 

Other front runners: Andrew Mckillop has had some good results at the 50 mile on this course plus a lot of 100 mile experience and dropped out late last time in the 100 here. Look for him to be consistent this time. Tom Sawyer is another super experienced runner both on this course and at the longer stuff. 8th at the 50km here in 2019. 5th at the GUCR being the stand out.

Stuart Leaney (Photo; Stuart March Photography)

WENDOVER WOODS 100: WOMEN

There are just seven women in the starting field. But they are unsuprisingly some of the most experienced regulars from our events and whom are extremely consistent. 

Rebecca Lane: Our 2019 Grand Slam 100 mile Champion. Many top ten finishes in our 100's but also at shorter distances. Has twice finished the 50 here too. So has the long experience and the course experience combined.

Ally Whitlock: Has already claimed fourth place at both the SDW50 and SDW100 this year. Previously 10th in the 50 here in 2019.

Magda Strycharska: Made big improvements in 2019 running home fifth at the Autumn 100 and sixth at the Chiltern Wonderland 50. Magda won Endure 24 in 2018. Has also run the 50 here before.

Ally Whitlock (Photo; Stuart March Photography)

WENDOVER WOODS NIGHT 50km

A field of 150 are expected to toe the line to go through the night.

WOMEN: In the women's race, Linn Erixon Sahlstrom is an experienced runner with plenty of good results at hilly and mountainous races. The elevation will prove no obstacle to her having raced competitively at UTS, UTMR and TDS amongst others. She has twice won the Jurassic 100. Krysia Smith recently finished 8th at the SDW100 and has a previous sub 20 hour seventh place at the TP100 to her name. She has also had good results at this distance including a podium finish at Hurtwood 50km.

MEN: Neil Martin is the stand out mens runner, our 2019 Grand Slam 50 mile Champion, he has finished in the top ten at the 50 mile twice and was sixth at this event in 2019. He has almost two dozen ultras to his name, the majority in the 50km to 50 mile range, on trail and almost every one involves a top ten finish. Chris Collins whilst less experienced than Neil, was fifth just ahead of him in 2019 and runs again here. 

Follow both events live via www.centurionrunning.com/live - pages will be published just prior to the event. Runners of both events will carry trackers so you can watch the racing unfold as it happens.

9 Jun 21 by James Elson

SDW100 2021 Preview

 

The 2021 South Downs Way 100 is expected to have between 420 and 450 starters and in the process become our largest ever starting field. As part of a big field, the depth of competition is substantial. 

The longest standing record at our events is still Jean Beaumonts women's course record here, of 16:56 in 2013. Done, in her words, on almost no training! Are we finally going to see it taken down?

The weather looks perfect for volunteers and staff, but warm for runners with a high of 25 degrees forecast and not a lot of wind. That will need to be factored in to everybodys pace strategy for best results.

A huge shout out to the 19 Grand Slammers who are finishing off their 2020 elongated slam at this event after this race was cancelled due to lock down, last November. The 19 hardy souls and their times so far can be found here

WOMEN

Mel Venables: 2016 British 100km Champion. Winner 2020 NDW100. Has already won the GUCR in 2021 which just a couple of weeks ago is a short turn around time. Lots of wins and podiums at shorter ultras.

Mel Venables

Karen Hacker: Winner of the 2019 NDW100. Podium finishes at Wendover Woods 50 and all three 'Race to the' Events over the last 4-5 years.

Karen Hacker

Dominique James: Finishing off her Grand Slam from 2020 here, she finished third in each of the first three - all three of the 100s we held in 2020. 

Allie Bailey: Also completing her Grand Slam journey here. She finished 5th, 4th and 5th in the three 100s of 2020.

Karen Doak: Three finishes here with a best of sixth place. Fifth at the 2019 NDW100. 

Mandy Regenass: Has a second and third at the SDW50 in 2017 and 2018 amongst other solid performances.

Krysia Smith: Seventh at the TP100 in 2019 in a sub 20hr time.

Emily Dixon: Third at Country to Capital this year in 5:55. Winner Imber Ultra 40 miler in 2020.

MEN

Rob Payne: Team GB 24hr runner. First Tooting Bec 24hr with a 100 mile split of 14:19. First NDW50 2019. Second WHW Race and NDW100 2019. 76th at this event in 2017 in a time just under 24hrs!

Rob Payne

Geoff Cheshire: First at Race to the Stones and Chiltern Wonderland 50. Second at the Autumn 100 in 14:31 and third at the TP100 in 2020. Geoff led here for 90+ miles in 2019 before dropping at the final check point at Mile 96.

Pete Windross: Has already finished third at the SDW50 and fourth at the TP100 in 2021. First at the 2020 Gloucester 24hr. Winner of the TP100 in 2018 in his (at the time) Grand Slam record setting year when he went on to 5th, 6th and 3rd at our other three 100 milers. Has three finishes here with a best of 16:38.

Paul Russhard: Second at the NDW100 in 2018. Half a dozen top ten finishes at our 50s including a second at the NDW50 and in late 2020, his most recent result a sixth at the SDW50. 

Peter Abraham: Third at the Autumn 100 in 2017 in under 16 hours. Winner at Connemara and the Canalathon 75km in years past.

Peter Jackson: Second at the TP100 in 2018. Winner of South Wales 100 in 2019. 28:57 at Spartathlon 2019.

Max Rusby: Second at Kennett and Avon Canal Race in 2019 and has posted two wins at shorter ultras.

Daniel Weller: Winner of the Chiltern Ridge Ultra Trail 50km this year. Third at Wendover Woods 50. First at Beacons Ultra 50. 8th at SDW50 in 2018. 

Matt Gallagher: Seventh at TP100 in 16:21 in May this year.

James Hurrell and Jack Galloway relatively new to the ultra scene but both good road runners with 2:34 marathons apiece.

 

FOLLOW THE RACE

You can track all the action live on our tracking page here. The race kicks off between 0430 and 0600 Saturday morning in a rolling start. Thank you so much in advance to the 120 volunteers that will make this race all that it is.

17 May 21 by James Elson

NDW50 2021 Preview

 

This race was postponed in 2020 from May to November and then cancelled when the November lock down was introduced. So some of the runners on the start line will have been waiting almost two years to run. It will be such a relief to get this, what was our first event back in 2011, back on again. 

The womens field in particular this time, looks really exciting, with a good depth of competition. The mens race has one stand out competitor with several of the leading contenders sadly pulling out in recent weeks due to injury, including Tom Evans and existing course record holder Jon Ellis. 

The conditions underfoot at the moment are sticky in places but generally good going - the softer ground is actually a blessing on some of the steeper descents. A mixed week of lower than average temperatures, some rain and some sun gives a little uncertainty over what will be the case on Saturday but it looks unlikely to be blazing hot which often has the biggest impact on times.

WOMEN

Samantha Amend: Sam will be familiar to many as having recently broken the British 100 mile record at our Track 100, running 14:34 for a new all time best mark. Her background in road and ultra running is really too long to list out but the most impressive element is her consistency over the past 10-12 years despite being a prolific racer across all distances. PBs other than the 100 mile record include 220km for 24hrs, 7:53 for 100km, 3:28 for 50km and a 2:42 marathon as well as high standards in shorter marks. She has twice won our TP100 and has the course record there in 16 hours flat. She has several England and GB vests to her name. She is no stranger to hillier trail too and it will be fascinating to see what she can deliver here, relatively soon after the Track effort.

Sam Amend at the 2021 Track 100 (Steve Ashworth)

Rachel Normand: The La Sportiva athlete from Carnethy burst onto the scene in 2018 with some stellar results including an 8:22 for the win at the Highland Fling, second at Lakeland 50 and then two other local ultra wins to cap it off. She had a great 2019 with wins at CTS Exmoor and Ennerdale Trail. Internationally she placed 15th at Laveredo and 17th at TGC both super runs. Due to the pandemic she hasn't raced since, so this marks her return. 

Gill Bland: 7:53 here in 2018 for third place, but the sixth fastest time we have had on this course in the nine prior editions. Her road running background is impressive, with a decade of experience, a raft of sub 3 hour efforts including most recently a 2:55 at the Cheshire Elite Marathon in April 2021.

Michelle Maxwell: Michelle ran away winner here in 2017 in a time of 8:26. Since then she has finished second in both the TP100 and SDW100 and in 2020 took home the win at the final event of the season - the SDW50 - in 8:15.

Michelle Maxwell won here in 2017 (Stuart March)

Rachel Lindley: 7th and 5th here in the past with a course best of 8:39

Katy Ward: A consistent marathoner over the last decade, with a PB of 2:58 and a 1:22 for the Half.

 

MEN

Ry Webb: Ry ran our first ever event, on this course in 2011 coming home 12th in 9:18. Since then he has been on both sides of the table a multitude of times and has improved his running substantially in the process. He's come very close to winning one of our events so many times, could this finally be where he takes home a trophy? He lives locally and with this his back yard he will surely want to go all the way this time. His bests include second here in 2016 in 7:05. He then ran the Grand Slam of 50s the following year, finishing second, third, third and third in the four events, in the process his NDW50 time sneaked in under the 7 hour mark with a 6:58. In 2019 he showed he had the speed on the track too, finishing the inaugural Track 100 in a superb 13:24 for second place. 

Ry Webb on his way to second at the Track 100 in 2019 (Jack Atkinson)

Lyndon Cooper: Lyndon has wins at the Maverick X-Series Ultra Snowdonia and the West Country Hilly 50 mile behind him as well as several top 5s and top 10s at other ultras ranging from 50km through to 85 miles including Wendover Woods 50 and the Ridgeway Challenge. 

Julien Cazorla: Seventh at the SDW50 in April, he then ran home for sixth at the TP100 just two weekends ago in 16:18. This one comes very soon off of the back of that, of course.

Mark Pinder: Has started out 2021 with a sixth at the SDW50 in a solid 7:07.

One special mention and that is for Chris Finill. Chris was a top GB athlete back in the 2000's with numerous GB vests to his name. He is also one of the few ever-presents at the London Marathon, having run every edition and as a MV60 in 2019 ran a sub 3 hour effort there. That marked the incredible achievement of having run a sub 3 hour marathon in 5 decades. 

The race has a rolling start and kicks off off between 0530 and 0800 on Saturday 22nd May. Follow it live here.

4 May 21 by James Elson

TP100 2021 Preview

 

Well we have just about recovered from seeing the Mens 100 mile World Record and Womens 100 mile British Records tumble at the Track 100 two weeks ago and are set to go with our first trail 100 of 2021. In fact the winner of the ladies race in the Track 100 Samantha Amend, will be volunteering at Wallingford check point which just goes to show how much support and community involvement goes into ultrarunning in the UK from athletes of every level.

We have no less than six former winners at our events across the Mens and Womens fields this weekend. It's wonderful to see such competitive race fields lining up for this event.

MEN

Dan Lawson: No matter the speed of anyone else behind him, Dan Lawson remains the man to beat at any 100 mile plus event in the land, especially on the flat. You could take the resume of the next nearest half a dozen athletes in the UK on road/ flat/ track events and add them together to get nowhere near what he has already achieved. His main highlights would be: European 24hr Champion and more recently running a new Lands End to John O Groats record which was captured on film. He has won and / or has the course record at Grand Union Canal Race (where his 100 mile split was well under 14 hours). Ridgeway 86. Ultrabalaton. Ultra Trail Gobi. EMU 6 day. Run the Rann 100 mile. Etc. Races he hasn't won but worth mentioning are his 2nd at Spartathlon and 3rd at Badwater. Dan will run with others and revel in the experience of being in a race again, spreading joy to all around him. But make no mistake, when it comes to the second half of the race, Dan comes into his own. His only downfall might be the fact that he's spent several days not eating this week. You can listen to the British Ultrarunning Pod latest episode here to get the inside exclusive. 

Dan Lawson (Photo c/o Dave MacFarlane)

Richard Mcdowell: Won the SDW50 three weeks ago. Marathon best of 2:23 placing him first V40 in the championship start at the London Marathon 2019. Only other ultra experience to date some shorter FKT efforts, this will be his longest run to date. At the SDW50 he stated intention to look for a sub 13 hour finish so we could see some fireworks here! 

