Winter Cross Ultra 50km
Tuesday, 27th December 2022
Start at 07:40 Finish by 4:00PM
Blow away the Christmas cobwebs with four out and back legs of different terrains and challenges awaiting you on the Winter Cross Ultra.
The challenge is to start and finish within the time from dawn till dusk on one of the shortest days of the year.
Aid stations are roughly every 10km with drinks, food and other emergency kit.
Awaiting you at the finish is a bespoke medal and event T-shirt made specifically for this event, plus some warm refreshments.
Course: The course legs are run in the order of N-E-W-S mostly offroad with an elevation of 820m.
North (9k with 8k being off-road) mostly flat, easy on gravel/chippings. Out and back on the old railway line, just to get you warmed up before the serious stuff begins. Drinks and food as you pass by the HQ.
East (21k with 16k being off-road) is probably the toughest with two significant hill climbs and a smaller one on the outbound leg. Follow the signs along footpaths and lanes to join the South Downs Way at Winchester Hill, and stay on the SDW until near the Sustainability Centre for the next checkpoint and aid station.
The sun should be low in the sky and climbing as you pass over the hills, and on a clear day, your views will be spectacular across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
Head back to the HQ and aid station. The run back is easier - only one major uphill in this direction!
West (11k with 7k being off-road) is varied and interesting. It passes through the picturesque villages of Meonstoke and Exton to join the South Downs Way; one good climb (up Whiteway - the hill that keeps on giving) sees you onto the Downs, with a big view to the sea and isle of Wight
Your run back is so much easier than on the way out, and the final visit to the aid station awaits back at the race HQ.
South (10k nearly all off-road) mostly flat and straight on gravel/chippings - out and back on the old railway line, no navigation, just follow the Meon Trail for 5k to your last checkpoint and splash and dash water stop to set you up for a "quick" 5k back to the finish.
Please note: Whilst the road sections are on minor country roads, be aware that the roads are not closed to traffic.
The cutoff (at approximately 30km) for starting the western leg is 1:00PM.
The cutoff (at approximately 40km) for starting the southern leg is 2:30PM.
Navigation: The course will be signposted to the Meon Valley Trail (north and south) and to the South Downs Way (east and west). There is no need to take a paper map, but if you do wish to carry one, then Ordnance Survey OL3 (Meon Valley) is the one to have.
You are however advised to have the google map of the course open or saved on your mobile phone. It is by far the easiest way for you to get back on-course in the unlikely event that you have strayed off-course.
*** ROUTE UPDATED FOR 50K FROM PRIOR YEARS ***
This link opens a new window with a Google map of the course: Google map
If you want to be properly familiar with the route before race-day, please join us on one of recces that we will run in early December. News of these will be on our Facebook page.
Terrain: The route has some technical challenges with slippery descents on chalky tracks, perhaps with loose stones and grassy slopes that can be slippery when wet. This is not a generally muddy route, but there are some sections (mainly on leg 2) that can become muddy following persistent rain, but no section should be deeply muddy for any great distance.
The vast of the course is firm trail, grass, concrete and some tarmac.
The entire route should be runnable (hills permitting), and there are very few stiles or gates to slow you down.
This is a running event, not intended to be a mud-fest or an obstacle course.
Cows: Most of the course is fenced - trail, road or byway. There is one short field section that occasionally has cows, but are unlikely to be there in mid winter.
Gear: Take sufficient warm and waterproof clothing as the weather dictates. Make sure you have reflective strips on show. Footwear is advised to be trail shoes with medium tread definitely no running spikes. You are advised to carry your own water containers to top-up at the water stations, and a mobile phone with the Google map link already opened. Also, unless you have particularly good vision in low light, please take some sort of torch - particularly towards the end of the day. You can pick this up from Race HQ as you pass through at the end of leg 2 or 3.
Bling: At the finish, you will receive the bespoke Winter Cross Ultra medal and Winter Cross Ultra T-shirt.
Trophies are awarded to 1st 2nd and 3rd Female and Male.
Medical cover provided by a third party specialist with a first-aider at base plus a paramedic out on course in a 4x4 vehicle.
Races run under UK Athletics rules.
No dogs. Minimum age 20.
TRA permit: TBA