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Hurtwood 50k Endurance Run

06-Dec-2020 Dorking, Surrey, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
50KM / 31Miles
1 Day

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

The Hurtwood 50 starts from the pleasant town of Dorking, and follows the Greensand Way into the forested Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

This race is essentially an out and back, with a loop off the Greensand Way before starting the return journey. 

The race takes you up and over Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill on a well marked, easy to follow trail through the woodlands, ridgelines and valleys of this area that is collectively known as The Hurtwood. 

The loop at the western end of these hills takes you off the Greensand Way for a short time before rejoining to make your way back over the 3 hills and to the Finish. 


Event Organiser



Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Hurtwood 50k Endurance Run

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11:49 06-12-19

I had to run the Hurtwood 50k because it is right on my door-step. That said I usually run on the North Downs Way and wasn't as familiar with the Green Sand Way route beyond Leith Hill but I had a rough idea what might be in store.

I can't remember the price, £60 I think, which is fairly standard and the communications from the RD were precise and easy to follow. Mention was made of the RD's mum manning an aid station; she had made the flap-jacks - so I was sure to thank her when I reached that point. And the flap-jack was quality.

On the morning of the run, which started a bit late (due to start at 9:30am) registration was in Dorking Sports centre. It was easy enough I suppose, though the queues were pretty long and double queuing was required; first for a number (and t-shirt) and second for the wrist worn race chip. I think this process could be made more efficient - there was signage for sure, but it wasn't crystal clear (because the queues were so long) and maybe picking up the chips with the numbers in one hit would be better but, on balance, there were no dramas.

There was no kit check of the mandatory equipment either, which I thought was a bit unusual....had there been however, the process would have taken even longer.

At around 9:30am or so, we were moved outside for a race briefing and the start. I'm sure the RD did a solid job, but I was standing at the back and I couldn't hear a word that was said in the (fairly long) race briefing. Not a word. Nothing. Neither could anyone else around me. And once you are at the back you can't move forward for the press of the runners ahead.

After the race started (and we all jollied off up the High Street) I did wonder if the RD had asked us all to stick to the pavement - we didn't - there were just too many of us and the pavements through Dorking are littered with (I think the expression is....) "pavement furniture".

Anyway, nobody died - and within a mile you are through the road section and onto the trail. It is a lovely route, it isn't what I would call an easy route and it might be a bit of a shock for first timers, but there is plenty of time to get around and as with all ultra's running behind the top 10% of the field, there is plenty of hiking involved.

The one thing I didn't remember (towards the start of the trail) was a lovely long downhill section - perhaps because the field was quite congested at that point .... but later, about 6 hours later in my case, when I returned to that point going in the opposite direction, my legs were made to suffer on what was a nasty climb by that point.

Anyway I skipped ahead. The route threads through lovely wooded paths, there is a lot of mud and the autumnal colours are a treat. In no time at all the first few bumps were dealt with and I was jollying past Leith Hill Tower; after that you can really spin the legs down hill to the first check point (the flap jack check point). Then it's more of the same - up and down, mud, climbs, slipping, mud, up and down, amazing views across the wield and mostly great marshalling from the volunteers. You run through a place called Winter Fell (or similar, I didn't have my glasses on) too - so it was cold.

After a while you reach another check point and head out on a loop back to that point before retracing your steps back to the start. It was just before this that the race leader and the guy in 2nd place bounded towards me - I think that meant they were about 6 miles in front of me - amazing speed.

The little looped section was, I thought, less well marked - especially if you were able to gun it a bit because it was relatively flat compared to the front section. At one point a substantial tractor and trailer overtook me and a few others down a tiny country lane and we held up for a few minutes as it became the Alpha vehicle in a Mexican stand off, eventually forcing a few cars coming the other way to reverse. These things happen in the countryside and it was a good chance to have a bit of chat with the other runners.

I am a bit out of shape at the minute and I have to say when I reached 27 miles my legs were aching a bit. But I pushed on and was relieved to get over that last hill and put my poles away (yes I use them - cheat sticks people say....well you do still have to carry them and they came in very handy for pole vaulting particularly muddy sections).

At around that time I looked back and saw a lady closing the gap on me - she really stood out in bright pink. I thought it would be rude to be caught up at this stage in the game so I gunned it down the last slope and through the town. I passed about 10 runners in that stretch; it looked like quite a few people were carrying nasty cramps.

There was a nice medal to finish the day and I managed to get in before head torches were required. I could have done with a cup of tea at the end but there was nothing included - there was a canteen in the sports centre but I hadn't bought any cash so just retreated to my car.

It was a really good day; lovely hills and woodland path ways, no major dramas and I would definitely recommend it.

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10:10 06-01-19

Ran this in 2018 and although I don’t have a wealth of experience in ultras (yet) this was a great event. Really nice scenic route, aid stations very well stocked and just a very well organised race. Will definitely be back next year, already looking forward to the homemade flapjacks at a few of the checkpoints :)

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03:48 19-12-18

I ran the Hurtwood 50 in 2018, for its first edition. This is a great race, well suited for beginners as the paths are very runable (despite the mud) and very generous cut-off. The organisation, aid stations, route marking and volunteers were perfect! Highly recommended :-)

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10:49 18-12-18

Really well organised event. Course was well marked with great support from volunteers. Very generous cut offs make it an ideal first Ultra for all abilities.

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01:52 04-12-18

What a fantastic event. The volunteers, organisers, facilities, marking and brutal hills. A fab medal and Cotton Tee (although I'm not on for Tees as Environment and all that) This event caters for all levels with a good cut off and all in all a great team behind this one. I definitely recommend this event to anyone.

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Peter Telford

10:05 02-12-18

This is an excellent event - well organised, well marked and brilliant marshals. The pre-race information was well structured, timely and answered all the questions you could expect. The pre-race logistics were well organised and then we were off - running down Dorking high street with marshals covering all the junctions. After about about 3/4 mile it is into the hills - slightly more undulating than I expected but the views at the top were well worth the climb. This felt like a fast course and as it is an out and back on the same on the same route (with a loop at the end) you get to see the speedsters in full flight!. The cut-offs are very generous in keeping with the general desire to create a great running experience - this is an excellent run for a first ultra. In short I really enjoyed this event and would recommend it

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