James Williams: James was our 2018 Autumn 100 champ in a time of 15:18 and later that year went on to a second place at the Wendover Woods 50. After an unsuccesful attempt at Lejog he looks to have only raced once, a 5th at Country to Capital in 2020.

Justin Montague: A true stalwart of the scene and one of the nicest guys on the circuit. Justin was a prolific racer almost a decade ago, packing 2012 and 2013 with race wins, podiums and top tens. In fact he was 2nd at our second ever edition of the North Downs Way 100. He then went through some health problems and took a period out of the sport, before re-emerging with the same vigiour he showed before. Top results in more recent years include a win at Devon Coast to Coast, 2nd at the Ridgeway Challenge and wins at numerous XNRG multi stage events.

Pete Windross: Winner of this very event in 2018 with a 15:49 on route to a Grand Slam 100 mile crown. He has subsequently had some solid results at 24hr track events, and a third place at the SDW50 already this year. 

Ed Catmur: Ed is coming back. Having been one of our most regular competitors and multi time champion at 100s over the years including a course record at the North Downs Way 100 and then the win here in 2014, Ed hit some injury woes and spent a long time running events but finishing well down the pack. Over the last couple of year, steady improvement has returned to the stage where in October 2020 he ran a 100 mile PB of 15:38 coming home second at the Autumn 100. He was also 6th at this event last year. Can he bring it back all the way again?

Sebastian Betouret: 5:33 at Country to Capital last weekend for 3rd. Experienced guy with nearly 10 years and 50 events of solid finishes at a wide range of events. 17:47 for 100 miles at Gloucester last year. 

Sean Collum: 8th at Race to the Stones. 227km Suffolk Backyard Ultra. Finisher of Barkley Fall Classic in an impressive 9:22. 

Simon Booth: Winner of the Robin Hood 100 in 2019 in 17:22.

Fumiaka Imamura: 50th at the NDW100 last year seems to be an anomalous result. This year he won the 47 mile Peddars Way Ultra. Past results include second at Hardwolds 80, 5th at SVP100km and two top 5s at the Stort 30.

Richard Wilson: 6th at the Autumn 100 last year

Julien Cazorla: 7th at SDW50 2021

WOMEN

Anna Troup: Anna's victory list includes races among the top tier of UK events including Lakeland 100, Arc of Attrition and of course Wendover Woods 100! Where she was our only sub 24hr female finisher. She struggled with injury issues in 2020, but we really hope she is back to full strength for this one.

Zoe Murphy: With just a couple of ultras to her name until 2020, she ran home for the win at last October's Autumn 100 in a time of 18:23. 

Zoe Murphy on route to winning the 2020 Autumn 100 (Photo c/o Stuart March Photography)

Melissa Montague: Melissa is a super experiened ultra runner with a huge number of wins and podiums to her name. Alongside too many victories at XNRG multi stage events to count she has won the Ridgeway 86 (and finished second there twice in addition) and has a third at Autumn 100 to her name. Victories in shorter lower key ultras are too numerous to count.

Rebecca Ferry: Rebecca looks to have raced all over the world at some of the marquee ultras out there and had some excellent finishes. Most notable - In 2020 she won the Coastal Challenge Costa Rica. In 2019 she won Country to Capital. 

Jennifer Sangster: 5th at the South Downs Way 100 in 2017 in 19:45 following a 4th place at the SDW50 that same year. More recently 5th at the Thames Trot 2020. 

Karla Borland: Karla won the Weald Challenge 50km in 2018. Prior to that she was also second at Race to the King.

Lorna Spayne: Not too many ultras to her name but some super results in amongst them. Second at Race Race's 'The Wall' Ultra. Winner of Maverick's Ultra Peak District Last Year. Two top five finishes at Dark Star River.

Follow the race live from the link here including tracking of all runners every step of the way - 0700-0930 start on Saturday morning (link will go live closer to race day).

22 Apr 21 by James Elson

Track 100 2021 Preview

 

A field of 15 athletes will start the second edition of the Track 100 mile this Saturday which takes place at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. All have reached qualifying marks in prior events and will have 17 hours on the day to complete the distance. On route, splits will be taken at 50km, 50 miles, 100km, 6hr and 12hr. One or two athletes will be shooting for records or fast splits at those lower marks but most have the full 100 in their sights. 

Conditions look dry and overcast and temperatures are a close to perfect 4-12 degrees across the day. The only negative factor is a moderate north easterly breeze that we hope won't interfere with the athlete's pacing too much.

We welcome a field of 4 women and 11 men to the race this year. Here's a quick run down of who will feature on the day. Remember to head over to our youtube channel to watch the live stream from 0600 Saturday morning.

WOMEN

Sam Amend (GB&NI International): Sam Amend has represented England from marathon through to 100k as well as GB&NI on numerous occasions, most recently qualifying to run as part of the 24hr team. In October 2020 the 2:42 marathoner ran an impressive 14:54 for 100 miles at Gloucester, missing out on the British all surfaces record by just 11 minutes. She will surely have her eyes set on 12 hour and 100 mile GB records on the day and seems well capable of achieving both if things go her way. 

Sam Amend at the TP100 (Photo: Stuart March)

Ali Young (GB&NI International)Ali's best over 100 miles was her 16:29 split at Tooting Bec 24hr in 2015, an event at which she also qualified for the GB&NI 24hr team. She has since run in two European and two World 24hr Championships. She also has finishes at Spartathlon, GUC145 and MDS.

Jo Newens (GB&NI International): Jo has a 24hr PB of 221km, from Tooting Bec in 2019. The Scottish international clocked 16.45 for 100 miles in that same 24hr race in 2019. Over the last 12 months Newens has run a 19.39 100 miler at Gloucester 24hr race, but went through 50 miles in 7.38, and has also represented GB&NI at both virtual IAU 6hr Solidarity runs.

Sarah Sawyer: Sarah qualified for this event by running 208.6km at Bernau 24hr in 2020. Sarah also finished 4th lady at the 2019 Spartathlon in 30.37. Other notable achievements include race wins at Crawley 24hr, NDW50, Al Andalus Ultimate Trail and RTP Patagonia.

Sarah Sawyer finishing Spartathlon in 4th place (photo c/o Spartathlon)

 

MEN 

Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania International) Our only international competitor, Aleksandr a resident of Vilnius in Lithuania arrived last week and has been training in quarantine indoors on a treadmill. Until Wednesday prior to the event when his test and release details came through and he was finally able to run outside once again.  The current 24hr World Champion, Aleksandr was a sprinter kayaker in his youth. When he finished with sports he gained almost 100kg. One day at 32, he said enough was enough and took up running. He now specialises in 24hr running where his best performance has been that victory at the 2019 World 24hr Championships with a massive 278.97km. "I've wanted to run 100 miles for a long time. Last year James invited me, but the pandemic changed all plans. I think I'll be lucky this time."

 

Aleksandr Sorokin on route to becoming World 24hr Champion in Albi in 2019 (Photo: Norbert Mihalik)

Grant MacDonald (GB&NI International) Grant, 42, lives in Strathblane north of Glasgow. He qualified with his 24hr PB of 251.3km at Barcelona 24hr, which also earnt him a GB&NI selection for the World 24hr Championships in Albi in 2019. "This will be my first Centurion race. I'm looking forward to the fun of racing again and curious to see what I can do over 100 miles on a day where I don't have to continue to the 24hr mark."

Rob Payne (GB&NI International) Rob is from Lincolnshire and works as a Chemical Engineer. Rob qualified with 251.9km at Tooting Bec 24hr in 2019. He has also run twice virtually for GB&NI in the 6hr Global Solidarity events, running 54miles and 51miles. In addition, when the SDW100 was cancelled last year Rob ran a solo 100 instead and clocked an impressive 14.47.

Michael Stocks (GB&NI International) Michael has represented England at 100km and made the GB&NI team for 24hrs. His GB debut being in 2019 at the age of 50. After years of focusing on Comrades, he debuted at the 100 mile distance in 2017 winning the Thames Path 100. His fastest 100 mile came during Tooting 24hr when he passed that mark in 14.17 on the way to a final distance of 249km. Michael is also the author of "One Track Mind: What Running 150 miles in a Day Can Teach You about Life."

Andy Jordan: Andy Jordan ran our first CT100 back in 2019 where he ran a PB of 14.57.38. He bettered that at the Gloucester 24hr event last year where he covered the 100 mile distance in 14.24.03 setting a new MV55 world best. That has since been surpassed and he will want it back here. Andy also has a best distance of 220.496km for the 24hr event set back in 2016.

Andy on his way to a V55 World Best at his last outing at this event in 2019 (photo: Jack Atkinson)

Mark Innocenti:  Mark qualified by winning the Autumn 100 last October. Mark ran a 2.31 marathon PB in Berlin and has finished numerous ultras, but he hadn't ran farther than 53 miles until he tried the Autumn 100 last year. "100 miles on a track is daunting and completely new territory for me." 

Mark Innocenti on route to his debut 100 mile win at the 2020 Autumn 100 (Photo: Stuart March)

Stephen Marks: Having started running in his mid 30s, Stephen's first ultra distance race was the Lakeland 50. His first 100 mile finish was in 2015 at Centurion's Thames Path 100. Stephen qualified for this event at the Autumn 100 in 2019 running 15.21. "I'm hoping to chop a decent chunk off that time on the track."

Joe Turner: Joe qualified for this event by running 2.23.37 in the 2019 Valencia marathon. Joe's first ultra attempt was at the 2020 Gloucester 24hr event, posting 83.6km through the 6hr mark and 7.13.18 for 100km. "Unfortunately I had to pull out of that event due to injury, but looking forward to another go at the Centurion Track 100." 

Jason Porter: Jason started running five years ago and has focused his efforts on the marathon, where he has a best of 2.26 set at the end of 2020. With the CT100 being his first competitive ultra race he is planning on racing one of the shorter splits before potentially returning next year to complete the whole 100 miles.

Mike Bisson: Mike Bisson qualified for the event with a 15.19 for a 100 mile event last year. Mike has a range of strong PBs from 5km through to 100 miles and has also competed at many of our Centurion events over the years.

Rob Forbes: A course record at the Cotswold Way Century in 2018 followed by a 5th at Ultra Trail Cape Town and a 12th at TDS cemented Rob's place at the top table amongst UK Ultra Runners. He has a marathon PB of 2:37 and perhaps most impressively holds the double buggy marathon world record with 2:43. He will be looking to combine his road speed and trail endurance experience for the perfect outcome here.

14 Apr 21 by James Elson

SDW50 2021 Preview

 

The 2021 season begins this weekend with the South Downs Way 50, which by a twist of covid related fate also happened to be the last event of the 2020 season. 

We are delighted to be bringing live tracking to all of our events this year. The new interface will allow those at home, or crewing the event to follow their runner every step of the way, simultaneously improving event safety. 

The tracking map can be found here and the live leaderboard will as always be available on the website here.

WOMEN

The womens race in particular looks wide open for the season opener. 

Sarah Hill: Sarah has finished a lowest of 2nd place in any of the ultras listed against her name. Wins include Race to the Stones 100km, Fox Ultra (twice) and a clean sweep with our friends at XNRG events of: Pilgrims Challenge, Druids Challenge and the Isle of Wight Challenge (twice). Away from ultras she has extremely consistent road results too with plenty of sub 3 hour marathons to her name as well as great showings at shorter distances.

Caroline Farren: Caroline was 7th here in 2016 and has top ten finishes at Liverpool to Manchester 50, New Forest 50km and Ladybower 50 behind her.

Debra Bourne: Debra won the NDW50 all the way back in 2012, our second year of events. After many consistent and prolific years of racing all distances, Debra rediscovered some great form in 2020 and placed 4th at the NDW100 and 6th at the A100 whilst also recording a 6th place at CTS Sussex around the same area. 

