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

NEW Route for 2018

The course is an out-and-back - the turnaround point is the 'half-way' point. You do ALL of the hills on the return leg.

Distance = 42km, height gain/loss = 1960m.

Park in the National Trust car Park at the TOP of Box Hill.

The start (and race HQ/Registration) is at The Old Fort, which is just behind the servery. There are toilets and a gift shop here as well.

From the start line, run out from the Old Fort to the chalky plateau at the top of Box Hill, overlooking Denbies Vineyard and turn RIGHT. Run down the hill to the turnaround point (marked) next to an obvious tree. Then reascend (120m) the imposing Burfoot slope of Box Hill. 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 run on gently rising paths to the lookout at the top of Box Hill. Turn around the triangulation pillar and go back down the track to a well-hidden sharp turn on your left. Descend down the south face of the North Downs on a narrow path, through a gate on the path and then through a gate on your left. 15m after that gate, turn sharp left and go up the rutted shady track, nearly to the Smith and Western pub. Jink left up a few steps and through some bushes to cross the road (marshaled) - take care. After the drinks station plunge into the woods, following signs and tape to descend directly towards Juniper Bottom car park. Before you get to the car park, a marshal will direct you through a gate on your right - ascend to the top of Juniper Top until it flattens out (marshal) - turn around and run back down to the gate. Pass through the gate and turn right to find the water station at the car park at Juniper Bottom. Cross the road with care, before climbing the stairs - many stairs - of the Eiger Steps. Marshals will guide your through a dogleg left in the woods (trending right), before you trot off along White Hill, take a turn right at the 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, run back along 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 willagain take the gate (now on your left) and run to the top of Juniper Top and back down again. Then turning left through the gate, proceed up the rustic and uneven track which steepens towards the top, over about 1.5km. Paying attention to the tape and signs, run back to the Smith and Western Bar and Grill (what used to be The Pilgrim's Rest Pub). 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, and at the bottom (now on the south side of the North Downs), turn sharp right and climb back up to the top of Box Hill on very narrow paths. 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 (more water) 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. Carry on straight, and DESCEND AND RE-ASCEND THE HILL. Once you've finished this final terrible hill, take a left hand turn back in towards the Old Fort.

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.

 

WS = Water station. S/F = Start/Finish. HW = Half way.

Click on the map below for a larger version.

Picnic race profile - first onward leg only. Please note: This is not a mistake. It looks bad and will feel even worse. Enjoy the views.

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