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North Downs Way Marathon & Half Marathon

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A scenic summer run starting near the Reigate Hill Car Park in a small field adjacent to the North Downs Way. The course will follow the North Downs Way trail on an out / back route all the way to the Boxhill lookout point, the course will be one out and back lap for the half marathon and two out and back laps for the marathon.The trail is undulating and varied throughout with some lovely scenery along the way too. Course conditions and the weather at this time of the year can be warm so this will be a challenging trail run, with a unique horse brass medal to reward all finishers.

Review summary

12 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Graham W
"Great event, tough hilly route. I did go wrong twice by missing markers, once..."


Emma D
"A challenging course especially with this year’s weather. Well organised and..."


"It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Didn’t really realise it was a trail run..."
See all reviews

How to enter the North Downs Way Marathon & Half Marathon

  1. Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
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  2. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
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North Downs Way Marathon & Half Marathon routes

This is a hilly course which is not easy as there are some technical assents / descents and the trail conditions are variable in nature dependant on the weather, you can safely add on at least 1 hr – 1.5 hrs hour to your normal road marathon time. There will be a strictly enforced cut off time of 7.5 hrs, with a halfway cut off time of 3.30 hrs and you will be asked to withdraw from the race and transported back to the race HQ if you do not make this cut off time. You will experience a mixture of undulating trail interspersed with tree roots, some rocky sections and there can be muddy or sandy parts of the course too if it has been raining in the lead up to the event. When you approach Boxhill there are quite a number of stairs to climb both up and down so please exercise caution and run sensibly on these technical sections. As the temperatures at this time of the year can also be warm, attention to detail is vital and your sweat rates will increase due to the elevation of the course, so drinking little and often is advisable whilst also ensuring you keep your blood sugar levels well topped up by taking the Tailwind, High 5 Gels provided or food at the respective Check Points as these will be very well stocked. The half marathon course is not quite as technical and hilly as the full marathon, although there are still some steep assents / descents and challenging trails to contend with the overall cut off time for the half marathon will be 7 hrs with the cut off time at the halfway point which will be at the Boxhill lookout being 3.30 hrs. With both these cut offs please try and ensure that you manage your time well.

Event Details

What’s Included
  • Bespoke North Downs Rams head horse brass medal.
  • Winners’ trophies for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Male / Female runners for each event.
  • Race Director Chip Timing, free race certificate and net chip times sent directly to your mobile after the race.
  • Sports Action Photography with an option to purchase the race photo’s.
  • 3 Well stocked Aid Stations supplying Tailwind, Torq Energy, Chia Charge Bars, jelly babies, pretzels, bananas, coca cola, fruit cordial and water.
  • Cue Medical professional medical support through the race for all runners.
  • Free on-site parking on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Changing facilities and portable toilets
  • Pop-up bins
  • Marshals and clearly-marked course

Raceday Logistics

There is always a 10 minute mandatory pre-race briefing at the start just to talk though important race day facts including the course marking, to make you aware of any hazards, and to give you an overview of the course conditions. The race health and safety is also vitally important to a successful race day so please attend this briefing so you know what you need to do if you have any issues whatsoever.

The start time for the marathon will be at 9.00am sharp and race will start in a small field close to the Reigate Hill Car Park near the North Downs Way trail, which will be well signposted. The marathon route is a two lap out / back course which starts adjacent to the North Downs Way trail and traverses past the Betchworth Quarry out towards the Boxhill lookout point where the turnaround point will be.

The start time for the half marathon is 9.30am sharp, this route also starts in a small field adjacent to the Reigate Hill Car Park near the North Downs Way trail and the trail heads out along the same run route as the marathon traversing past the Betchworth Quarry out towards the Boxhill lookout turnaround point, then returning to the start. This sandy and rutted trail is challenging and there are some stunning views of the surrounding downs. It will be very well marked and marshalled throughout with well stocked check points.

