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Jurassic Coast Challenge

26-Mar-2021 National Sailing Academy Portland DT4 9AG, South West, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
127KM / 79Miles
3 Days - 300 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Entry From £165 GBP

The Jurassic Coast Challenge is rated as one of the top ten Ultra's to do.

Run, walk or crawl a marathon a day for 3 days along the stunning Jurassic Coastal Path. 

3 marathons in 3 days is a format that is challenging but achievable by most. Runners, joggers and walkers all take on the challenge and start at different times each day.Votwo has teamed up with Geo Tracks. This system provides runners with a personal GPS tracker and navigation mobile phone app allowing them to accurately navigate the course and receive real-time positions of the other participants and themselves. The coastal footpath is well marked along the way.

The event is facilitated at the HQ area which is also the finish point of day 1. Meals, massage, shop and briefing are all located at the HQ. .  The votwo team take care of everything at the event for you so all you need to concentrate on is completing the distance each day.

The Jurassic Coast Line is well known for its spectacular views and challenging hills. Each day's route takes in a variety of terrain from coastal foot path to beaches and tracks.

The start point is Charmouth and the course runs from West to East. The Challenge will finish on Day 3 at the National Trust Shell Bay Car Park, Studland. Many challengers will be pleased to note the route still includes the whole circumnavigation of Portland. 

All finishers receive a medal and event T Shirt 


Event Organiser
Peter Mason



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.

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04:47 26-03-18

Jurassic Coast Challenge March 2018

A day after the 'happenings' that make up the Jurassic Coast Challenge here is my attempt to sum it up in a paragraph or two.

I chose the challenge as an introduction to multi-day events as it afforded the opportunity to stretch my legs over a 3 days all from the comfort of four solid walls, hot and cold running water, and food I didn't have to cook myself as VOTWO (the event organisers) promise to do this for you. The organisation in general is excellent both on and off the route. The main hub at Portland Sailing Academy has everything you need pre and post race, including hot showers, perfect for when you have a long drive home on the Sunday and there is a briefing every morning focusing on key sections of the route (more of that later). Out on the course there are checkpoints every 7 miles or so which you have to record your time and these are well stocked with friendly marshalls and a variety of sweet and savoury snacks. I lived for the cheese and pickle sandwiches and for the marshall who would fill my bottles from a jug, meaning I didn't have to bend over or argue with my kit :)

As for the challenge itself, it is a point to point starting in Charmouth on Day 1 and finishing in Studland on Day 3. If you don't know the coast line it is absolutely stunning and very lumpy. According to my Garmin I climbed 8500ft over the 3 days with each day being slightly more lumpy than the last. In fact I can probably sum it up best by sharing the opinion of the chap I see semi-regularly for a massage who said that my quads were the worst he'd seen them since I started visiting him 3 years ago.

A free shuttle bus service takes you to the start and finish each day and from then on the route is self navigated with maps provided for each day. The good news here is that the South Coast Footpath is a National Trust trail, so in the main is well marked, meaning that as long as you keep your wits about you there is very little map reading to be done. I learnt this mostly from the Sunday when I lost my wits and took a few little detours, even ending up having a paddle in the sea when I took an 'alternate route' (that's what the sign said) but no major damage was done and it all added to the learning experience which I intended the event to be.

Truly its difficult to be critical. The course really is challenging but it is stacked with lots of friendly runners and staff that keep you going so instead I will finish with a couple tips should you decide to run it.

1) Make sure you stretch after each day. I hopped on a minibus everyday without doing so and with the return journeys being up to an hour my legs didn't thank me very much.
2) Pay attention to the signs and the briefings, particularly on day 3, they will save you some vital meters and if you see a sign saying 'studland alternative route' ignore it, it's nothing but a wet liar.

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03:05 05-04-16

This was my first multi-day event and I loved it. As already echoed, the "challenge not a race" element made it really social, everyone supporting each other as we went along. It was really well organised, aid stations well stocked, friendly marshals. I've done VO2 events before like the Salty Seadog Triathlons and they are just as well organised.

The scenery is stunning, and you are always rewarded with a view after each beastly climb! Yes, my legs burnt and I wondered how I was going to complete the next day every evening, but the mind has amazing power over the body! I completed it and of course am now planning my next event!

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08:31 26-03-16

The Jurassic Coast Challenge is an event taking place over three days where participants run, jog or walk approximately a marathon per day along the Dorset coast. I took part in 2016. I thought that the organisation was good and the staggered start times reduce the disparity in finishing times of different abilities. It felt like a good gentle introduction to stage races, allowing people to get a feel for the format without the cost, effort, logistica or intimidation of a larger event abroad such as the Transalpine or the MDS.

Overall the event ("it is a challenge, not a race") was very enjoyable. Some people clearly found the self-navigation aspect challenging - I overtook quite a few joggers/walkers twice on one day when they took chunky shortcuts!

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05:09 25-03-16

This was my first step into multi day events and I have to say I was very impressed. Everyone involved was fantastic and helped make it a very memorable 3 days. The setting for this event is beautiful and savage in equal amounts and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am hoping this is something I can return to year upon year.

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