How difficult is the route?
- On the whole, the route is undulating, but should provide the opportunity for some relatively fast running. However, the route is primarily off-road and unpaved. As such, the usual hazards can be expected, such as tree roots, stiles, uneven ground etc. If you would like to view a helicopter tour of the route, please click here.
What does my entry fee provide?
- Amongst other things, the entry fee provides you with a running number, food / drinks on the route with associated support crew, transport to the finish line on our minibus should you need to drop out during the race or you miss a cut-off time at a checkpoint, and a finishers t-shirt and medal should you complete the race within the time limit
What is the maximum number of runners for this race?
- 200 for the SVP100 and 200 for the SVP50
What’s the latest I can sign up?
- We will close entry to the race should we receive 200 applications for the SVP100 and 200 for the SVP50. Any entries after this will be placed onto a waiting list, where you will have priority entry on a first come first served basis should other runners drop out ahead of the race.
- Regardless of entry numbers we will close entry to the race on the Sunday before the race.
Can I enter on the day of the race?
- Unfortunately we are unable to provide this option
Is there a qualification standard for entry to this race?
- No, but we do strongly suggest that you are comfortable with distance running (preferably marathon distance as a minimum) and also have experience of running off-road. Please make sure you have either run a trail marathon, or plan to run a trail marathon in advance of the race, to build experience. For example, the Stour Valley Marathon would be great practice.
- Please ensure you are also comfortable with running at least 13 miles unsupported.
- Please be aware that many of you are likely to be completing the race in the dark. As such, ensure that you spend time practicing running and navigating in the dark with a head torch. Also, if you are uncomfortable running on your own in the dark, ensure that you are paired with another runner of similar pace during the race.
How can I train for the run?
Do you have a community page where I can ask questions and share thoughts, ideas and photos with other runners, volunteers etc?
- Yes, we have a community page on Facebook, designed for runners, supporters and volunteers. Please feel free to sign up to the group here
Where can I stay before / after the run?
What type of terrain will I encounter?
- The route is primarily off-road and unpaved (approximately 5% paved, 95% trail)
Are there any road crossings, rail crossings or stiles / gates to navigate during the run?
- Yes. The course is primarily off-road on trails and paths. As such, there are a number of crossings to navigate. Details of these crossings can be found under the ‘hazards’ section of the website.
Are there any mandatory kit requirements for the run?
- Yes. Please refer to the ‘Kit’ section of the website.
What should I wear?
- Please wear clothing that you are comfortable running in. Ideally, make sure you have practiced running in your chosen gear. Regarding footwear, it would be sensible to wear off-road trainers given the nature of the path. However, if it has been a dry summer, road shoes may also be suitable, but will obviously offer less support on uneven surfaces.
What will be available at the checkpoints?
- Food: Products from the High5 range, bananas, sweets, savoury snacks etc.
- Drink: water, cola
What should I eat / drink during the race?
- Please refer to the nutrition section of this website for advice. Race recovery information can also be found here.
How do I get to the start?
Where is the finish?
What time does the race start?
- 07:00AM for the SVP100
- 13:00PM for the SVP50
Are there time limits throughout the race?
- Yes. Please refer to the checkpoint location information on the route page for details of cut-off times.
Are pacers allowed on the course?
Are crews allowed?
- We encourage you to invite supporters to provide you with morale boosting cheers throughout the day, and perhaps some of your favourite treats towards the latter stages of the race.
- Please note that the majority of checkpoints will be situated adjacent to public houses. As such, there should be adequate opportunity for parking and refreshments.
- Please see details on checkpoint locations on ‘the route‘ page
- Crew / supporters are encouraged not to stand adjacent to or block the checkpoints. Runners will need clear access to all of the checkpoints.
Do I need a map of the course?
- The route is regularly marked with waymarkers. However, it is strongly suggested that you carry a smart phone with GPS functionality and / or a paper-based map of the route. Please do not rely on other runners knowing the way.
- A route guide can be downloaded and printed or ordered here, and is a mandatory piece of equipment for the run. If you have an older copy of the route guide, this is also acceptable.
- A GPX file for the course can be downloaded from The route page.
Is there parking available at the start?
- If you are driving, there should be adequate parking very close to the starting location in Newmarket for the SVP100, particularly around Birdcage Walk and Falmouth Avenue. Similarly there is adequate parking close to the train station in Sudbury. Please note that you will be leaving your car at your own risk.
