Due to Covid-19 requirements specified by UK Athletics, with social distancing still necessary, the format for the 2021 event will be slightly different to what was originally planned. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT you please take time to read through these changes and make yourself aware of what will now be happening on race weekend.
We have done everything possible to keep the event as close to the original, but due to the circumstances, certain aspects will now be altered. We are still very confident the event will be a great one for everyone involved and that these changes won’t have much of an impact on what essentially is a stunning course and part of the country.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 we have had to make a slight change to the original route for this year’s race. The Forestry Commission very recently contacted us to say that they would not be allowing any events to pass through the Friston Forest until September. As a small section of the race passes through the forest around the 80km mark, we have had to divert this part in a different direction. The new route can now be found on the website home page by clicking on the GPX file button and also by viewing the large map at the bottom of the same page. The route will completely bypass the forest but will still come out at East Dean where the final aid station is located. Apologies to all of you that have already spent time out practicing on the course, but this is very recent and totally out of our hands.
Again, for Covid-19 reasons, we have had to change the start time and layout of what was originally planned. In order to reduce crowding at the start, and also overtaking in the early parts of the race, we have decided to run a staggered start procedure for the majority of runners. Runners are to self-allocate themselves into one of three start groups according to their expected finish time. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to be honest with this predicted time, and starting in a faster group just to begin the race early is going to put yourself and others at risk.
There will be three separate arrival and start allocations on the morning of the race, and runners will be asked to arrive at the following times:
5am arrival for a 5.15am start: Elite and fast runners that expect to be at the front of the race will arrive and leave first. This will be a very small mass start with any male runner looking to run 9 hours or less and any female runner looking to run 10 hours or less. All will wait socially distanced at the start line before leaving together. Again, please do not arrive to this group unless you see yourself pushing for a podium place or a share of the prize money.
5.15am arrival for a 5.30am start: Any runners that feel they will finish in the 10 -13 hour range. This will be a staggered start where runners will leave one at a time at very short intervals.
5.30am arrival for 5.45am start: Any runners looking to finish in the 13-16 hour range. This will be a staggered start where runners leave one at a time at very short intervals.
The race registration will be at Arundel Football Club, BN18 9PA. IT IS IMPERATIVE that you do not attend the event, including anyone travelling with you, if you have had any Covid-19 related symptoms in the 14 days leading up to race day.
Bus service: There will be a bus service in operation on the morning of the race travelling from Eastbourne to Arundel run at reduced capacity. The driver will be in full PPE and ensure social distancing at all times. Face coverings must be worn throughout the journey.
Car parking: There will be parking available in Mill Road car park adjacent to the football club. It is compulsory that all runners wear face masks upon arrival in the car park all the way up until crossing the start line.
Spectators: No spectators will be allowed anywhere at the start. They must drop runners off and then depart.
All staff will be in full PPE throughout.
Temperature check: All runners will have their temperature taken via a temperature gun on arrival in the car park. Any runner with an elevated temperature of 37.8 will be handed over to the medical team on duty.
There will be no changing facilities or food and drink for Covid-19 reasons.
There will be two registrations in operation over race weekend. The first will be available on Saturday 29th of May between 4pm and 7pm. We strongly recommend that all runners try and register on this day where possible as it will greatly reduce any crowding and hassle than if trying to do so on race morning. Runners will have their temperature taken on arrival before joining a one-way system queue leading into the football ground. Here they will be able to collect their race number, safety pins and timing chip before leaving again via a one-way system. Again, masks must be worn at all times upon arrival. If runners do choose to register on the Saturday, they will still be required to have their temperature taken on the Sunday and to pass through the one-way system queue in order to get to the start line. This is so even if they don’t wish to use the toilet or drop off bags. Runners that turn up and walk straight to the start line will be asked to go back and do so.
The second registration will take place on the morning of the race, Sunday May 30th, depending on runners predicted finish time as mentioned before. Runners will have their temperature taken before joining a one-way system queue to pick up their race number, safety pins and timing chip before making their way to the start line.