MEN

Jack Blackburn: Jack comes into this race as probably the favourite, having had a great run here in the past as well as many other solid results over the past six or seven years. In 2015 he ran home second at this event in a time of 6:29, still good for top ten all time on this course. In 2017 and 2019 he won Race to the King and has many other podium and top ten finishes to his name, mostly in the same distance range as this event.

Pete Windross: Peter has now strung together several years of really consistent results. He has often featured amongst the front runners at our events and indeed, has a win at the TP100 to his name. In recent years he has turned his hand to the track too and has won two 24hr events, at Gloucester in 2020 and Crawley in 2019. He was also our Grand Slam 100 mile champion in 2018 before that. 

Toby Meanwell: Second at CTS South Devon in 2020 his only ultra finish to date, the runner from Lewes has a serious road pedigree behind him. With a Marathon PB of 2:39, he looks to have just clocked a 15:35 5km less than two weeks ago at Ardingly so he is clearly running well.

Richard Mcdowell: The faster runner in the field over the marathon with a 2:23 in London in 2019. Just three days ago he clocked 15:22 for 5km so like Toby above, brings in an awful lot of speed to this longer event.

Frederick Levy: Looks to have just four ultras behind him but with solid results. Wins at the Rebellion ultra (75 mile), Causeway Coast 40 mile and perhaps most impressively a 19th at Eiger Ultra Trail 101km - all in 2019. 

James Mills: Plenty of solid results behind him including top ten finishes at the Chiltern Wonderland 50, Roseland August Trail Black Rat, Arc of Attrition 50 and Stort 30. A best on this course of 8:10 on this course looks sure to go this time.

Hi Everybody. This evenings news is obviously extremely frustrating for everyone. On a national level first and foremost where dealing with this virus, hospitalisation and awful loss of life is concerned. But, speaking to our little slice of the world, also our events. We still have the SDW100, WW50, WW50km and NDW50 scheduled and all four of them fall into the national lockdown window that has just been announced. As such we will going forward as follows:

- We will be emailing all runners still entered into these events within the next 48 hours, to confirm that they will be cancelled.

-All runners will be given as a minimum, the option to defer to 2021 or 2022 at no cost. To receive 70% refund. If a runner is already entered into the 2021 version of the event as of tonight as well as the 2020 race, they will be refunded their 2021 race entry.

- At least one other option will be given to every runner of every event, but we need to finalise those details now we know what we are working with. Each event has its own nuances.

Finally, One Community will return between the 23rd and 29th of November. We are back in lock down, many of you have had your goal and dream event now just yanked from under you at the last minute and we do not want to end the year that way. So we will be getting the details sorted on that but it will be pretty much identical to the previous edition, with some extra bits of fun on top. The website will launch tomorrow.

We cannot express in words just how disappointing this news today, is. We can sit here and be frustrated, angry, worried. But we can only work with the hand we are dealt and we have been incredibly fortunate to have received unprecedented support from all of you through 2020. 5 events were held, we are grateful for that. We intend now to focus on providing our community as much positivity and engagement as possible through whatever this winter might hold. We will make it through the other side of this and we will be a stronger community for it. More to follow tomorrow.

The 2020 North Downs Way 50 is scheduled to take place on 28th November 2020. Whilst continuing to monitor all possible information, our intention is to organise this race and to do so in the safest possible manner. We have looked extensively at every single aspect of event weekend and the plan below goes as far as possible to reduce risk of transmission as possible.

Ultimately the event can be conducted safely, within government guidelines, almost entirely outdoors and with social distancing possible at all stages. All staff and volunteers will be provided with full PPE. We have conducted a number of events since August 2020 and racing has returned safely and sustainably.

Things that can remain close to or the same as a ‘regular’ NDW50 (this is our tenth edition of the race):

  • Start and Finish
  • Number of check points
  • Medical support
  • Number of volunteers
  • Number of staff
  • Timing system
  • Course Marking
  • Course Sweeping
  • Overall timings and cut offs
  • UK Athletics Permit
  • Full Race Insurance

We must accept that for the time being, racing in the traditional sense with a mass start and regular aid stations is not going to be possible - UKA permit guidelines dictate that mass starts are not permitted. But with the following adaptations to our regular event weekend, we can mitigate for the risks concerned whilst delivering a great race with as much of the traditional framework maintained as possible. Long distance trail races are by their very nature, largely self supported endeavours travelled solo or in a pair at relatively slow speeds. Therefore many of the traditional ‘issues’ of mass participation or road events are completely removed.

Ultimately the safest way for a runner to take part in this event, is to arrive at the start line ready to run with their bib on which has been posted out to them in advance, having been dropped off by a member of their household. To run the course with their full mandatory kit and a supply of water and race nutrition on their person, topping up where they need, from the check points. To complete the course, collect their awards and to travel home with a member of their household.

But of course we are still able to cater for the runner who is alone and needs support from us as organisers.

We expect approximately 150-180 starters.

The following articles are where the 2020 NDW50 has additional or adapted protocols specifically to reduce the risk of transmission. All must be adhered to and should be looked at as an extension of the regular race rules. All of the usual race information applies, these items are in addition to that information:

Two overriding principals apply:

Social distancing along government guidelines is mandatory and entirely possible at every stage of event weekend. Runners, volunteers, crews, staff and pacers should all maintain social distancing at all times.

Gatherings of runners/ volunteers or any groups should be kept to a minimum.

PRE RACE

If any runner, crew, volunteer or staff member has had any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to race day then they must not attend the event.

Runners must not travel from an area in tier 3 on race day, to take part in the event. Any international runners must quarantine for the legally required period in the UK for the country they are travelling from, prior to attending the race. 

Runners are limited to a maximum of 2 crew people and/or 2 vehicles at any one time on course. Eg. Runner may have two members from their household/ bubble in one vehicle, or two separate crew people each driving one vehicle each.

Runners must provide in advance of race day the name, email address and phone number of any person who is crewing during the event - such that if an infection is reported post race, we can hear from them or contact them immediately depending on circumstances.

Spectators are asked not to attend the race anywhere on course, at any time.

Runners must ensure their medical details and postal address are up to date on the race director registration system.

RACE REGISTRATION

Runners will not need to register on race day itself. All bib numbers with timing chips attached will be posted out prior to the race.

Registration will still be available at Farnham Leisure Centre for bag drop, toilets or emergency bib collection (if a runner forgets or did not receive his or her bib). Runners must only attend registration if they have to, and should make plans to move directly from there to the start to begin their race. Changing and showers are not available.

There will be no kit check prior to the start, runners must have all mandatory equipment  on them at all times as per the normal race rules. Random kit checks will be carried out on course as usual by staff in full PPE.

No spectators or crew may attend the start. They must drop their runner and move immediately on from the area.

Bag drop: Queue for bag drop (finish and checkpoint drop bags) will be socially distanced and marshalled. Bags must be pre-labelled prior to arrival. Bags will be handled by volunteer or staff in PPE but bags will be placed against other bags and therefore runners should sanitise hands before and after collection.

Toilets: Will be kept clean and sanitised

There will be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing will be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start.

Start: There will be a rolling start. Runners may start any time between 0630 and 0800. If runners miss the 0800 start they may not start the race. Runners may not start before 0630 as the timing system will not be set up before then.

Runners may start whenever they wish between 0630 and 0800 but we ask you to be as honest with your projected finish time as you can be and aim for the following approximate starting windows:

  • 11hr-13hr: 0730-0800
  • 9hr - 11hr: 0700-0730
  • Sub 9hr: 0630-0700

All runners will have their temperature checked at the start from a socially distanced volunteer or staff in full PPE/ face shield -  via a temperature gun. Runners exhibiting temps above 37.8C will not be permitted to start. Runners should expect not to wait at the start for any reason, just to walk up, have their temperature taken and begin their race immediately. When runners cross the timing mat their time will begin and they will have 13 hours maximum to complete the event from the time they cross the mat.

Runners can start with or run with other runners in the event, but only in groups up to 6 maximum and must maintain social distancing at all times. Marshals will ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the start area. Solo runners can begin within intervals of 20 seconds of one another. Pairs or Groups will need to leave 30 seconds after the previous runner/ runners. The trail is wide from the start with plenty of room for groups to pass one another and other trail users whilst maintaining social distance if overtaking. Start times of 0630-0800 mean a quiet time of day on the trail in general regards other users. 

Runners are asked please keep group sizes to a minimum out on the trail to make as much space as possible for other trail users.

IN RACE

Gates and stiles: Runners should not touch any gate or stile with uncovered hands eg. wear gloves or cover hands with sleeves to use.

Markings: Will be laid out as normal.

Masks/ PPE: Any check point you visit, indoor or outdoor, you must wear a mask. We will have disposable masks available at the entrance to all indoor checkpoints but of course if runners have their own they should bring them. Runners will not be permitted in any indoor location without a mask on.

Staff/ Volunteers are to wear PPE at all times indoors and/ or when performing duties in or outdoors. 

Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint will be split into two or three mini check points with access to liquid in up to six places to speed up the process. Arriving at the checkpoint, runners may just run past making sure their time is recorded by the timing beacon, or head into the tent/ hall. A staked funnel with social distancing imposed will be laid out for runners coming to use the aid. All runners must use sanitiser as they enter a checkpoint. If any of 3 mini checkpoints are empty, then a runner can come straight in. The checkpoints will be 3 tables set out length ways, with one volunteer managing each table. Runners will top up their bottles from the drinks provided and take any food that they need. One volunteer will marshal the entry process into the checkpoint/ sanitiser use and ensure no gathering in the check point area. Runners will take fluid and nutrition, then sanitise their hands again before moving out of the checkpoint on down the course.

Runners will serve themselves drinks, including refilling bottles and bladders. The normal three fluid options will be provided: Water, Tailwind and Coke/ Pepsi. All food will be served in single serve packets only (once again hands are to be sanitised on the way in and out of every check point). The minimum food provided at every check point will be (single serve packets/ items):

  • Cut Up banana
  • Satsumas
  • Sweets
  • Chocolate
  • Sausage Rolls
  • Mini Malt Loaf/ Cake Bars
  • Crisps
  • Mini Cheese/ Babybel
  • Gu Energy Gel Packets
  • Tailwind
  • Coke/ Pepsi
  • Water

Hot Drinks: Will be available at the finish.

There will be no hot food anywhere on course apart from the finish.

All of our sweepers will wear PPE/ gloves. Markings will be deposited at check points on arrival in bin bags and tied up.

Minibus: The sweeper minibus will operate as normal, our regular 17 seater bus. The maximum capacity of that bus will be 8 people including the driver to ensure social distancing and windows will be open as far as practical. The bus will be wiped down and sanitised after each use. Runners using the sweeper bus should wear a mask whilst on board. The driver will wear a mask whilst driving the vehicle.

Cut offs: Are as per normal - but are not fixed times during the rolling start. Any runner that misses a cut off will be informed at that check point or at worst, the following checkpoint if they are missed initially. Runners must stay within the relative cut offs for each check point. 

The medical team will operate a “Non” Standby at Aid Stations policy, but will attend when called in.  Ambulance Crews will be attending every incident in a minimum of Level 2 PPE (Gloves, Mask, Apron, Eye Protection) and reserves the right to pull anyone suspected of exhibiting Covid-19 Symptoms from the race with immediate effect. Where a runner, volunteer or crew exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms on race day, they are to be isolated from all other participants.  They will then need to be returned to “Home” to self isolate and arrange a swab test. 

Logistics vehicles: There will be full provision of wipes and sanitiser and spray in each vehicle. 

General Public/ Other trail users: As always, runners should give way to other trail users and be especially courteous when passing walkers, bikers and riders. To make sure to maintain social distancing when passing any other user and particularly through pinch points on narrow trail or through gates and stiles to stand well back where appropriate and allow others to pass safely and at distance.

FINISH

Award collection: Awards will be laid out on tables for collection by each runner

Provision of hand sanitizer will be available at all stages, the finish, the food and the drop bag collection areas.

Photographer will operate as normal, but socially distanced.

Food and Drink will be in single serve packs: Hot drinks, hot water, basic single serve supplies. Takeaway hot dog or veggie dog will be provided, pre wrapped and prepared.

