Marlborough Downs Challenge

- Sunday 10th May 2015

Thank you to all who took part.  Results can be found below.

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 Pewsey West Woods and.        
  • Gopher Wood, with its amazing wild garlic.    
  • Two of the highest points in Wiltshire at Knapp Hill and Tan Hill, where the long and short courses diverge

Plus, on the 33-mile route:

  •     The Kennet & Avon Canal into Devizes
  •     Roundway Hill and Morgan's Hill
  •     Cherhill Monument and White Horse

Finally, the routes rejoin to pass through Avebury, with its pre-historic stone circle and views of Silbury Hill, then go via Overton and Fyfield Downs back to Marlborough Leisure Centre for showers and refreshments.)

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.


Race info MDC

information for entrants

Race H.Q. Registration and FINISH

Marlborough Leisure Centre, SN8 1PB. Showers and changing facilities available.

Car parking

Marlborough College, SN8 1PA, just off the A4 heading west out of Marlborough.

Numbers will not be sent out in advance but must be collected on the day from the Registration Desk in the Leisure Centre. NB – there is NO PARKING at the Leisure Centre. The race car park is in the grounds of Marlborough College from where it is a 400m walk to the Leisure Centre

Start and finish times

33-mile Trail Race – start at 9:00am
20-mile Trail Race – starts at 10:30am
Finish closes at 5.30pm

A cut off time will be applied at Checkpoint 3 (9.2miles) where the routes divide – anyone on the 33-mile route arriving after 11:15am will be directed to the 20-mile route. Other cut off times may be applied for safety reasons.


Cold drinks and refreshments will be provided at checkpoints on both routes. As in previous years we expect to provide five checkpoints on the 20-mile route and eight checkpoints on the 33-mile.
The entry fee includes a hot meal (including a vegetarian option) and drinks at the Finish.


All finishers will receive a souvenir from the White Horse Pottery –

There will be trophies in both the 33-mile Trail Race and the 20-mile Trail Race for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Men and Ladies as well as 1st place in each of the following age categories:

Men: M40, M50, M60
Ladies: F40, F50, F60


20 Mile Route Description
33 Mile Route Description

Previous Results