The Greensand Marathon

Dorking - Westcott - Coldharbour - Leith Hill - Somerset Hill - Holmbury Hill- Pitch Hill - Reyards Hill - Winterfold Hill - and back again!

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Race information and tips

These are the race instructions for the final-ever* Greensand Marathon and Half on Sunday 9 October.

You will not receive anything through the post.

Around 70 runners are expected to turn up for the Greensand Marathon and around 70 for the Half - you are a select bunch.
The race is reasonably tough - leave something in the tank for the last couple of miles, which are very lumpy!

If you can't run, please come and marshal - email (You get the race goodies, breaksfast and a free place at a future race). Friends and relatives also gratefully received!

Park at the Priory School (RH4 3DG) - not in adjacent side streets. There is plenty of parking in the school. Rest assured, you will not be at all delayed at the end. It is a two minute walk to the start/finish of the race from/to the HQ.

Please arrive in good time to collect your race number.

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 will have an area where you can drop your bag - 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 at the HQ!).

There are no toilets at the race start itself, or officially out on the course either. You will have to make like the bears (please remember to 'pack out your trash').

All runners in the full marathon are requested to carry a mobile phone, whistle and space blanket. These items are important for the safety of runners (sorry for any inconvenience). Tip - bring a few sheets of kitchen towel to stuff in a bum bag to stop contents from shifting (and for any 'emergencies.') I won't be checking to make sure that you are carrying this stuff.

The start will be preceded by our massed singing of 'Jerusalem,' (words provided).

The Marathon starts at 10am sharp (half marathon at 10.30).

The 'Man v Bike Experiment' bike-course will go off at the same time as the half, at 10.30, so there may be bikers on the course at the same time as you (they will only be going in the same directoin as you). They are trying to beat their own fastest times on the half marathon course on a previous occasion.

Please run on the left at all times. Since this is an out-and-back course, you will be passing a lot of other runners going the other way (even if you are in the lead, or last). PLEASE give all runners maximum encouragement - you are all in this race together.
Headphones are not allowed for this very reason - do us all a favour - don't run in a bubble!

IF you are going to spit (yuck!), make sure you don't do it on or anywhere near anyone else - thank you.

Ordinary trainers are perfectly good enough to complete this race - spikes are banned (and aren't necessary anyway) - but soft studs may be useful if you think that you have a chance of winning (ie time of less than 1:25 for the half or around 3 hours for the full marathon). Trail shoes would also be fine.

Around 45% of the race is on very uneven hard tracks, 45% on sandy or muddy paths, 5% on grass, 5% on tarmac.
Depending on the weather, it could be very muddy.

Woolvens Lane, on the way up and back from Leith HIll, is a BOAT - Byway Open to All Traffic. This means that it is a very rough track, which is also used by off-road vehicles (4x4s, trials bikes etc). Please use great caution and give way whenever sensible!

In the marathon there are a number of road crossings - you will need to keep your wits about you. They will be marshaled, but you are responsible for your own safety when crossing.

Watch where you put your feet: the tracks we are using are uneven. Twisted ankles, tumbles and cuts are not unknown. In case of any accident or emergency, the next marshal should be within 1 mile of you (either in front or behind), so send a runner to get help. The race medical service provider is Quad Medical Ltd.

PACE yourself - this is a tough run. Check out the hill profile: In the full marathon, the part after Leith Hill, until you get back to Leith Hill Tower again (ie from approximately mile 7 to mile 20), is a tough part - you are mostly either descending or ascending, with the occasional flattish bit. Once you get back to Leith Hill Tower, your hardest work is over - it's all downhill from here. There is, however, one, nasty little hill at the Nower, half a mile from the end. Just for fun.

To allow the race to be conducted in a safe and orderly manner, and so that the marshals have a degree of certainty as to the timing of their movements, there will be a strictly enforced cut-off of 1:13 (ie 11.13am) in 2016 to arrive at Leith Hill Tower on the outward leg of the Marathon (no cut-off for the Half). Runners arriving after the cut-off will be required to return to the race start directly, completing the half marathon distance - no shame in that. Half marathon finishers get the race goodies, and the race medal.
There are water stations at approximately 3, 6, 7.5, 10 and 13 miles, and at 16, 18.5, 20, 23 miles and at the end (there are no mile markers on the course). There will be sweet things and crisps to eat at the water stations (unless the other runners have eaten them all up!)

Please do not litter the course - drop cups, bottles, gel sachets etc only at the water stations - thanks!

The course will be marked with tape, signs, paint and marshals. Keep your wits about you and you'll get around fine. If in doubt/lost, follow signs for the Greensand Way (this should not happen!).

If you want a time at the end, show us your running number. No visible number, no time!

The full marathon course record is an amazing 2:54:50 (Julia Bleasedale, 2014).

Half Marathon prizegiving (first three men, first three ladies) will take place at about 12.45 on the finish line (cafeteria if wet)
Marathon prizegiving (first three men, first three ladies) will take place at 2.30pm on the finish line (presuming that anyone has finished by then) - or in the cafeteria if wet.

Please leave muddy trainers/shoes outside the school after the race, and pick them up later.

There is a free full cooked English breakfast (or veggie option) for all runners and marshals in the school cafeteria after the race (go through the green doors by the big white crucifix) - please come along!

If you can't come - please marshal - we still need more marshals! Please email me at (marshals needed from 8.45am on race day) - thanks!

Results, photos and video will be up on the race web site after the race.

Remember to smile!

*We hope that you enjoy the race, which will be the last-ever Greensand Marathon. It's the last one since it's always made a loss, and the costs just keep on creeping up - we just can't afford to keep it going: Sorry folks. However, let's go out on a high - and try and make this one the best ever!

Please stay safe and have a great run!

Rob McCaffrey - race organiser