Runners must take immediate onward transport with family, friends or taxi to hotel/ home. 

No Changing or showers are available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly. 

POST RACE

Any runner, crew, staff or volunteer must contact us if they show any Covid-19 symptoms within 7 days of the race. 

If there is any reported transmission or risk of transmission post race then all parties with any possible risk will be contacted.

The 2020 Wendover Woods 50 and 50km are scheduled to take place over the period 13th-16th November 2020. Whilst continuing to monitor all possible information, our intention is to organise the races and to do so in the safest possible manner. We have looked extensively at every single aspect of each event and the plan below goes as far as possible to reduce risk of transmission as possible.

Before we discuss the covid-secure set up of each event, it is important to note that both the 50 mile and the 50km have now been split into several smaller races, spread across a number of days. That is because the Forestry Commission current national policy, is that events are limited to a maximum of 30 people. The start/ finish of this event is outside of Forestry Commission Land, however around 90% of the course crosses their property, as such we can have no more than that number in any one event.

The new schedule for this year is as follows:

  • Friday 13th November 0700 Start: Wendover Woods 50 mile - 30 people
  • Friday 13th November 2200 Start: Wendover Woods 50km - 30 people
  • Saturday 14th November 0700 Start: Wendover Woods 50 mile - 30 people
  • Saturday 14th November 2200 Start: Wendover Woods 50km - 30 people
  • Sunday 15th November 0700 Start: Wendover Woods 50 mile - 30 people
  • Monday 16th November 0700 Start: Wendover Woods 50 mile - 30 people

All runners entered into the 50 mile and 50km were offered a number of options during the week of 11th - 18th October. These included:

  • Selecting one of the new dates/ times 
  • Running the event virtually between the 9th and 29th November
  • Deferring to 2021 or 2022 at no cost
  • Cancelling their entry

As of Monday 19th October, we now have final entry lists for the above smaller events and a list of all of those who have chosen to defer. If you are a runner originally entered for 2020 and did not choose one of the above options in time, you can email us by clicking here. 

Covid - Secure

Ultimately the event can be conducted safely, within government guidelines, almost entirely outdoors and with social distancing possible at all stages. All staff and volunteers will be provided with full PPE. We have conducted a number of events since August 2020 and racing has returned safely and sustainably.

Things that can remain close to or the same as a ‘regular’ WW50/ WW50km:

  • Start and Finish
  • Medical support
  • Number of volunteers
  • Number of staff
  • Timing system
  • Course Marking
  • Course Sweeping
  • UK Athletics Permit
  • Full Race Insurance

We must accept that for the time being, racing in the traditional sense with a mass start and regular aid stations is not going to be possible - UKA permit guidelines dictate that mass starts are not permitted. But with the following adaptations to our regular event weekend, we can mitigate for the risks concerned, whilst delivering a great event with as much of the traditional framework maintained as possible. Long distance trail races are by their very nature, largely self supported endeavours travelled solo or in a pair at relatively slow speeds. Therefore many of the traditional ‘issues’ of mass participation or road events are completely removed.

Ultimately the safest way for a runner to take part in this event, is to arrive at the start line ready to run. To leave a drop bag at the distanced start/ finish area. To run the course with their full mandatory kit and a supply of water and race nutrition on their person, topping up from their drop bag every loop. To complete the course, collect their awards and to travel home.

But of course we are still able to cater for the runner who is alone and needs support from us as organisers.

The following articles are where the 2020 WW50/ 50km have additional or adapted protocols specifically to reduce the risk of transmission. All must be adhered to and should be looked at as an extension of the regular race rules. All of the usual race information applies, these items are in addition to that information:

Two overriding principals apply:

  • Social distancing along government guidelines is mandatory and entirely possible at every stage of event weekend. Runners, volunteers, crews, staff and pacers should all maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Gatherings of runners/ volunteers or any groups should be kept to a minimum.
  • Each race is limited to 29 starters

PRE RACE

  • If any runner, volunteer or staff member has had any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to race day then they must not attend the event.
  • Runners must not travel from an area in tier 3 on race day, to take part in the event. Any international runners must quarantine for the legally required period in the UK for the country they are travelling from, prior to attending the race. Runners are not permitted any crew or pacer at the event.
  • Spectators are asked not to attend the race anywhere on course, at any time.
  • Runners must ensure their medical details and postal address are up to date on the race director registration system.

RACE REGISTRATION

  • Registration is open 30 minutes prior to each start time.
  • There will be no kit check prior to the start, runners must have all mandatory equipment on them at all times as per the normal race rules. Random kit checks will be carried out on course as usual by staff in full PPE.
  • No spectators or crew may attend the start. They must drop their runner and move immediately on from the area.
  • Bag drop: Queue for bag drop (finish and checkpoint drop bags) will be socially distanced and marshalled. Bags must be pre-labelled prior to arrival. Bags will be handled by volunteer or staff in PPE.
  • Toilets: Will be kept clean and sanitised
  • There will be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing will be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start of all events.
  • Start: There will be a rolling start. Runners may start any time within the start window of 15 mins.
  • 50 mile start time is 0700-0715
  • 50km start time is 2200-2215
  • Runners may start whenever they wish within that 15 minute window, but faster runners are asked to please start earlier so that there is the greatest spread of runners on the course.
  • All runners will have their temperature checked at the start from a socially distanced volunteer or staff in full PPE/ face shield - via a temperature gun. Runners exhibiting temps above 37.8C will not be permitted to start. Runners should expect not to wait at the start for any reason, just to walk up, have their temperature taken and begin their race immediately. 
  • Runners can start with or run with other runners in the event, but only in groups up to 6 maximum and must maintain social distancing at all times. Marshals will ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the start area. Solo runners can begin within intervals of 20 seconds of one another. Pairs or Groups will need to leave 30 seconds after the previous runner/ runners. The trail is wide from the start with plenty of room for groups to pass one another and other trail users whilst maintaining social distance if overtaking.
  • Runners are asked please keep group sizes to a minimum out on the trail to make as much space as possible for other trail users. Social distancing must be in place at all times.

 IN RACE

  • Gates and stiles: Runners should not touch any gate or stile with uncovered hands eg. wear gloves or cover hands with sleeves to use.
  • Markings: Will be laid out as normal.
  • Masks/ PPE: Any time the runner visits the check point, they must wear a mask. We will have disposable masks available at the entrance in case runners lose theirs.
  • Staff/ Volunteers are to wear PPE at all times when performing duties in or outdoors. 
  • Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint will be split into two or three mini check points with access to liquid in up to six places to speed up the process. Arriving at the checkpoint, runners may just run past making sure their time is recorded by the timing beacon, or head into the tent. A staked funnel with social distancing imposed will be laid out for runners coming to use the aid. All runners must use sanitiser as they enter a checkpoint. If any of 3 mini checkpoints are empty, then a runner can come straight in. The checkpoints will be 3 tables set out length ways, with one volunteer managing each table. Runners will top up their bottles from the drinks provided and take any food that they need. One volunteer will marshal the entry process into the checkpoint/ sanitiser use and ensure no gathering in the check point area. Runners will take fluid and nutrition, then sanitise their hands again before moving out of the checkpoint on down the course.
  • Runners will serve themselves drinks, including refilling bottles and bladders. The normal three fluid options will be provided: Water, Tailwind and Coke/ Pepsi. All food will be served in single serve packets only (once again hands are to be sanitised on the way in and out of every check point). The minimum food provided at every check point will be (single serve packets/ items):
  • Cut Up banana
  • Satsumas
  • Sweets
  • Chocolate
  • Sausage Rolls
  • Mini Malt Loaf/ Cake Bars
  • Crisps
  • Mini Cheese/ Babybel
  • Gu Energy Gel Packets
  • Tailwind
  • Coke/ Pepsi
  • Water
  • Hot Drinks: Runners will be given packeted milk, tea bags, coffee and sugar with wooden stirrers to make their hot drink in the hot cup that they bring as part of their mandatory kit as usual.
  • There will be no hot food anywhere on course.
  • All of our sweepers will wear PPE/ gloves. Markings will be deposited at check points on arrival in bin bags and tied up.
  • Cut offs: Are as per normal - but are not fixed times during the rolling start. Any runner that misses a cut off will be informed at that check point or at worst, the following checkpoint if they are missed initially. Runners must stay within the relative cut offs for each check point. 
  • The medical team will operate a “Non” Standby at Aid Stations policy, but will attend when called in. Medics will be attending every incident in a minimum of Level 2 PPE (Gloves, Mask, Apron, Eye Protection) and reserve the right to pull anyone suspected of exhibiting Covid-19 Symptoms from the race with immediate effect. Where a runner, volunteer or crew exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms on race day, they are to be isolated from all other participants. They will then need to be returned to “Home” to self isolate and arrange a swab test. 
  • Logistics vehicles: There will be full provision of wipes and sanitiser and spray in each vehicle. 
  • General Public/ Other trail users: As always, runners should give way to other trail users and be especially courteous when passing walkers, bikers and riders. To make sure to maintain social distancing when passing any other user and particularly through pinch points on narrow trail or through gates and stiles to stand well back where appropriate and allow others to pass safely and at distance.

FINISH

  • Runners will be asked to move immediately on from the finish line, unless medical attention is required.
  • Award collection: Awards will be laid out on tables for collection by each runner.
  • Provision of hand sanitizer will be available at all stages, the finish, the food and the drop bag collection areas.
  • Food and Drink will be in single serve packs: Hot drinks, hot water, basic single serve supplies.
  • Runners must take immediate onward transport via their own vehcile, with crew, family, friends or taxi to hotel/ home. 
  • No Changing or showers are available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly. 

POST RACE

  • Any runner, crew or volunteer must contact us if they show any Covid-19 symptoms within 7 days of the race. 
  • If there is any reported transmission or risk of transmission post race then all parties with any possible risk will be contacted.

Since the release of National Lock Down and the return of events to Forestry Commission land, the FC national policy has been to allow a maximum of 30 attendees to any one event. That number must include any staff or volunteers.

During the first week of October, that strategy was reviewed and the FC made a decision to uphold this policy through the remainder of 2020. 

That ruling means that our Wendover Woods 50 and Wendover Woods Night 50km, scheduled to take place on 14th-15th November, are no longer viable in their traditional format. 

During the week of 5th-9th October, runners were given a number of options via a poll, to indicate what their preference either on racing in smaller 30 person events spread across several days, racing virtually, deferring to 2021 or 2022, or cancelling their entry.

On 13th October, all runners were emailed and asked to select the final choice. The formats offered are as follows:

Wendover Woods 50

- Race 0700-2200 Friday 13th November. Restricted to 30 starters.
- Race 0700-2200 Saturday 14th November. Open only to Grand Slam entrants.
- Race 0700-2200 Sunday 15th November. Restricted to 30 starters.
- Race 0700-2200 Monday 16th November. Restricted to 30 starters.

- Run the race virtually between the 9th November and 29th November inclusive. Can be done anywhere as long as the distance, elevation change and 15 hour time limit are adhered too. Those runners receive a 50% discount on 2021 entry.

- Defer to 2021 or 2022 at no cost.

Wendover Woods 50km

- Race 2200-0700 start Friday 13th November. Restricted to 30 starters.
- Race 2200-0700 start Saturday 14th November. Restricted to 30 starters.
- Race 2200-0700 start Sunday 15th November. Restricted to 30 starters.

- Run the race virtually between the 9th November and 29th November inclusive. Can be done anywhere as long as the distance, elevation change and 9 hour 30 minute time limit are adhered too. Those runners receive a 50% discount on 2021 entry.

- Defer to 2021 or 2022 at no cost.

All races that take place will have full Covid-secure protocols in place including social distancing, PPE and sanitisation standards in line with all other 2020 events. The details will be communicated via this page in due course.

Runners are currently selecting these options and further details of the exact racing set up will be shared here, week commencing 19th October 2020.

If you are entered into this years 50 mile or 50km and have not received the emails asking you to select your preferred option, please email us by clicking here.