Will there be toilets at the start and throughout the course?
- Toilets will be available at registration. The route itself passes a number of public facilities.
What do I do if I need to drop out of the race?
- You may drop out at any checkpoint on the course (we will pick you up and transport you to the finish)
- Please note that if you drop out at any point along the course, whether it’s at a checkpoint or not, you must immediately inform the race director. Please send a text with your name and race number so that we are aware that you have withdrawn from the race. Contact details for the race director will be provided when you register.
- If dropping out at an aid station, in addition to informing the race director of the decision to withdraw, the runner must also hand in their running number to one of the volunteers.
What medical support can I expect?
- We will have medics supporting the race, in addition to other trained medical professionals.
If I need to withdraw before the day of the race or during the race itself, is there a refund policy?
- Any time up until 4 weeks from the date of the race: 70% refund
- Inside of 4 weeks from the race: no refunds will be given. This policy is not dependent on circumstances and is final.
- During the race: no refunds will be given.
- Unfortunately, we are unable to defer entries to subsequent years. However, if you do want to guarantee yourself a free place in the race in a subsequent year, you may do so through helping out at the race in the current year. More details can be found here. We also do not allow the transfer of places from one runner to another to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to entering.
What happens if the event is cancelled or abandoned?
- We may need to modify the route or even cancel the event, if circumstances beyond our reasonable control arise, such as a force majeure (event that is the result of the elements of nature e.g. severe flooding). Should this circumstance arise and it is deemed to negatively impact the safety of the event, we will communicate with you as soon as the decision is made to cancel or postpone the event, via the email address that you have provided. A decision to postpone the event may also be made on the day or the race, or even during the race. Your safety is our number one priority.
- Should the event be abandoned, postponed or cancelled, we will do everything possible to reschedule the event to a date in the future. All entries will be carried forward to the new date.
- Due to the fixed costs associated with the race, we will not be able to provide refunds should the aforementioned situation arise.
- In the event of abandonment, postponement or cancellation of the race, we will have no responsibility for any costs incurred as a result of cancellation, including travel or accommodation costs.
What do I get for completing the course?
- The male and female winners will receive a prize, courtesy of the ULTRAmarathonRunningStore.
- Other than kudos and bragging rights, all runners will receive a finisher t-shirt and medal, if you complete the route within the time limit.
Do the SVP100 and SVP50 provide me with points to qualify for other races?
- If you are fast enough, you can submit your time in order to try and obtain entry to Spartathlon. Further details about the qualification criteria for this race can be found on the Spartathlon website.
- If you complete the SVP100 within the cut-off time, you will earn 3 points towards every race of The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®. The SVP50 will provide 2 points.
How can I contact the race director on race day?
- Contact details for the race director will be provided to all competitors at registration.
Is there any recommended pre-race reading?
- We will email an information pack ahead of the event.
Are drop bags allowed?
How can I get my kit bag at the end of the race?
- You may leave a kit bag at the start point, which we can transport to the finish. We will limit this to one kit bag per runner. Please ensure the kit bag is clearly marked with your name, running number and mobile phone number on a luggage tag.
- Kit bags will not be sent to competitors if uncollected on the day. They will have to be collected in person from an address (to be determined) in London at a specified date / time after the race. Please bear in mind that this will be an inconvenience to both the Race Director and yourself.
How can I recieve your race newsletters?
- We will email all registered runners with updates in advance of the race.
I’m keen on doing a recce of the route. Are there any other races along the footpath?
- Yes, there is race called the Stour Valley Marathon, which partly follows the Stour Valley Path for distance. It looks like a good race for people wishing to familiarise themselves with the latter stages of the footpath.
Why do you have a black dog as your logo?
- Black Shuck, Old Shuck, Old Shock or simply Shuck is the name given to a ghostly black dog which forms part of the folklore of Norfolk, Suffolk, the Cambridgeshire fens and Essex. The large black dog has malevolent flaming eyes (or in some variants of the legend a single eye) that are red or alternatively green. He prowls along dark lanes and lonesome field footpaths.
- In certain tales the animal is regarded as relatively benign and said to accompany people on their way home in the role of protector. Some black dogs have been said to help lost travellers find their way home and are more often helpful than threatening.