South Downs Way Race Report -

I was using the SDW 50 as a ‘tune up’ race for the Trail World Championships which are just 5 weeks away. It was an opportunity to run on my home trails, I live 20 mins away from the course, and test out some new bits of kit.


My Coach, Allison Benton, (AB Training Group) and I spoke about goals for this race. The plan was to run hard but not to exhaustion so I could carry on with my training for the World Championships. A couple of dry and windy days before the race cleared the trails and the conditions under foot were good. There was a headwind for the majority of the course but not too strong… it felt like a brick wall at points though!

One of my mantras is ‘control the controllables’, so I had a crew for this race, my mother! She has never been to one of my long races so it was great for her to see what happens in these races, rather than just tracking a dot on a screen. This meant that I could use the gels, sports drinks and food that I train with.


The race went to plan, I was wearing my Suunto Spartan Ultra that gave me my HR reading so I knew how hard I was working. I was maintaining a good pace throughout the climbs and descents. I went through 26.2 miles in 3hrs exactly. The second half of the course has the bigger climbs, after spending some time in the Spanish mountains, I felt strong on the climbs. I finished the race in 5hrs 44mins, setting a new course record!

I was wearing Hoka One One Speedgoat 2s with Profeet insoles. A great combination that game me the support, grip and protection that I needed for the race. The pack I chose to wear is the Ospray D”ro 1.5L, WOW, a great pack that I would recommend for all!

I’m now having a couple of easy days to allow my body to recover before I go back to the mountains for my final block of training before the World Championships!


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