The 2020 South Downs Way 100 is scheduled to take place over the weekend of 7th-8th November. Whilst continuing to monitor all possible information, our intention is to organise this race and to do so in the safest possible manner. We have looked extensively at every single aspect of event weekend and the plan below goes as far as possible to reduce risk of transmission as possible.

Ultimately the event can be conducted safely, within government guidelines, almost entirely outdoors and with social distancing possible at all stages. All staff and volunteers will be provided with full PPE. This will be our sixth covid secure event of 2020 and we have a set of protocols that are both safe and sustainable. 

Things that can remain close to or the same as a ‘regular’ SDW100 (this is our ninth edition of the race):

  • Start and Finish
  • Regular frequent check points
  • Medical support
  • Number of volunteers
  • Number of staff
  • Timing system
  • Course Marking
  • Course Sweeping
  • Crew and Pacer Support and Access 
  • Overall timings and cut offs
  • UK Athletics Race Permit
  • Full Insurance

We must accept that for the time being, racing in the traditional sense with a mass start and regular aid stations is not going to be possible - UKA permit guidelines dictate that mass starts are not permitted. But with the following adaptations to our regular event weekend, we can mitigate for the risks concerned whilst delivering a great race weekend with as much of the traditional framework maintained as possible. Long distance trail races are by their very nature, largely self supported endeavours travelled solo or in a pair at relatively slow speeds (average between 3.4 and 4mph). Therefore many of the traditional ‘issues’ of mass participation or road events are completely removed.

Ultimately the safest way for a runner to take part in this event, is to arrive at the start line ready to run with their bib on which has been posted out to them in advance, having been dropped off by a member of their household. To run the course with their full mandatory kit and a supply of water and race nutrition on their person, topping up from the crew person(s) at all the crew access points. To complete the course, collect their awards and to travel home with their crew.

But of course we are still able to cater for the runner who is alone and needs support from us as organisers.

We expect approximately 350 starters and for there to be approximately 250 finishers.

The following articles are where the 2020 SDW100 has additional or adapted protocols specifically to reduce the risk of transmission. All must be adhered to and should be looked at as an extension of the regular race rules. All of the usual race information applies, these items are in addition to that information:

Two overriding principals apply:

Social distancing along government guidelines is mandatory and entirely possible at every stage of event weekend. Runners, volunteers, crews, staff and pacers should all maintain social distancing at all times.

Gatherings of runners/ volunteers or any groups should be kept to a minimum.

PRE RACE

If any runner, crew, pacer, volunteer or staff member has had any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to race day then they must not attend the event.

Runners must not travel from an area in tier 3 on race day, to take part in the event. Any international runners must quarantine for the legally required period in the UK for the country they are travelling from, prior to attending the race. Runners are limited to a maximum of 2 crew people and/or 2 vehicles at any one time on course. Eg. Runner may have two members from their household/ bubble in one vehicle, or two separate crew people each driving one vehicle each.

Runners must provide in advance of race day the name, email address and phone number of any person who is either crewing or pacing during the event - such that if an infection is reported post race, we can hear from them or contact them immediately depending on circumstances.

Spectators are not to attend the race ANYWHERE on course.

Runners must ensure their medical details and postal address are up to date on the race director registration system.

RACE REGISTRATION

Runners WILL still need to register on race day itself. All bib numbers with timing chips attached will be posted out prior to the race, however we will be providing you with a tracker at registration. This will be fixed to your bag by a volunteer in full PPE and must be handed back at the finish of the race.

Registration will still be available at Matterley Bowl for bag drop, toilets and emergency bib collection (if a runner forgets or did not receive his or her bib). Runners must attend registration for the minimum amount of time possible, and should make plans to move directly from there to the start to begin their race. Changing and showers are not available.  This will be open from 0445 - 0800 on race morning.

Camping is still available from 1600 on Friday. Nothing else will be open on Friday, just camping. All tracker collection and bag drop off will be on Saturday only.

There will be no kit check prior to the start, runners must have all mandatory equipment  on you at all times as per the normal race rules. Random kit checks will be carried out on course as usual by staff in full PPE.

Bag drop: Queue for bag drop (finish and checkpoint drop bags) will be socially distanced and marshalled. Bags must be pre-labelled prior to arrival. Bags will be handled by volunteer or staff in PPE but bags will be placed against other bags and therefore runners should sanitise hands before and after collection.

Toilets: Will be kept clean and sanitised

There will be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing will be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start.

Start: There will be a rolling start. Runners may start any time between 0500 and 0800. If runners miss the 0800 start they may not start the race. Runners may not start before 0500 as the timing system will not be set up before then.

Runners may start whenever they wish between 0500 and 0800 but we ask you to be as honest with your projected finish time as you can be and aim for the following approximate starting windows:

  • 27-30hr: 0715-0800
  • 24-27hr: 0630-0715
  • 22-24hr: 0545- 0630
  • Sub 22hr: 0500-0545

All runners will have their temperature checked at the start from a socially distanced volunteer or staff in full PPE/ face shield -  via a temperature gun. Runners exhibiting temps above 37.8C will not be permitted to start. Runners should expect not to wait at the start for any reason, just to walk up, have their temperature taken and begin their race immediately. When runners cross the timing mat their time will begin and they will have 30 hours maximum to complete the event from the time they cross the mat.

Runners can start with or run with other runners in the event, but only in groups up to 6 maximum and must maintain social distancing at all times. Marshals will ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the start area. Solo runners can begin within intervals of 20 seconds of one another. Pairs or Groups will need to leave 30 seconds after the previous runner/ runners. The trail is wide from the start with plenty of room for groups to pass one another and other trail users whilst maintaining social distance if overtaking. Start times of 0500 - 0800 mean a quiet time of day on the trail in general regards other users. 

Runners are asked please keep group sizes to a minimum out on the trail to make as much space as possible for other trail users.

No Spectators, pacers or crew will be permitted at the start except to drop a runner off.

IN RACE

Gates and stiles: Runners should not touch any gate or stile with uncovered hands eg. wear gloves or cover hands with sleeves to use.

Markings: Will be laid out as normal.

Masks/ PPE: Any check point location you visit, you must wear a mask unless you have an exemption. We will have disposable masks available at the entrance to all indoor checkpoints but of course if runners have their own they should bring them. Runners will not be permitted in any indoor location without a mask on.

Staff/ Volunteers are to wear PPE at all times indoors and/ or when performing duties in or outdoors. 

Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint will be split into between 2 and 4 mini check points. Arriving at the checkpoint, runners may just run past, or head into the tent/ hall. A staked funnel with social distancing imposed will be laid out for runners coming to use the aid. All runners must use sanitiser as they enter a checkpoint. If any of mini checkpoints are empty, then a  runner can come straight in. The checkpoints will be tables set out length ways, with one volunteer managing each table. Runners will top up their bottles from the drinks provided and take any food that they need. One volunteer will marshal the entry process into the checkpoint/ sanitiser use and ensure no gathering in the check point area. Runners will take fluid and nutrition, then sanitise their hands again before moving out of the checkpoint on down the course.

Check Points: Due to National Trust not permitting check points on their land for the forseeable future, for any event over 30 people, we have had to move or remove some of the original check points. The changes are as follows. The maximum gap between any two check points remains at 12.5 miles

- Harting Downs has been removed as a check point and is now a crew location only.

- Bignor Hill has been removed as a check point and is now a crew location only.

- Kithurst Hill has been removed as a check point and is now a crew location only.

- Houghton Farm has been added as a check point, which falls directly between the two aid stations at Bignor and Kithurst that have been removed.

Those changes are reflected now in the final aid station table which is available by clicking here and the final crew table which is available by clicking here.

Runners will serve themselves drinks, including refilling bottles and bladders. The normal three fluid options will be provided: Water, Tailwind and Coke/ Pepsi. All food will be served in single serve packets only (once again hands are to be sanitised on the way in and out of every check point). The minimum food provided at every check point will be (single serve packets/ items):

  • Bbanana
  • Satsumas
  • Sweets
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Crisps
  • Scotch Eggs/ Sausage Rolls
  • Mini Cheese/ Babybel
  • Gu Energy Gel Packets
  • Tailwind
  • Coke/ Pepsi
  • Water

Hot Drinks: The check points providing hot water are unchanged. Runners will be given packeted milk, tea bags, coffee and sugar with wooden stirrers to make their hot drink in the hot cup that they bring as part of their mandatory kit as usual.

There will be no hot food anywhere on course apart from the finish. 

All of our sweepers will wear PPE/ gloves. Markings will be deposited at check points on arrival in bin bags and tied up.

Minibus: The sweeper minibus will operate as normal, our regular 17 seater bus. The maximum capacity of that bus will be 8 people including the driver to ensure social distancing and windows will be open as far as practical. The bus will be wiped down and sanitised after each use. Runners using the sweeper bus should wear a mask whilst on board. The driver will wear a mask whilst driving the vehicle.

Cut offs: Are as per normal - but are not fixed times during the rolling start. Any runner that misses a cut off will be informed at that check point or at worst, the following checkpoint if they are missed initially. Runners must stay within the relative cut offs for each check point. (eg runner starts at 0730, and arrives at Beacon Hill at 1030. The regular cut off there is 0855, but as the runner started at 0730 their cut off there is 1025, so they will be withdrawn at 1025 or later.

The medical team will operate a “Non” Standby at Aid Stations policy, but will attend when called in.  Ambulance Crews will be attending every incident in a minimum of Level 2 PPE (Gloves, Mask, Apron, Eye Protection) and reserves the right to pull anyone suspected of exhibiting Covid-19 Symptoms from the race with immediate effect. Where a runner, volunteer or crew exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms on race day, they are to be isolated from all other participants.  They will then need to be returned to “Home” to self isolate and arrange a swab test.

Logistics vehicles: There will be full provision of wipes and sanitiser and spray in each vehicle. 

General Public/ Other trail users: As always, runners should give way to other trail users and be especially courteous when passing walkers, bikers and riders. To make sure to maintain social distancing when passing any other user and particularly through pinch points on narrow trail or through gates and stiles to stand well back where appropriate and allow others to pass safely and at distance.

FINISH

Runners will be encouraged to move on as soon as possible from the finish line. A static medical team will work the finish as usual.

Award collection: Awards will be laid out on tables for collection by each runner

Provision of hand sanitizer will be available at all stages, the finish, the food and the drop bag collection areas.

Photographer will operate as normal, but socially distanced.

Food and Drink will be in single serve packs: Hot drinks, hot water, basic single serve supplies. Takeaway hot dog or veggie dog will be provided, pre wrapped and prepared.

Runners must take immediate onward transport with crew, family, friends or taxi to hotel/ home. 

No Changing or showers are available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly. 

The shuttle bus will continue to operate but will depart at 1415 in line with the new final cut off, not 1215 as originally planned.

POST RACE

Any runner, crew, pacer or volunteer must contact us if they show any Covid-19 symptoms within 7 days of the race. 

If there is any reported transmission or risk of transmission post race then all parties with any possible risk will be contacted.

The 2020 South Downs Way 50 is scheduled to take place on 25th October 2020. Whilst continuing to monitor all possible information, our intention is to organise this race and to do so in the safest possible manner. We have looked extensively at every single aspect of event weekend and the plan below goes as far as possible to reduce risk of transmission as possible.

Ultimately the event can be conducted safely, within government guidelines, almost entirely outdoors and with social distancing possible at all stages. All staff and volunteers will be provided with full PPE. We have conducted a number of events since August 2020 and racing has returned safely and sustainably.

Things that can remain close to or the same as a ‘regular’ SDW50 (this is our eighth edition of the race):

  • Start and Finish
  • Number of check points
  • Medical support
  • Number of volunteers
  • Number of staff
  • Timing system
  • Course Marking
  • Course Sweeping
  • Crew Support and Access 
  • Overall timings and cut offs
  • UK Athletics Permit
  • Full Race Insurance

We must accept that for the time being, racing in the traditional sense with a mass start and regular aid stations is not going to be possible - UKA permit guidelines dictate that mass starts are not permitted. But with the following adaptations to our regular event weekend, we can mitigate for the risks concerned whilst delivering a great race weekend with as much of the traditional framework maintained as possible. Long distance trail races are by their very nature, largely self supported endeavours travelled solo or in a pair at relatively slow speeds. Therefore many of the traditional ‘issues’ of mass participation or road events are completely removed.

