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Three Forts Challenge (3FC)

05-May-2019 Recreation ground, Hill Barn Lane, Worthing, West Sussex, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
43KM / 27Miles
1 Day - 180 Runners

Alternate Distances: 21KM/13M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

A 27.2mile race, “the Tough One”, with 3450 ft climb that starts and finishes at the Recreation Ground at Hill Barn, Worthing.

All routes are signposted and marshals will be in place along the way. There will be eight aid stations along the way offering refreshments. Hot food and drinks will be available at the start and finish lines.

Runners will be monitored by radio and the St. John Ambulance Brigade will be in place at certain locations along the course.

The cut off time is six hours.

There is a half marathon option.

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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 Three Forts Challenge (3FC)

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09:52 23-09-18

Done this a couple of times now. Very difficult run, with some long challenging climbs (and fun long downhills) and great atmosphere. Weather can turn the day around, with mostly open sections taking the strong winds from the south coast. It's cheap and friendly and a challenge in its own right. Definitely get some hill training in if you fancy a quick time! Will definitely do again soon. 5* for price and fun level.

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07:48 17-05-16

This is an incredibly friendly, very well-organised and quite hilly race which I couldn't recommend highly enough. Pretty much all the runners you passed on the out and back bit exchanged a supportive 'well done', which pretty much sums up the race for me. Running up and down hills, smiling, is what it's all about.

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05:21 16-05-16

A year ago, I gave myself a challenge of running a 5k every day for one month as a way to start my Brighton marathon training. I did most of it on coastal paths and the South Downs and now prefer going off road whenever I can. I doubt I would have had the confidence to try the Three Forts Challenge last year but after this year's Brighton marathon, the thought of literally 'Going the extra mile' really appealed to me. Also, it seems a pity to do all that training and then not make the most of it. I wasn't at all interested in a fast time, just the chance to enjoy a steady run in wonderful countryside. Having now completed The Tough One, it probably ranks as one of my most enjoyable running experiences. I'm no ultra runner, so this was a huge challenge for me but the whole day was really well organised by a very supportive team of marshals. The water and food stations are more than enough to get you round and I especially enjoyed the Custard Creams at Truliegh Hill YHA! It has convinced me to try several other off-road marathons over the next 12 months and I will certainly enter 3FC next year. 5 stars from me :-)

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Kata Lubo

11:11 16-05-16

I really enjoyed The Three Forts Challenge.
The area is stunning and participating in this race is a great way to discover it :)
Please read my full review of the 2016 race here: https://goo.gl/RYKpFJ
I hope you will like it.

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10:49 16-05-16

We got lucky with sun, no wind and a great temperature. The South Downs Way can be brutal if conditions are not in your favour. The route was demanding but really enjoyable and the views as you run along the spine of the SDW are stunning. The atmosphere was great throughout and the aid stations were well stocked and always very supportive and friendly. It represented good value too.

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09:19 25-05-15

Lovely race, quite a few hills, really well organised with friendly marshals and plenty of cake 😄

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07:59 11-05-15

Wonderful low key trail marathon, with tough hills a plenty. Well organised and well marshalled. Pit stops frequent and well stocked. Plenty of amenities at start & finish. Local Mayor waiting at end with medal :) One for any trail runners to do list

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03:39 09-05-15

My first trail marathon (though I could even claim it as an ultra, given that it is 27 miles), and it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. I'd done Manchester Marathon two weeks before, and was using this as a training run for Race to the Stones, so didn't put myself under any time pressure. That meant I could take advantage of the many well-stocked aid stations, and pass a comment or two with marshals along the way. They were invariably friendly, even after hours stood in somewhat chilly, windy conditions. Everything about the event was well organised. Changing rooms available before and after, an efficient bag drop, lots of post-race masseurs, and plenty of cake! The course itself is tough - nearly 1000m of ascent - so I'm not sure I would describe it as 'beginner friendly'. It added an hour and 20 mins to my recent marathon pb. But I would certainly do it again, hopefully on a day when all the climbing would be rewarded with great views.

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12:01 09-05-15

A really good event, week run, lots of marshalls and fully stocked checkpoints, it's a mile longer than a marathon and the terrain & elevation make this quite tough. Missed off one star in rating as all you get at the end is a disappointing medal, the same as the half, and nothing more - week apart from now great cakes. Ran the full distance 2015

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06:27 09-05-15

I opted for the 2015 half marathon distance as I wasn't sure how quickly I'd recover from my first full marathon in Brighton 3 weeks before. The weather on the day itself was dismal but spirits were high beforehand. The atmosphere was very friendly. It ticked all of my race boxes. Off-road, low key, well organised with good facilities, well stocked, regular aid stations and although I carried my own supplies it was good to see the marshals friendly faces and get some encouragement! Weather conditions made it tough and the views were non existent but knowing the area well I can vouch for their beauty. I'm looking forward to doing the full challenge next year but if you've just got the trail bug and are wanting to up your game then I can highly recommend this race.

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