A full marathon with heigh gain/loss of 6000 feet

Start/Finish: Box Hill Fort, at the TOP of Box Hill, Surrey, UK, KT20 7LB


How to get there

Go by train:

Trains from Victoria leave every half an hour: catch one that stops at Box Hill and Westhumble station. From the station, turn right, walk down the hill to the A24. Cross with caution. Go past the Burfoot Bridget hotel with it on your right. Take the gap in teh railings on the right and ascend to the very top of the hill - find the Old Fort. From the station to the start is about 25 minutes walk.

By car, from the North

Get off the M25 at Junction 9: follow signs for Dorking A24. After a couple of miles you'll go down a long hill and turn left at the bottom, at the roundabout. Follow the A24 for about 3 miles, past Mickleham village, round the infamous Mickleham Bends (immortalised by 10cc as 'deceptive bends' and still taking victims today), and follow along the long straight for about a mile. At the roundabout take the first exit, and after about 300m take the sharp right hand narrow turning and followthe road up the zig zags for around 2km - at the top turn into the car park on the left (past the travellers' caravan). The Old Fort is behind the servery hatch.

From the East

Either use the M25, Junction 9 (and then follow instructions as for 'North'), or use the westbound A25 (Redhill, Reigate, Betchworth, Brockham etc).

In this case, when you get to the roundabout at the interection of the A25 and the A24, turn right onto the A24, and drive north.

***You'll go under the railway line, through the traffic lights, continue straight at the roundabout (past the vineyard - nice place for a meal after the run?), and drive for about 1 mile (Note the looming mass of Box Hill on your right - you are going to be running up and down this quite a lot). You are going to turn right at the roundabout next to the Burford Bridge Hotel. After about 300m take the sharp right hand narrow turning and followthe road up the zig zags for around 2km - at the top turn into the car park on the left (past the travellers' caravan). The Old Fort is behind the servery hatch.

From the West.

Either use the M25, Junction 9 (and then follow instructions as for 'North'), or use the eastbound A25 (Shere, Gomshall, Westcott etc). In this case, drive straight through Dorking and passing Dorking Halls and Leisure Centre. When you get to the roundabout at the interection of the A25 and the A24 (BIG CHICKEN), turn left onto the A24, and drive north. Follow instructions above at ***

From the South

Either use the M25, Junction 9 (and then follow instructions as for 'North'), or use the northbound A25 (from Horsham direction). When you get to the roundabout at the interection of the A25 and the A24, go straight on along the A24, and drive north. Follow instructions at ***

Route

Parking is available directly adjacent to the start. Please cram in - there will not be much room to get us all in. The Old Fort is behind the servery hatch.

The start is at the Old Fort. From there, run down to the bottom of the Burfoot slope (the old start of the race). A the bottom, next to the first prominent tree on your left, turn around and run back up again. Run past the grave of de La Billiere, buried head downwards, and then turn right to descend (120m) to the footbridge at the foot of Boxhill. Turn left and cross the stepping stones, before running back up the way you came down. At the top, turn right and continue upwards to the water station at the Lookout. Retrace yours steps for 100m and then take a sharp left turn to descend down the south face of the north downs on a narrow path. At the bottom, turn sharp left and go up the rutted shady track to top, nearly to the Smith and Western pub. Drinks station at the top. Cross the road, taking care, and plunge into the woods,running slightly downhill for a mile until you emerge on JuniperTop and fabulous open views. Descend until you get to the second concrete bench (find the marshal), then re-ascend and double back along Juniper Top (take the first right) and descend the track along Juniper Bottom. Cross the road with care, before climbing the stairs - many stairs - of the Eiger Steps. Marshals will guide your through a dogleg in the woods (actual quarter-way point), before you trot off along White Hill, take a turn right at the very end and make a cripply descent to a drinks station. Turn around, and do it all again, but this time in reverse!

Go back up to the open area of White Hill, find the dog leg (marshalled), and then run down to the huge flight of stairs down the side of the hill. Crossing the road (look out for yourself!) you will proceed up Juniper Bottom, a rustic and uneven track which steepens towards the top, over about 1.5km. Turning sharp left, you will run along Juniper Top, through the gate, down the hill to the bench/marshal, (taking in the very pleasant views), turn around and climb back up and back into the woods, towards what is now the Smith and Western Bar and Grill, and what used to be The Pilgrim's Res pubt. There will be water at this point. Crossing the road (look out for yourself!), you will again descend all of the altitude you have previously gained along the rutted track ('The Chute'), and at the bottom (now on the south side of the North Downs), you turn right and right again to climb back up to the top of Box Hill on very narrow paths. Turn right to ascend again to the Lookout. At the top of Box Hill you will be rewarded with excellent views of Dorking, but now you have to lose all that height again, descending to the footbridge over the River Mole, running to the stepping stones, before running back over the footbridge and back up Box Hill ('the hardest run you've ever done') - keep left! At the top, the marshall will direct you to your left, where you will pass the grave of an eccentric gentleman of Dorking buried head downwards: the end is near. Duck through the foliage on your right and you should find yourself back at the Old Fort for the HALF WAY TURNAROUND (you don't have to descend and re-ascend that big hill... you did that at the start).


Congratulations, you are HALF of the way round. It's decision time: Go all in, or go home?

Turn around, and do it all again.

Finish. Expire. The end.

W = Water station. The first descent and re-ascent is not repeated at the end of the course, so that the half way point of the course is not at the turnaround point any more, but instead is before that, at the start of White hill/Mickleham downs.

Altitude in metres: Outwards leg only (at the turnaround go back and do nearly all of it again!)

Remember - do it twice!

Although there will be marshals on the course, runners are responsible for completing the course correctly.