Ultimately the safest way for a runner to take part in this event, is to arrive at the start line ready to run with their bib on which has been posted out to them in advance, having been dropped off by a member of their household. To run the course with their full mandatory kit and a supply of water and race nutrition on their person, topping up from the crew person(s) at all the crew access points. To complete the course, collect their awards and to travel home with their crew.

But of course we are still able to cater for the runner who is alone and needs support from us as organisers.

We expect approximately 300 - 350 starters.

The following articles are where the 2020 SDW50 has additional or adapted protocols specifically to reduce the risk of transmission. All must be adhered to and should be looked at as an extension of the regular race rules. All of the usual race information applies, these items are in addition to that information:

Two overriding principals apply:

Social distancing along government guidelines is mandatory and entirely possible at every stage of event weekend. Runners, volunteers, crews, staff and pacers should all maintain social distancing at all times.

Gatherings of runners/ volunteers or any groups should be kept to a minimum.

PRE RACE

If any runner, crew, pacer, volunteer or staff member has had any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to race day then they must not attend the event.

Runners are limited to a maximum of 2 crew people and/or 2 vehicles at any one time on course. Eg. Runner may have two members from their household/ bubble in one vehicle, or two separate crew people each driving one vehicle each.

Runners must provide in advance of race day the name, email address and phone number of any person who is crewing during the event - such that if an infection is reported post race, we can hear from them or contact them immediately depending on circumstances.

Spectators are asked not to attend the race anywhere on course, at any time.

Runners must ensure their medical details and postal address are up to date on the race director registration system.

RACE REGISTRATION

Runners will not need to register on race day itself. All bib numbers with timing chips attached will be posted out prior to the race.

Race Registration will not be available on Saturday at all, only on Sunday morning.

Registration will still be available at Hill Barn Recreation Ground/ Worthing College for bag drop, toilets or emergency bib collection (if a runner forgets or did not receive his or her bib). Runners must only attend registration if they have to, and should make plans to move directly from there to the start to begin their race. Changing and showers are not available.

There will be no kit check prior to the start, runners must have all mandatory equipment  on them at all times as per the normal race rules. Random kit checks will be carried out on course as usual by staff in full PPE.

No spectators or crew may attend the start. They must drop their runner and move immediately on from the area.

Bag drop: Queue for bag drop (finish and checkpoint drop bags) will be socially distanced and marshalled. Bags must be pre-labelled prior to arrival. Bags will be handled by volunteer or staff in PPE but bags will be placed against other bags and therefore runners should sanitise hands before and after collection.

Toilets: Will be kept clean and sanitised

There will be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing will be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start.

Start: There will be a rolling start. Runners may start any time between 0600 and 0830. If runners miss the 0830 start they may not start the race. Runners may not start before 0600 as the timing system will not be set up before then.

Runners may start whenever they wish between 0600 and 0830 but we ask you to be as honest with your projected finish time as you can be and aim for the following approximate starting windows:

  • 11hr30-13hr: 0800-0830
  • 10hr - 11hr: 0720-0800
  • 9hr - 10hr: 0640-0720
  • Sub 9hr:         0600-0640

All runners will have their temperature checked at the start from a socially distanced volunteer or staff in full PPE/ face shield -  via a temperature gun. Runners exhibiting temps above 37.8C will not be permitted to start. Runners should expect not to wait at the start for any reason, just to walk up, have their temperature taken and begin their race immediately. When runners cross the timing mat their time will begin and they will have 13 hours maximum to complete the event from the time they cross the mat.

Runners can start with or run with other runners in the event, but only in groups up to 6 maximum and must maintain social distancing at all times. Marshals will ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the start area. Solo runners can begin within intervals of 20 seconds of one another. Pairs or Groups will need to leave 30 seconds after the previous runner/ runners. The trail is wide from the start with plenty of room for groups to pass one another and other trail users whilst maintaining social distance if overtaking. Start times of 0600-0830 mean a quiet time of day on the trail in general regards other users. 

Runners are asked please keep group sizes to a minimum out on the trail to make as much space as possible for other trail users.

IN RACE

Gates and stiles: Runners should not touch any gate or stile with uncovered hands eg. wear gloves or cover hands with sleeves to use.

Markings: Will be laid out as normal. Volunteers and staff laying markings will wear gloves/ appropriate PPE for the duration. Marking will be labelled with stickers detailing that volunteers have laid markings whilst wearing PPE/ Gloves. 

Masks/ PPE: Any indoor location you visit, you must wear a mask. We will have disposable masks available at the entrance to all indoor checkpoints but of course if runners have their own they should bring them. Runners will not be permitted in any indoor location without a mask on.

Staff/ Volunteers are to wear PPE at all times indoors and/ or when performing duties in or outdoors. 

Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint will be split into two or three mini check points with access to liquid in up to six places to speed up the process. Arriving at the checkpoint, runners may just run past making sure their time is recorded by the timing beacon, or head into the tent/ hall. A staked funnel with social distancing imposed will be laid out for runners coming to use the aid. All runners must use sanitiser as they enter a checkpoint. If any of 3 mini checkpoints are empty, then a runner can come straight in. The checkpoints will be 3 tables set out length ways, with one volunteer managing each table. Runners will top up their bottles from the drinks provided and take any food that they need. One volunteer will marshal the entry process into the checkpoint/ sanitiser use and ensure no gathering in the check point area. Runners will take fluid and nutrition, then sanitise their hands again before moving out of the checkpoint on down the course.

Runners will serve themselves drinks, including refilling bottles and bladders. The normal three fluid options will be provided: Water, Tailwind and Coke/ Pepsi. All food will be served in single serve packets only (once again hands are to be sanitised on the way in and out of every check point). The minimum food provided at every check point will be (single serve packets/ items):

  • Cut Up banana
  • Satsumas
  • Sweets
  • Chocolate
  • Sausage Rolls
  • Mini Malt Loaf/ Cake Bars
  • Crisps
  • Mini Cheese/ Babybel
  • Gu Energy Gel Packets
  • Tailwind
  • Coke/ Pepsi
  • Water

Hot Drinks: The check points providing hot water are unchanged. Runners will be given packeted milk, tea bags, coffee and sugar with wooden stirrers to make their hot drink in the hot cup that they bring as part of their mandatory kit as usual.

There will be no hot food anywhere on course apart from the finish.

All of our sweepers will wear PPE/ gloves. Markings will be deposited at check points on arrival in bin bags and tied up.

Minibus: The sweeper minibus will operate as normal, our regular 17 seater bus. The maximum capacity of that bus will be 8 people including the driver to ensure social distancing and windows will be open as far as practical. The bus will be wiped down and sanitised after each use. Runners using the sweeper bus should wear a mask whilst on board. The driver will wear a mask whilst driving the vehicle.

Cut offs: Are as per normal - but are not fixed times during the rolling start. Any runner that misses a cut off will be informed at that check point or at worst, the following checkpoint if they are missed initially. Runners must stay within the relative cut offs for each check point. 

The medical team will operate a “Non” Standby at Aid Stations policy, but will attend when called in.  Ambulance Crews will be attending every incident in a minimum of Level 2 PPE (Gloves, Mask, Apron, Eye Protection) and reserves the right to pull anyone suspected of exhibiting Covid-19 Symptoms from the race with immediate effect. Where a runner, volunteer or crew exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms on race day, they are to be isolated from all other participants.  They will then need to be returned to “Home” to self isolate and arrange a swab test. 

Logistics vehicles: There will be full provision of wipes and sanitiser and spray in each vehicle. 

General Public/ Other trail users: As always, runners should give way to other trail users and be especially courteous when passing walkers, bikers and riders. To make sure to maintain social distancing when passing any other user and particularly through pinch points on narrow trail or through gates and stiles to stand well back where appropriate and allow others to pass safely and at distance.

FINISH

Award collection: Awards will be laid out on tables for collection by each runner

Provision of hand sanitizer will be available at all stages, the finish, the food and the drop bag collection areas.

Photographer will operate as normal, but socially distanced.

Food and Drink will be in single serve packs: Hot drinks, hot water, basic single serve supplies. Takeaway hot dog or veggie dog will be provided, pre wrapped and prepared.

Runners must take immediate onward transport with crew, family, friends or taxi to hotel/ home. 

No Changing or showers are available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly. 

POST RACE

Any runner, crew or volunteer must contact us if they show any Covid-19 symptoms within 7 days of the race. 

If there is any reported transmission or risk of transmission post race then all parties with any possible risk will be contacted.

10 Sep 20 by James Elson

2020 CW50 Preview

The first 50 mile event of the season takes place this coming weekend, our fifth annual Chiltern Wonderland 50. The course is a loop starting and finishing in Goring On Thames and has quickly become a firm favourite with our community. The trails traverse beautiful rolling hills and valleys, visiting small hamlets and villages scattered around the Chiltern landscape. The trails are quiet and feel remote for how central they are - all of this led to the race title 'Wonderland'!

The weather forecast looks close to ideal, much as for the Thames Path 100 last weekend. A low at the start of 11 degrees, rising to 18. The trails are dry and fast. And with the cast of athletes on the start list, it may prove to be an exciting race to say the least. We welcome back three past champions of this event including both the mens and womens course record holders. Plus over half a dozen previous Centurion event winners as well as some exciting new protagonists.

WOMEN

Amy White: Amy is the returning champion from 2018 and the course record holder. In the four ultras she has run she has two wins and two second places: Race to the King, Race to the Tower and Wendover Woods 50. 

Amy White, 2018 Champion and Course Record Holder

Alice Hector: Alice won our second North Downs Way 100 back in 2012 in her early foray into ultrarunning. She then went back to triathlon full time and competed as a professional for many years. She has finished on the podium in many pro triathlon events including Ironman 70.3 and full Iron distance events. She is just coming back to ultras and it will be great to see her back on the trails once again.

Laura Swanton: Laura has been one of the most consistent performers in ultras in recent years. She was our 2018 Grand Slam champion, finishing 3rd, 2nd twice and 1st in her four events that year. A previous champion at the Arc of Attrition, she was second there earlier this year in her only other 2020 race to date. 

Laura Swanton running at the A100 in 2018 on a section of the course shared with the CW50

Charley Jennings: Charley has twice finished our 50 mile Grand Slam, winning it in 2017. In that year she was also just one second behind winner Rachel Fawcett at this event as the two crossed the line. She has also won the HARP 24hr three times.

Karen Hacker: Karen was last years NDW100 champion and has finished on the podium at Wendover Woods 50 and all three Threshold Sports 'Race to the...' events. 

Kit-Yi Greene: Another really consistent runner, Kit-Yi has finished in the top five at all nine of the ultras she has finished. Her bests include wins at Norfolk 100km and Peddars Way and a third at the TP100 in 2018.

 

MEN

Jon Ellis: Jon is quite simply the most consistent high level performer at our 50 mile events. He is the course record holder here and at the NDW50. He has run this race twice before and his record breaking year in 2017 saw him set a seemingly untouchable Grand Slam 50 record of 27:31, winning three of the four events along the way. The only one missing, Wendover Woods 50, he came back and won at the end of last year. He has tried his hand at some longer stuff along the way, but it's fair to say with his natural speed and ability to pace over hilly trail, this race is right in his wheel house. He is in great shape and will be a hard man to beat.

Two-time CW50 and Grand Slam 50 record holder Jon Ellis returns to this event looking for a hat trick

Ed Knudsen: Ed won the event last year in a storming 6:34, which puts him second on the all time list behind only Jon. He has also finished second at the NDW50 and twice won the Marlborough Downs Challenge 33 amongst others.

2019 CW50 Champion Ed Knudsen returns to try to make it two in a row

Rob Corney: Rob is one of the fastest marathoners we have ever had enter one of our events. With a best of 2:19 at Brighton last year, he has also won the Windermere Marathon outright. Ultra wise, the only result seems to be a win at the Snowdonia Trail Ultra 60km in 2018. He is relatively local and could be a very exciting prospect on the day.

