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Queen Elizabeth Country Park, A3, south of Petersfield, Hampshire, PO8 0QE

Midnight Marathon 29th July 2023 @ 21:00 (9PM)

  • Night race on way-marked good quality trails
  • Chip-timed start and finish
  • Aid stations every 7k
  • Bespoke one-off event finisher's medal 
  • Free parking available
  • Results on Runbritain

Click here to enter

Enjoy the excitement of night running in the South Downs in the Summer.   

The marathon - starting with a signed route for a couple of miles within the country park, then on the South Downs Way, with multiple water/feed stations along the way.

This is a great way to run at night with others on a course that is simple to follow.  

Under a full moon with a clear sky you can see a night view for miles around - the stars above, the headtorches along the hilltops and the lights of the villages below.

Even though this is a summer event, it can still get cold at night, so please wear or carry appropriate clothing.  In addition, all participants will be required to take a torch with spare batteries (or backup light source) and carry a mobile phone. 

For those that would take over 6 hours for a road marathon, there is an open start from 8PM.  Whilst finisher medals are awarded to every finisher, please note that 1st, 2nd, 3rd place trophies (male & female) are awarded only to those in the 9PM competitive start.

We expect the fastest finishers to be back just after Midnight and everyone must be finished by 4AM.  That allows 8 hours for those starting at 8PM.  That should be enough to complete the distance with a brisk walk with some jogging on the easier sections.  A cutoff of Midnight is applied at the halfway turn point (23:45 for early starters). 

We expect the usual full quota of a little over 200 entrants, so there should be plenty of people around without it spoiling the night running experience.

Aid stations and checkpoints

Aid stations will be positioned as follows:

  • 4.6 miles  - SDW Forty acre lane 800m west of South Harting
  • ​9.1 miles  - Treyford Hill - staggered junction of SDW
  • ​13.2 miles - Cocking car park - "Turnaround point" (cutoff 00:00)
  • ​17.3 miles - Treyford Hill - staggered junction of SDW (cutoff 01:15)
  • ​21.7 miles - SDW Forty acre lane 800m west of South Harting (cutoff 02:30)

These will have water and soft drinks to refill your containers, plus a selection of cakes, sweets and savouries that you are welcome to take with you.

In the interests of reducing waste and avoiding litter, the drinks stations are primarily there to refill your containers, not to hand out cups.

The course

The South Downs Way section of the course follows the South Downs Way public waymarks, supplemented by our reflective strips and signs.

The course starts within Queen Elizabeth Country Park (there will be some guidance signage and marshals). Before leaving the country park, the course joins the South Downs Way which you will follow out to Cocking and then back to QECP, again on the South Downs Way.

The South Downs Way is already publicly way-marked, and with our additional yellow signs with black arrows, and reflective strips applied, they are very obvious and easy to spot (if you use your torch!).  There are a few points where course familiarity will help and it certainly will do no harm to get out there for a few runs in daylight beforehand.  You might like to join one of our guided course recces in advance of the event. 

The terrain is hilly trail, sometimes chalky and therefore slippery when wet.  Trail shoes are recommended, but if the weather has been dry in the days prior to the event, then road shoes may suffice whilst offering less protection from the sometimes stony surface. 

Ordnance Survey Map 

Click for GPX file

Google Map of Course

Marathon profile:

Click here to see an entertaining race report from Jhon Cosgrove

Race run under UK Athletics rules.  

Minimum age 18, no dogs.

TRA Permit: TBA