QR code: The South Downs 100K will be registered for an official NHS venue QR code as part of the test and trace app. These will be available for runners to scan in the registration area.
Toilets: There will be 6 portaloos available after the registration tent for anyone that needs them. These will be kept clean and sanitised.
Bag drop: When runners are ready to begin their race, they will be directed to the start line where they can hand in both drop and finish line bags. There will be two separate drop-off points next to each other, one for each bag. All bags will be handled by staff in full PPE and Marshalls will ensure a socially distanced queue is maintained. The bags do not have to be labelled beforehand as the staff on duty will do this.
Race briefing: There will be no race briefing at all this year. We would prefer all entrants to thoroughly read this document and the Athlete Guide provided, which will be sent out to everyone a few weeks before race day. These will provide all the information needed and it is ESSENTIAL that all runners take time to look over it.
Kit Check: Runners will not be required to pass kit checks at registration this year. Random kit checks will instead be done at times throughout the race by staff in full PPE.
The entirety of the race will be on footpaths shared with other members of the public and it is imperative that runners are courteous to them, and remain socially distanced at all timeswhen passing. If it is not possible to maintain this distance in certain areas such as gates and narrow trails, then please stand back and allow them to pass first. Runners do not have priority over anyone else out on the trails just because they are in a race, so please take them into consideration at all times.
Aid stations: All aid stations will be outside and will be split into 3-5 different lanes depending on the location. Runners have a choice of running straight through, water only lanes, or food and drink lanes.
Runners must sanitise upon arrival and again when leaving the station. Face coverings must be worn at all times. A spare supply of masks will be available at all stations.
Toilets will be available from 50km onwards, some of these will be indoors and some will be portaloos. All will be kept clean and sanitised.
Runners will serve themselves drinks and food which will be individually wrapped. There will be a wide variety of food including:
Runners must try and spend as little time as possible at these aid stations. This will really help reduce any queuing time for those behind.
Runners may possibly have to wait a short time when arriving at aid stations. Marshalls will maintain a socially distanced queue at all times if this happens. These should be few and far between due the fairly small size of the starting field of 200 runners.
Cut offs: Some of the aid station locations and cut off times have changed very slightly as seen below:
Runners must at all times use the bins provided for any litter. Littering of any kind will lead to disqualification. Runners taking any food and packaging with them must hold onto it until the next available aid station and bin is located.
Drop bag: Runners will be able to collect their drop bags at the half way aid station which is Housedean Farm. Staff in full PPE, remaining socially distanced at all times, will hand out and collect the bags once runners are finished. These will then be safely transported to the finish in Eastbourne.
Relay teams: The relay team changeover will be at the halfway point aid station of Housedean Farm. A Marshall will be on hand to observe the changeover. A two meter area will be marked with cones and as soon as the first runner reaches the marked area the other will be able to leave.
Sweeper bus: There will be a sweeper bus in operation during the race that will be available to collect any runners that need to drop out and will drop them wherever they need to go within reason. The bus will run at a reduced capacity and will be sanitised regularly. The driver, in full PPE, will ensure runners on board remain socially distanced at all times.
The finish will be in Helen Garden, Eastbourne, BN20 7XL.
All staff at the finish area will be in full PPE.
All runners must wear face coverings after crossing the finish line until they leave Helen Garden.
Chips must be handed in immediately after finishing.
There will be a one-way system in place where runners can collect goody bags, food and drinks.
All food and drink will be served in takeaway containers.
Toilets will be available but there will not be any changing facilities or showers.
Unfortunately, there will be no large marquee or sports massage this year for Covid-19 reasons.
QR code: There will also be a QR code, for track and trace available at the finish line for runners to scan.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 reasons, runners must depart the finish area as soon as possible. This is really not something we want as the finish area should be a time of celebration for all. But it is a necessary regulation this year from UK Athletics.
Bus services: Buses will be available for runners wanting to return to the start. They will run at reduced capacity with the driver in full PPE who will ensure social distancing at all times. Face coverings must be worn during the journey.