Benjamin Parkes: Our 2019 SDW50 champion and screaming fast 2:26 marathoner, we did list him in the preview for last weekends TP100 where he was also an entrant but he didn't start there, perhaps saving it for this one or perhaps just taking time out from racing. He may or may not be a contender this time.

2 Sep 20 by James Elson

TP100 2020 Preview

Our 2020 season continues this coming Saturday with our second event of the year, the postponed Thames Path 100, what will be ninth edition of the race. Usually slated for the first weekend in May, this one comes four weeks after what was eventually our season opener on the North Downs Way - a blistering hot day which saw many casualties and a low fnish rate. Remaining Grand Slammers will be hoping that conditions are far kinder this weekend!

With all of the continued covid-19 risk mitigation and the conditions of current UK Athletics Race Permits, the race will take place under a time trial format, with a rolling start between 0730 and 0930 on the day. This does not change the overall cut off of the event at 28 hours, but does of course impact racing. Faster runners are asked to start earlier to generate the greatest possible spread of athletes and reduce congestion at the earlier check points, but it does rely on honesty. That worked really well at the NDW100 and we hope runners will be as realistic with their time goals here. 

You can read more about our covid-19 risk mitigation and what the runners can expect on the day, by clicking here.

There are some super athletes in both the mens and womens events this year. Some returning champions and those who are hoping to push them hard for podium places this time out. 

MENS FIELD

Geoff Cheshire: Geoff has been the victor of our Chiltern Wonderland 50 as well as Race to the Stones in years past. Last year his 14:31 at the Autumn 100 for second place catapulted him to the next level. He was fired up for that one as a result of having led the SDW100 earlier that year for vast portions of the race before capitulating just 4 miles from the finish. A regular course marker for us, we are always grateful to him for his help in getting our events in general, to happen safely and smoothly.

Geoff Cheshire runs home to win the 2018 CW50

Ben Parkes: Ben is by far the quickest runner in the field on paper. His marathon PB of 2:25 is screaming fast. In 2017 he ran and finished the Thames Path 100 in 22:42 but it's probably safe to say that one was more about the experience and the finish. He has since gone on to win our SDW50 in 2019, in 6:35. It will be fascinating to see what he can deliver here.

Ben Parkes running to victory at least years SDW50

Russell Arnold: Russ is another man who is good on the flat and fast courses. He led the 2018 Autumn 100 until the dying miles when he was passed by James Williams. He went on to take second in 15:29. Later last year he ran a solid 217km in 24hrs at Barcelona.

Ed Catmur: The man that has done it all, he isn't quite on the same level he was several years ago but we have recently seen glimpses of the old Ed magic. He led at the NDW100 for the first third of the race before dropping back. He always gets a mention as a past champion here and at the NDW100 and Autumn 100.

Martin Johnson: Martin was the fastest finisher (on foot) of the 100 mile One Community virtual race distance, in 16:37. Last year he picked up 6th at the Autumn 100 in 17:18 on his debut.

Martin Johnson in action at the 2019 Autumn 100

Vince Darley: Vince shocked himself, by stepping up onto the podium at the NDW100 last month. Can he reproduce some more magic here....

WOMENS FIELD 

Sam Amend: Sam is one of the most experienced and consistent high performing elite athletes over long distances in recent years. Her marathoning background is frankly staggering, with an All Time PB of 2:42 she has broken 3 hours every year since 2009. Into the longer distances, she has won numerous ultras, both in terms of the womens fields and outright. British 100km champion in 7:53 in 2018, she ran her way into a GB vest with that performance. She has also received a call up to represent GB at 24hrs thanks to a best of 220km and has represented GB over 50km with a best of 3:28. Sam won the Thames Path 100 back in 2016 but has way more experience now at the longer distances and is quite sure to be looking to better that substantially here.

Sam won this event in 16:00 in 2016

Zoe Salt: Zoe has enjoyed a long period of impressive results both in the UK and abroad. Here, she has won the Ultra Tour of the Peak District and Country to Capital whilst finishing on the podium at rougher, tougher events like the Lakes Sky Ultra. Internationally she has finished 3rd at the MDS, 13th at Transvulcania and has won the Iznik Ultra. Last year she finished 9th at TDG. Clearly keen to try her hand at ultras of all varieties she will be one to watch here.

Michelle Maxwell: Michelle ran home winner of the NDW50 in 2017 in 8:24. She also has a win at the Beacons ultra and the Jurrassic Quarter to her name and last year finished 2nd at the SDW100 in 19:31. 

Michelle Maxwell runs the NDW50 in 2017

Isobel Cairns: Isobel has a 2nd at Glasgow to Edinburgh, a 1st at Flitch Way 100km and two finishes at the Berlin Wall 100 to her name.

Allie Bailey: Allie finished 5th at the NDW100 coming in far from rested. She is running the Grand Slam this year and is improving all the time. She may just surprise herself here.

The 2020 Autumn 100 is scheduled to take place over the weekend of 10th-11th October. Whilst continuing to monitor all possible information, our intention is to organise this race and to do so in the safest possible manner. We have looked extensively at every single aspect of event weekend and the plan below goes as far as possible to reduce risk of transmission as possible.

Ultimately the event can be conducted safely, within government guidelines, almost entirely outdoors and with social distancing possible at all stages. All staff and volunteers will be provided with full PPE.

Things that can remain close to or the same as a ‘regular’ Autumn 100 (this is our ninth edition of the race):

  • Start and Finish
  • Number of check points
  • Medical support
  • Number of volunteers
  • Number of staff
  • Timing system
  • Course Marking
  • Course Sweeping
  • Pacer Access 
  • Overall timings and cut offs
  • Full Insurance
  • UKA Permit

We must accept that for the time being, racing in the traditional sense with a mass start and regular aid stations is not going to be possible - UKA permit guidelines dictate that mass starts are not permitted. But with the following adaptations to our regular event weekend, we can mitigate for the risks concerned, whilst delivering a great race weekend with as much of the traditional framework maintained as possible. Long distance trail races are by their very nature, largely self supported endeavours travelled solo or in a pair at relatively slow speeds. Therefore many of the traditional ‘issues’ of mass participation or road events are completely removed.

We expect approximately 240 starters and for there to be approximately 170 finishers.

The following articles are where the 2020 A100 has additional or adapted protocols specifically to reduce the risk of transmission. All must be adhered to and should be looked at as an extension of the regular race rules. All of the usual race information applies, these items are in addition to that information:

Two overriding principals apply:

  • Social distancing along government guidelines is mandatory and entirely possible at every stage of event weekend. Runners, volunteers, staff and pacers should all maintain social distancing at all times.

  • Gatherings of runners/ volunteers or any groups should be kept to a minimum.

PRE RACE

  • If any runner, pacer, volunteer or staff member has had any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to race day then they must not attend the event.

  • Runners are not permitted crews at this event - that is not a rule change but a stipulation from 2019.

  • Runners are permitted one pacer, from mile 75 to mile 100. That pacer must cover the entire 25 miles with the runner and may not start or stop anywhere other than Goring, race HQ.

  • Runners must provide in advance of race day the name, email address and phone number of any person who is pacing during the event - such that if an infection is reported post race, we can hear from them or contact them immediately depending on circumstances.

  • Spectators are asked not to attend the race anywhere on course.

  • Runners must ensure their medical details and postal address are up to date on the race director registration system.

RACE REGISTRATION

  • Runners will not need to register on race day itself. All bib numbers with timing chips attached will be posted out prior to the race.

  • Registration will still be available at Goring Village Hall for bag drop, toilets, emergency bib collection (if a runner forgets or did not receive his or her bib). Runners must only attend registration if they have to, and should make plans to move directly from there to the start to begin their race. Changing and showers are not available.
  • There will be no kit check prior to the start, runners must have all mandatory equipment on you at all times as per the normal race rules. Random kit checks will be carried out on course as usual by staff in full PPE.
  • Bag drop: Queue for bag drop (finish and checkpoint drop bags) will be socially distanced and marshalled. Bags must be pre-labelled prior to arrival. Bags will be handled by volunteer or staff in PPE but bags will be placed against other bags and therefore runners should sanitise hands before and after collection.

  • Toilets: Will be kept clean and sanitised

  • There will be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing will be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start.
  • Runners may start whenever they wish between 0630 and 0900 but we ask you to be as honest with your projected finish time as you can be and aim for the following approximate starting windows:

  • Start: There will be a rolling start. Runners may start any time between 0630 and 0900. If runners miss the 0900 start they may not start the race. Runners may not start before 0630 as the timing system will not be set up before then.

  • Final Start time: 0900
  • 26-28hr: 0800-0830
  • 24-26hr: 0730-0800
  • 22-24hr: 0700- 0730
  • Sub 22hr: 0630-0700

  • All runners will have their temperature checked at the start from a socially distanced volunteer or staff in full PPE/ face shield - via a temperature gun. Runners exhibiting temps above 37.8C will not be permitted to start. Runners should expect not to wait at the start for any reason, just to walk up, have their temperature taken and begin their race immediately. When runners cross the timing mat their time will begin and they will have 28 hours maximum to complete the event from the time they cross the mat.

  • Runners can start with or run with other runners in the event, but only in groups up to 6 maximum and must maintain social distancing at all times. Marshals will ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the start area. Solo runners can begin within intervals of 30 seconds of one another. Pairs or Groups will need to leave 60 seconds after the previous runner/ runners. The trail is wide from the start with plenty of room for groups to pass one another and other trail users whilst maintaining social distance if overtaking.

  • Runners are asked please keep group sizes to a minimum out on the trail to make as much space as possible for other trail users, particularly on this out and back course.
  • No Spectators , pacers or crew will be permitted at the start except to drop a runner off.

 IN RACE

  • Gates and stiles: Runners should not touch any gate or stile with uncovered hands eg. wear gloves or cover hands with sleeves to use. If touching gates or stiles with uncovered hands, to use sanitiser before and after.
  • Markings: Will be laid out as normal. Volunteers and staff laying markings will wear appropriate PPE where necessary.
  • Masks/ PPE: Any indoor location you visit, you must wear a mask. We will have disposable masks available at the entrance to all indoor checkpoints but runners should bring their own - a buff will suffice. Runners will not be permitted in any indoor location without a mask on.
  • Staff/ Volunteers are to wear PPE (gloves and masks) at all times indoors and/ or when performing duties in or outdoors. 
  • Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint will be split into two or three mini check points. Arriving at the checkpoint, runners may just run past making sure their time is recorded by the timing beacon, or head into the tent/ hall. A staked funnel with social distancing imposed will be laid out for runners coming to use the aid. All runners must use sanitiser as they enter a checkpoint. If any of 2 or 3 mini checkpoints are empty, then a runner can come straight in. The checkpoints will be tables set out length ways, with one volunteer managing each table. Runners will top up their bottles from the drinks provided and take any food that they need. One volunteer will marshal the entry process into the checkpoint/ sanitiser use and ensure no gathering in the check point area. Runners will take fluid and nutrition, then sanitise their hands again before moving out of the checkpoint on down the course.

