The MDC will be back in 2022 and the race date will be the 7th of May.

11 January: Entries are now open at Full on Sport
The Marlborough Downs Challenge offers two events
33 mile* Trail Race 
20 mile* Trail Race 
* Note that distances are approximate only.

The MDC is a beautiful yet challenging event, mostly off-road along tracks and footpaths. There is plenty of climbing - over 3000 feet for the 33 mile race.  The routes take in some of the finest Wiltshire countryside including:
  • The Wansdyke Path, Tan Hill Way, White Horse Trail, and Mid Wilts Way with superb views across the Vale of PewseyWest Woods and.        
  • West Woods and Gopher Wood, with its amazing wild garlic.    
  • Two of the highest points in Wiltshire at Knapp Hill and at Tan Hill, where the long and short courses diverge
    and, on the 33 mile route,
  • The Kennet & Avon Canal into Devizes
  • Roundway Hill and Morgan's Hill
  • Cherhill Monument and White Horse
After the two routes rejoin to pass through Avebury, with its pre-historic stone circle and views of Silbury Hill, runners then go via Overton and Fyfield Downs back to Marlborough Leisure Centre for showers and refreshments.
White Horse Pottery hand throwns mugs for all finishers.
Navigation & Safety. All entrants will be sent a route description by email; copies will also be posted on this website. The Marlborough Downs Challenge courses are unmarked although there are some arrows for assistance at various points. Competitors are recommended to carry a map – the most appropriate is OS 1:25,000 Explorer Sheet 157 – and compass.

Suitable footwear must be worn or carried. This is a primarily an off-road event often remote from public roads. Mobile phones may not work in all locations. Parts of the route can be muddy. Remember, if the weather is wet and/or cold at the Start then it will be very wet and very cold on the Downs. If it is sunny then don't forget to apply sunscreen.


A note about CANCELLATION:
This year Marlborough Running Club is facing significantly increased costs in putting on the MDC. The cost of first aid provision, for example, has almost trebled. If extreme circumstances (e.g. Covid restrictions) require us to cancel the event we will contact all entrants to set out options, which may include partial refunds or a transfer to a future event.
Race info MDC

information for entrants

2019 Pre-Race Information for entrants can be found here.  

2019 Routes:

20 Mile Route Description
33 Mile Route Description
Note that the 20 Mile and 33 Mile routes are identical to those for the  2018 MDC.  

GPX files of the routes may be downloaded from here.
20 Mile .gpx
33 Mile .gpx
(NB To download the .gpx files, right-click and Save or Download. Rename the files, changing the .doc extension to .gpx)

Alternatively, visit these links to view the tracks, then use the Download button to download in the format you require:
20 Mile
33 Mile


Nick Ham has kindly allowed us to post his photos of the 2016 race, and also photos he took of the event in 2015 and in 2011.
Links to these can be found on our Gallery pages.

Previous Results