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The Leith Hill Half

Run 21.1km
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A half marathon from Dorking to the top of the highest point in southeastern England - Leith Hill (and back). The Trionium Leith Hill Half was voted the Best Race in Britain in 2015 (Runner's Word, February 2016).

Leith Hill Half Marathon named as one of Britain's top three best half marathons in 2013 by runners voting at Runner's World.

Leith Hill Half Marathon named as England's top half marathon in 2012 by runners voting at Runner's World.

Leith Hill Half Marathon named as one of Britain's top three best half marathons in 2010 by runners voting at Runner's World.

Leith Hill Half Marathon named as one of Britain's top ten best races in 2009 by runners voting at Runner's World.

Leith Hill Half voted one of Britain's top five half marathons in 2008 (14th best race overall) by runners voting at Runner's World.

How to enter the The Leith Hill Half

  1. The Leith Hill Half

    Run 21.1km
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The Leith Hill Half route

Let’s get this straight… it’s an out-and-back: the first half is all uphill – the second half is not all downhill! Including 1836 feet of total ascent and 1836 feet of total descent.

Starting from the Nower, you proceed to the eastern end of the Nower ridge, climb up to the top and run along the crest, with views back to the race start on your right, and views towards Leith hill on your left. Go past the small temple at the top of the ridge, and trend right steeply downhill. Turn left and proceed along the private road for around 300m until you encounter a right hand turn that looks like it’s someone’s drive: it isn’t, so turn in right and then take the right hand path and proceed down a narrow and uneven path next to a chicken-run (on your left) and down the steps at the end, turn left on the road and after around 40m turn right over a little bridge. Keep going straight, deviating neither right nor left, for another 2km, along narrow paths and bridleways, and along rutted sandy gullies, until you arrive at the junction with the A25 at Rookery Drive. There will be a water station here. Turn left, and run along next to the Pipp Brook: bear right after the stables, and run past the old mill and mill pond on your left: then immediately turn left up a bridleway and on into open country. Follow the path steeply uphill until you emerge on the sandy lane known as Wolvens Lane (a byway open to all traffic – a BOAT – so beware of trials bike riders and drivers of 4x4s). Turn left and start the very long climb up to Coldharbour, which you will reach after about 2 miles – deviating neither left nor right. At the car park opposite the Plough pub in Coldharbour, turn right and proceed very steeply (walking is allowed) up towards Coldharbour cricket ground (and another water station). Follow signs for the tower, and after a very steep final climb, you arrive at the tower – but don’t stop! To benefit from the views, run past the tower, turn left and then right, and run to the half way point, which is a carved wooden chair. Have a rest if you need one, and then reverse your route to the start. Good luck!

Event Details

The Leith Hill Half Marathon is based at the Priory School, Dorking. The run starts on the Nower (courtesy of Surrey Wildlife Trust), proceeds along footpaths and bridleways to the picturesque village of Westcott, and then turns left to climb up the rural byway of Wolvens Track to the Plough Pub at Coldharbour, before making a righ-hand turn to scale the last few hunded metres of ascent to the top of Leith Hill, the highest point in southeastern England (and with views of distant London and the South Downs on a clear day). Apparently there is no higher ground between Leith Hill and the Urals. The route returns along the same track, back to the finish.

If you have trail shoes, you should use them – the course may be very wet and muddy. Spikes are banned (and aren’t necessary anyway).

  • If you can’t run, please come and marshal – please email [email protected] (You get the race goodies, breaksfast and a free place at a future race). Marshals needed from 9am at the race HQ. We need marshals!
  • Please arrive in good time to collect your race number, and to see the Wife Carrying Race at 10.30. Water-bucket-chucking volunteers are needed – and children with water pistols are also welcome.
  • Toilet and showers are available in The Priory School. Although the Nower has innumerable trees and bushes, please use the facilities at The Priory School (we want to be able to use this location again next year!).
  • We will have an area where you can drop your bag at the race HQ – but don’t leave anything of particular value in there. You can drop your car keys with us when you collect your race number at the HQ. Pick them up at the race finish (not back at the HQ!).
  • There are no mile markers on the course. The half-way point is at exactly 6.55miles (10.5km). The length of the course is as accurate as we can make it, at a GPS-measured 21.00km.
  • The course will be marked with tape, signs, paint and marshals. Keep your wits about you and you’ll get around fine.
  • There is a free full cooked English breakfast for all runners and marshals in the school cafeteria after the race – please come along!
  • Meet the organiser

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    he organisation for this race was second to none in my experience. Dr Rob and his team have gone to considerable lengths with videos of the route, how to get there, a good detailed map of the course and marshalling before the race to find the school and help with parking. Booking in took 45 seconds and I was out getting ready to warm up.


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