The registration at the Bridge House Hotel, Reigate Hill, Reigate, Surrey RH2 9RP will be open from 7.00 am sharp, so we would suggest that you get there with plenty of time to spare in order to get changed and get your baggage secured in the designated conference room area. There will be tear off Tyvek baggage tags that correspond numerically with your colour coded race numbers on the day, so please ensure that these are tagged onto your bag when you hand your bag to the baggage marshal. When you collect your race bags you will need to show your race bib number for security purposes to collect it again. There is no liability for any loss of personal possessions but there will be someone in charge of the baggage.

Kit List
No mandatory kit is required, though it is highly recommended to bring a hydration pack or bottles that you can carry in order to ensure you are well hydrated throughout the event. Check the predicted weather forecast on BBC Weather, but a pre-race brief on the weather conditions expected will be sent out by the organiser to ensure that you bring along the right race apparel in advance of your race day. Trail shoes are recommended for this demanding route as conditions underfoot can be quite slippery and variable.

Will there be changing facilities and toilets?

There will be changing facilities in the tents outside the main hotel for male / female runners to change in and in addition there will be portable toilets situated on the main carpark outside the hotel. The Bridge House Hotel (Reigate) also has a few mens and ladies toilets inside the hotel for your use but please understand that your fellow runners may also require calls of nature pre-race too so be considerate.

Will there be marshals on the course?

There will be marshals all along the route especially at the road crossing, and at respective check points, please be courteous to all staff as they are there to help you and they volunteer their time to ensure you enjoy your day.

How will the course be marked?

The course will be marked with fixed Hermes Running pink / black chevron signage and pink ribbons on the throughout the North Downs Way run-route and in addition there will be fixed acorn signs denoting the North Downs Way. 'Caution Runner' pink / black signage will also be added on the road section approach to warn you and motorists but please take extra care with when crossing Pebblesdown road and watch out for approaching traffic, as this road crossing can be busy. There will be marshals stationed here too, to assist all our runners.

Where do I discard my litter?

There will be pop-up bins provided at all the check points for your plastic water cups or gel sachets to be discarded. You are urged not to discard any litter on the North Downs Way trail please, but to please use the bins provided. The marshals will take any litter from you too, so please just keep it on you until you get to a marshal, or use the bins provided at check points.

What if I have to drop out?

If you are feeling unwell and need to retire from the race, please contact David Ross 0798 4540177 or Phillip Howells 0780 226 0906. You can also inform a marshal or a first aider and they will pass on the message. Please on no account leave the course without informing someone of your whereabouts as your safety is the main priority. These contact numbers will be printed on the front of the race bib if needed and you are urged to complete your emergency contact information too at the back of your race bibs.

Will there be medical support on race day?

There will be qualified medics managed by Kevin Peach from Cue Medical providing professional medical support on race day. Your safety is of paramount importance and if you’re feeling unwell prior to or on race day you are advised not to run. If you have to retire from the race due to feeling unwell please ensure that you notify a medic or marshal so that you can be looked after. Emergency contact numbers are clearly displayed on your race bibs for this reason.

Will there be race photography?

Yes, the photography will be professionally done by Sports Action Photography and the photos will be available to purchase normally 48hrs after the race has taken place for a very reasonable cost.

Can MP3 players or iPods be used during the race?

No. The decision to ban the use of MP3 Players / iPod’s is in line with the UKA / BARR regulations as there are busy road crossing sections on all the courses and in addition there is a duty of care to maintain relationships with members of the public using these national trails too. Your heath and safety is of primary concern so please do not wear these devices, as you’ll be DQ’d if you contravene these rules.

Are there race permits and is it an official qualifying event for big events?

The race is fully TRA (Trail Running Association) and UKA (UK Athletics) permit certified, fully chip timed and the organisers have all the necessary indemnifications in place required for these to be officially recognised events. The marathon can be used for Good For Age (GFA) qualification for the London Marathon and as a pre-qualification event for the Comrades Ultra Marathon (South Africa).

Questions & answers

Get answers from our team or a member of our dedicated community.

What would you like to know about this event?
  • N

    Natalie K
    The North Downs Half Marathon - how many water stations will there be on the course please?