  • Race HQ: One unique part of the Autumn 100 is that runners return to race HQ at Goring every 25 miles. Clearly that creates a major area of congestion and the biggest challenge of the race from a social distancing/ gathering stand point. There will be a one way system in operation at the Village Hall to use the entire of the available space, this has been appraised and set up in conjunction with the Hall managers. On arriving at the Village Hall, runners will proceeed down the alleyway to the right of the building when facing it. And through the gate into the substantial walled garden area to the rear of the building. The walled garden will be set up as a fully functioning aid station, with tented areas for food, drinks and hot drinks. Drop Bags will be stored there and/or in the Garden Room to the rear of the hall, and accessible to runners as they come in. Runners may then proceed to the toilets inside, or to the main hall area in a one way system, before exiting via the front doors. 
  • Runners will serve themselves drinks, including refilling bottles and bladders. The normal three fluid options will be provided: Water, Tailwind and Coke/ Pepsi. All food will be served in single serve packets only (once again hands are to be sanitised on the way in and out of every check point). The minimum food provided at every check point will be (single serve packets/ items):
  • Cut Up banana
  • Satsumas
  • Sweets
  • Chocolate
  • Crisps
  • Savoury Snacks such as sausage rolls
  • Malt loaf or cake bars
  • Mini Cheese/ Babybel
  • Gu Energy Gel Packets
  • Tailwind
  • Coke/ Pepsi
  • Water
  • Hot Drinks: The check points providing hot water are unchanged. Runners will be given packeted milk, tea bags, coffee and sugar with wooden stirrers to make their hot drink in the hot cup that they bring as part of their mandatory kit as usual.
  • There will be no hot food anywhere on course apart from the finish.
  • All of our sweepers will wear PPE/ gloves. Markings will be deposited at check points on arrival in bin bags and tied up.
  • Minibus: The sweeper minibus will operate as normal, our regular 17 seater bus. The maximum capacity of that bus will be 8 people including the driver to ensure social distancing and windows will be open as far as practical. The bus will be wiped down and sanitised after each use. Runners using the sweeper bus must wear a mask whilst on board. The driver will wear a mask whilst driving the vehicle.
  • Cut offs: Are as per normal - but are not fixed times during the rolling start. Any runner that misses a cut off will be informed at that check point or at worst, the following checkpoint if they are missed initially. Runners must stay within their relative cut offs for each check point.
  • The medical team will operate a “Non” Standby at Aid Stations policy, but will attend when called in. Ambulance Crews will be attending every incident in a minimum of Level 2 PPE (Gloves, Mask, Apron, Eye Protection) and reserves the right to pull anyone suspected of exhibiting Covid-19 Symptoms from the race with immediate effect. Where a runner, volunteer or crew exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms on race day, they are to be isolated from all other participants. They will then need to be returned to “Home” to self isolate and arrange a swab test.
  • Logistics vehicles: There will be full provision of wipes and sanitiser and spray in each vehicle. 

  • General Public/ Other trail users: As always, runners should give way AT ALL TIMES to other trail users and be especially courteous when passing walkers, bikers and riders. To make sure to maintain social distancing when passing any other user and particularly through pinch points on narrow trail or through gates and stiles to stand well back where appropriate and allow others to pass safely and at distance.

FINISH

  • Runners will be encouraged to move on as soon as possible from the finish line, unless medical attention is required. A static medical team will work the finish as usual.

  • Award collection: Awards will be laid out on tables for collection by each runner

  • Provision of hand sanitizer will be available at all stages, the finish, the food and the drop bag collection areas.

  • Photographer will operate as normal, but socially distanced.

  • Food and Drink will be in single serve packs: Hot drinks, hot water, basic single serve supplies. Takeaway hot dog or veggie dog will be provided, pre wrapped and prepared.

  • Runners must take immediate onward transport with family, friends or taxi to hotel/ home. 

  • No Changing or showers are available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly. 

POST RACE

  • Any runner, pacer, staff member or volunteer must contact us if they show any Covid-19 symptoms within 7 days of the race. 

  • If there is any reported transmission or risk of transmission post race then all parties with any possible risk will be contacted.

The 2020 Chiltern Wonderland 50 is scheduled to take place on Saturday 12th September. Whilst continuing to monitor all possible information, our intention is to organise this race and to do so in the safest possible manner. We have looked extensively at every single aspect of event weekend and the plan below goes as far as possible to reduce risk of transmission as possible.

Ultimately the event can be conducted safely, within government guidelines, almost entirely outdoors and with social distancing possible at all stages. All staff and volunteers will be provided with full PPE.

Things that can remain close to or the same as a ‘regular’ CW50:

  • Start and Finish
  • Number of check points
  • Medical support
  • Number of volunteers
  • Number of staff
  • Timing system
  • Course Marking
  • Course Sweeping
  • Overall timings and cut offs

We must accept that for the time being, racing in the traditional sense with a mass start and regular aid stations is not going to be possible - UKA permit guidelines dictate that mass starts are not permitted. But with the following adaptations to our regular event weekend, we can mitigate for the risks concerned whilst delivering a great race weekend with as much of the traditional framework maintained as possible. Long distance trail races are by their very nature, largely self supported endeavours travelled solo or in a pair at relatively slow speeds. Therefore many of the traditional ‘issues’ of mass participation or road events are completely removed.

We expect approximately 230 starters and for there to be approximately 210 finishers.

The following articles are where the 2020 CW50 has additional or adapted protocols specifically to reduce the risk of transmission. All must be adhered to and should be looked at as an extension of the regular race rules. All of the usual race information applies, these items are in addition to that information:

Two overriding principals apply:

  • Social distancing along government guidelines is mandatory and entirely possible at every stage of event weekend. Runners, volunteers, crews, staff and pacers should all maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Gatherings of runners/ volunteers or any groups should be kept to a minimum.

PRE RACE

  • If any runner, volunteer or staff member has had any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to race day then they must not attend the event.
  • Spectators are asked not to attend the race anywhere on course.
  • Runners must ensure their medical details and postal address are up to date on the race director registration system.

RACE REGISTRATION

  • Runners will not need to register on race day itself. All bib numbers with timing chips attached will be posted out prior to the race.
  • Registration will still be available at Goring Village Hall for bag drop, toilets, emergency bib collection (if a runner forgets or did not receive his or her bib) and pre-purchase store collections. Runners must only attend registration if they have to, and should make plans to move directly from there to the start to begin their race.
  • There will be no kit check prior to the start, runners must have all mandatory equipment  on you at all times as per the normal race rules. Random kit checks will be carried out on course as usual by staff in full PPE.
  • Bag drop: Queue for bag drop (finish bags) will be socially distanced and marshalled. Bags must be pre-labelled prior to arrival. Bags will be handled by volunteer or staff in PPE but bags will be placed against other bags and therefore runners should sanitise hands before and after collection.
  • Toilets: Will be kept clean and sanitised
  • There will be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing will be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start.
  • Start: There will be a rolling start. Runners may start any time between 0630 and 0830. If runners miss the 0830 start they may not start the race. Runners may not start before 0630 as the timing system will not be set up before then.
  • Runners may start whenever they wish between 0630 and 0830 but we ask you to be as honest with your projected finish time as you can be and aim for the following approximate starting windows: 
  • 11hr30 - 13hr: 0800- 0830
  • 10hr30 - 11hr30 : 0730-0800
  • 9hr - 10hr30 : 0700-0730
  • Sub 9hr: 0630-0700
  • All runners will have their temperature checked at the start from a socially distanced volunteer or staff in full PPE/ face shield -  via a temperature gun. Runners exhibiting temps above 37.8C will not be permitted to start. Runners should expect not to wait at the start for any reason, just to walk up, have their temperature taken and begin their race immediately. When runners cross the timing mat their time will begin and they will have 13 hours maximum to complete the event from the time they cross the mat.
  • Runners can start with or run with other runners in the event, but only in groups up to 6 maximum and must maintain social distancing at all times. Marshals will ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the start area. Solo runners can begin within intervals of 30 seconds of one another. Pairs or Groups will need to leave 60 seconds after the previous runner/ runners. The trail is wide from the start with plenty of room for groups to pass one another and other trail users whilst maintaining social distance if overtaking. Start times of 0630-0830 mean a quiet time of day on the trail in general regards other users. 
  • Runners are asked please keep group sizes to a minimum out on the trail to make as much space as possible for other trail users.
  • No Spectators will be permitted at the start except to drop a runner off.

 IN RACE

  • Gates and stiles: Runners should not touch any gate or stile with uncovered hands eg. wear gloves or cover hands with sleeves to use.
  • Markings: Will be laid out as normal. Volunteers and staff laying markings will wear gloves/ appropriate PPE for the duration. Marking will be labelled with stickers detailing that volunteers have laid markings whilst wearing PPE/ Gloves. 
  • Masks/ PPE: Any indoor location you visit, you must wear a mask. We will have disposable masks available at the entrance to all indoor checkpoints but of course if runners have their own they should bring them. Runners will not be permitted in any indoor location without a mask on.
  • Staff/ Volunteers are to wear PPE at all times indoors and/ or when performing duties in or outdoors. 
  • Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint will be split into two or three mini check points. Arriving at the checkpoint, runners may just run past making sure their time is recorded by the timing beacon, or head into the tent/ hall. A staked funnel with social distancing imposed will be laid out for runners coming to use the aid. All runners must use sanitiser as they enter a checkpoint. If any of 3 mini checkpoints are empty, then a  runner can come straight in. The checkpoints will be 3 tables set out length ways, with one volunteer managing each table. Runners will top up their bottles from the drinks provided and take any food that they need. One volunteer will marshal the entry process into the checkpoint/ sanitiser use and ensure no gathering in the check point area. Runners will take fluid and nutrition, then sanitise their hands again before moving out of the checkpoint on down the course.
  • Runners will serve themselves drinks, including refilling bottles and bladders. The normal three fluid options will be provided: Water, Tailwind and Coke/ Pepsi. All food will be served in single serve packets only (once again hands are to be sanitised on the way in and out of every check point). The food provided at every check point will be (single serve packets/ items):
  • Cut Up banana
  • Satsumas
  • Sweets
  • Chocolate
  • Crisps
  • Mini Cheese/ Babybel
  • Gu Energy Gel Packets
  • Tailwind
  • Coke/ Pepsi
  • Water
  • All of our sweepers will wear PPE/ gloves. Markings will be deposited at check points on arrival in bin bags and tied up.
  • Minibus: The sweeper minibus will operate as normal, our regular 17 seater bus. The maximum capacity of that bus will be 8 people including the driver to ensure social distancing and windows will be open as far as practical. The bus will be wiped down and sanitised after each use. Runners using the sweeper bus should wear a mask whilst on board. The driver will wear a mask whilst driving the vehicle.
  • Cut offs: Are as per normal - but are not fixed times during the rolling start. Any runner that misses a cut off will be informed at that check point or at worst, the following checkpoint if they are missed initially. Runners must stay within the relative cut offs for each check point. (eg runner starts at 0730, and arrives at Tokers Green at 1030. The regular cut off there is 1110, but as the runner started at 0730 their cut off there is 1010, so they will be withdrawn at 1010 or later.
  • The medical team will operate a “Non” Standby at Aid Stations policy, but will attend when called in.  Ambulance Crews will be attending every incident in a minimum of Level 2 PPE (Gloves, Mask, Apron, Eye Protection) and reserves the right to pull anyone suspected of exhibiting Covid-19 Symptoms from the race with immediate effect. Where a runner, volunteer or crew exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms on race day, they are to be isolated from all other participants.  They will then need to be returned to “Home” to self isolate and arrange a swab test.   We may need to consider this for people who have used public transport to get to the event (they won’t be able to use public transport to return home). Those who have driven themselves to the event can be returned to their car by the Ambulance and given instructions to return home immediately for isolation.
  • Logistics vehicles: There will be full provision of wipes and sanitiser and spray in each vehicle. 
  • General Public/ Other trail users: As always, runners should give way to other trail users and be especially courteous when passing walkers, bikers and riders. To make sure to maintain social distancing when passing any other user and particularly through pinch points on narrow trail or through gates and stiles to stand well back where appropriate and allow others to pass safely and at distance.

FINISH

  • Runners will be encouraged to move on as soon as possible from the finish line, unless medical attention is required. A static medical team will work the finish as usual. 
  • Award collection: Awards will be laid out on tables for collection by each runner
  • Provision of hand sanitizer will be available at all stages, the finish, the food and the drop bag collection areas.
  • Photographer will operate as normal, but socially distanced.
  • Food and Drink will be in single serve packs: Hot drinks, hot water, basic single serve supplies. Takeaway hot dog or veggie dog will be provided, pre wrapped and prepared.
  • Runners must take immediate onward transport to hotel/ home. 
  • No Changing or showers are available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly. 

POST RACE

  • Any runner or volunteer must contact us if they show any Covid-19 symptoms within 7 days of the race. 
  • If there is any reported transmission or risk of transmission post race then all parties with any possible risk will be contacted.