Route: South Downs Way (United Kingdom)

Submitted by Tom Meldrum on Mon, 08/24/2020 - 08:53am
United Kingdom
100.5 mi
Vertical Gain
4,150 m

The South Downs Way runs the entire length of the South Downs range of hills, from Winchester in the west to the coast at Eastbourne. Large wooden signposts mark the start and end points, outside the City Mill in Winchester, and at the base of Beachy Head on the outskirts of Eastbourne


On Saturday 7th November at 4:00 am (GMT) I will be attempting a 'Supported' FKT on the South Downs Way, travelling from West to East.

I will be following the official trail as mapped by the National Trails website, from the King Alfred statue in Winchester to the furthest point East on the trail. For my own gratification, I will continue east until I reach Eastbourne Pier to make sure I have completed a full 100 miles by any measurement. This will also help make for a better comparison with the current FKT (2014 Mark Perkins 14:03:54) who ran the route as part of the yearly 'Centurion SDW100' race. In order to round up the total distance, participants of this race run laps around a grass field at the start and finish not at the edge of the South Downs but further into Eastbourne itself.

It is worth noting that there are a couple of places along the trail where a choice of two paths is given. One such place is close to Washington where I will be taking the North diversion to allow for a safer crossing of the A24 and to again make this attempt comparable with the current FKT which also took this diversion. The other obvious point where the trail dissects is at Alfriston where I will avoid taking the trail South along the chalk cliffs.

I will be wearing a live tracking device for the duration of this attempt (tracker link: and I also hope to record this as a single Strava activity using a standard GPS watch.This attempt is to be classified as 'Supported' as my partner will be providing basic food at five separate locations. 

Good luck Peter.  It will v tough to beat Mark Perkins' time!