    Steph E
    Hey there, just to let you know that there are 3 water stations on the course, one at the Start / Finish, one at Pebblesdown Road and one at the Boxhill Lookout turnaround point the TP for the half / and marathon. All the stations are well stocked. All the best!
  • T

    Terry S
    Hi there, whats the cut off for the marathon?


    Steph E
    Hi there! The cut-off is 7.5 hours and all runners must be through the Halfway point by 3.5 hours. Hope this helps :)
  • T

    Terry S
    What is the cut off for the marathon? Sorry if I missed it somewhere.


    Steph E
    Hey there, just to ket you know there will be a strictly enforced cut off time of 7.5 hrs, with a halfway cut off time of 3.30 hrs and you will be asked to withdraw from the race and transported back to the race HQ if you do not make this cut off time. Best of luck!

North Downs Way Marathon & Half Marathon weather forecast

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows
IconLight breeze possible, up to 8mph

North Downs Way Marathon & Half Marathon reviews (12)

4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • S

    Sarah w

    Did the Marathon in 2019

    This was my first marathon! The weather and the hills made for a serious challenge. Everyone was lovely and very supportive, the course was marked well even with people tampering with signs. Aid station volunteers were fabulous! Love the Chia charge bars. Was tough but i made it and would love to come back again! Oh awesome medal too!
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Great route cracking atmosphere fantastic marshals who made sure I got to the first aid tent straight away after taking a nasty fall at mile 10 a few bruises an 5 stitches no doubt I’ll be back next year with some unfinished business
  • A

    Andrew S

    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Organisation was exceptional and the people who attended were extremely friendly and supportive. The course's biggest problem for me was the fact that it was single file in certain areas. As a result, you had to stop running and let people through in several areas because the course requires people to run back the same way they came. As we set out on the half we started to meet those who started the marathon running back into us and then by the time I was running back i was running in to people who were behind me in the half plus the front-runners of the marathon towards the end.
    Little side note - i bought the Hermes running shirt (medium) when i booked online. It is far too small (i have been a medium all my life) and i essentially can't wear it.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019


    Seriously, the terrain is insane.
    The guy I ran with said he'd like to meet whoever designed it and shake them warmly by the throat.
    Very little of this course is flat and some of it is so steep that it should be sponsored by Stannah.
    Trail shoes are essential.
    I'm very glad I did this but I'm not sure I'm up for it again.
    It was very well organised well excellent feed stations and lots of friendly people.
    There is a disappointed lack of finisher tshirts but an epic medal.
    The registration point is at a hotel we described as "hilariously grim".
    Poo early, there aren't many toilets.

  • P

    Phil J

    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Great organisation. Only slight issue was the no headphones rule, which I respect but might have liked to know about before signing up.
    Course is incredibly tough. I was very pleased I was doing the half as the full event would have killed me. There’s an immense satisfaction to completing it as it was so tough.
    A lot of fun. Good work Hermes!
  • A


    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Didn’t really realise it was a trail run when I booked it, or that it was for advanced runners... I got lost and ended up running an extra 3 km, fell over and got stung a lot by stinging nettles.... but overall it was a great experience! And the medal is just epic. A real workout! Thank you to all of the support on the day. I said I would never do it again but a day later I’m thinking about another trail run ha ha
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    A challenging course especially with this year’s weather. Well organised and the volunteers were amazing
  • W

    Warren H

    Did the Marathon in 2019

    Very tough one with tricky, technical descents and brutal ascents. not to mention those gnarly single tracks. However great day out, friendly atmosphere and good support on the course.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Great event, tough hilly route. I did go wrong twice by missing markers, once on the outward down a hill when I should have turned right up a hill and on the return - again down a hill I missed a turn to the left. I'd recommend having arrows at both sides of the path or perhaps a red 'warning' ribbon on a branch when there is a sharp turn because if you're running fast and concentrating on where your feet are landing on mostly uneven surfaces you can miss them. Apart from that it was great as were the volunteers and all the runners.
  • C


    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Had a great day. Really tough course. Only grip was the guys at the turn around let us run past it without calling us back, got to admit I wasn’t paying attention to where we were though. Fantastic medal.