The Devil's Challenge - POSTPONED
(1-3rd May 2020): a three-day, 97-mile ultra marathon along the South Downs Way, passing the legendary Devil's Dyke valley.
Starting in Winchester in Hampshire, the route heads south east through the stunning South Downs National Park, finishing in Eastbourne, East Sussex on the third day.
This event has been postponed until 2021 because of the Coronavirus pandemic - read our latest statement >
Take in some of England's most breathtaking countryside between Winchester, our original capital city, and the distinctive white chalk cliffs at Eastbourne. Encompassing visible prehistory, picturesque villages and stunning wildlife, the South Downs Way is the perfect challenge for those training for events like the Marathon des Sables, long single-stage events like the SDW100, or who simply want to experience some of the best views in the country.
- Multi-day event prizes for 1st male and 1st female winners, plus male and female age group prizes & FREE entry to the same event next year -
Detailed information about all elements of the event can be found in our event instructions.
Amazing evening speakers
Hear from the brightest and the best from the world of ultra running with our programme of evening speakers, including:
David Byrne - serial XNRGer and author of soon-to-be-released book Running through the night: Ultramarathon adventures in Europe. Prepare to be seriously inspired.
You can enter the whole weekend event including food and accommodation, the whole event without food or accommodation, or individual days.
There are 150 places available and entries will close one week before the event (or when full). A waitlist option will be available if the event becomes fully booked.
Early bird - £160 before 30th September 2019
Standard entry - £180, from 1st October 2019
Late entry - £195, from 1st March 2020
Full event without accommodation or food - £150
Single day - £58
Accommodation and food - £30 per night
There's a 10% discount available for all serving military or emergency services staff. To book with your discount, please email us: email@example.com.
Please note: a 2.5% service charge, levied by the registration software, will be added to your total. We are using a new entry system that takes payment through the secure system Stripe. No payment information is retained by Extreme Energy or our entry system tool. If you need to cancel your entry or transfer to another event, you can do that by logging back into the booking system, Racespace.
Our refunds policy: no refunds or deferrals will be made within one month of the event start.
Starts / Finishes
Day 1 - Friday
The start times on day 1 (Friday) are: walkers 09:30, runners 10:00 and 10:30, with registration open from 08:00 at Chilcomb Sports Ground, Petersfield Rd, Winchester SO21 1HU.
Day 1 finish: Elsted Village Hall GU29 0JY, followed by a minibus shuttle to Midhurst Rother College, North Street, Midhurst, GU29 9DT (our overnight location).
Day 2 - Saturday
Day 2 start: Minibus shuttles to the start at Hilltop Car Park, south of Cocking GU29 0HT.
Day 2 finish: Clayton Village Hall, BN6 9PJ, followed by a minibus shuttle to Patcham High School, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, BN1 8PB (our overnight location).
Day 3 - Sunday
Day 3 start: Minibus shuttles to the start at Ditchling Beacon BN6 8XD.
Day 3 finish: St Andrew's Prep School, Meads Street, Eastbourne BN20 7RP.
The South Downs Way National Trail has excellent markings in the form of signposts or post discs to keep you on track. The route goes through England's latest National Park, including some of the most spectacular scenery and quintessential villages the South has to offer.
It's worth bearing in mind that there will be road crossings to negotiate. We also recommend taking the time to explore the route beforehand and carrying a map with you on race day. For more information see the full event instructions.
Some of our favourite South Downs Way publications:
As with all of our events, everything is taken care of at the Devil’s Challenge so you can focus on the experience! Overnight accommodation, evening meals, showers, breakfast, food and drink at checkpoints, free parking, and even inspiring guest speakers in the evenings are all included for three day participants, and are also available at a supplement for one day participants.
You'll stay at Midhurst Rother College, North Street, Midhurst, GU29 9DT on the first night and Patcham High School, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, BN1 8PB on the second night, with sleeping accommodation in a large hall.
Everything is looked after - all you need to do is run (or jog or walk!)
There will be four aid stations each day, between 6-10 mile distances, fully stocked with water, and sweet and savoury food to keep you fuelled.
Due to the risk of cross contamination, we cannot provide checkpoint food to suit all dietary requirements. If you require special food or snacks to suit any allergies or vegetarian/vegan diets, can you please bring your own. Put them in containers, marked with your name and checkpoint number and give them to the checkpoint teams at the start of the race.
We're going green
Help us do our bit to reduce the impact our events have on the environment by bringing your own reusable or collapsible cups for drinks at checkpoints and on the overnights. Some suggestions we love: the Salomon soft cup and the X cup.
The event is supported by a full paramedic team, plus a Course Manager and first aid trained event crew. We strongly recommend taking a moment to read our medical page before booking.
The only compulsory kit is a fully charged mobile phone and a minimum 500ml of water, but it's worth taking a look at our recommended kit list.
Other equipment may be made compulsory by the race director depending on the weather.
The winners, runners up and age group winners will receive fantastic prizes or vouchers from our sponsors.
Getting to and from the event
Transport to the start on Friday 1st May
The nearest train station to the start is Winchester, part of the the SouthWest Trains network with a regular service from London Waterloo and Southampton. We will be operating mini-bus shuttles from Winchester Station to the start from 08:00. There is limited car parking at the start, but it is a remote location and any vehicles left are at the owner's risk. We strongly recommend you park in Winchester Station car park and use our shuttle.
Hotels for Thursday night in Winchester
There are mumerous hotels and B&Bs in Winchester, including a Holiday Inn and a Premier Inn. We will pick up from any central Winchester hotels as the shuttle goes back and forth from the station to the start. Do not be tempted by Winchester Days Inn, it is too far for us to pick you up and a taxi would make it an expensive stay.
Hotels for Thurday night or Sunday night in Eastbourne
There are also plenty of hotels in and around Eastbourne, if you'd rather catch our shuttle coach to the start, or give yourself more time to recover after the finish, including a Travelodge and a Premier Inn.
Transport from the finish on Sunday 3rd May
We will operate a regular mini-bus shuttle from the finish to Eastbourne Station, for trains to London Victoria Station. The average train journey time to London is 1 hour 36 minutes. Trains also run every hour to Portsmouth and Southampton.
We have arranged for competitors to be able to leave their cars at the Eastbourne finish on Friday morning and book a place on a coach back to the start at Winchester. This means that their car will be at the finish ready for when they get there on Sunday.
There is free parking on the streets surrounding the finish school (St Andrew’s Prep, Meads Street, BN20 7RP), and we would leave from Meads Street, near the school entrance.
The coach will leave at 06:30 on the morning to get to the start in time. This may not be in time for the walkers start so they will have to join the main group of runners at 10:00 or 10:30.
The cost will be £30 a head. Book via additional purchases or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This is not a lift back to Winchester from the finish on Sunday.
The minibuses and some cars will need to head back to the Winchester area once the event is completed on the Sunday afternoon/evening. We are able to transport some people in this way but we ask those who are planning to get a lift with us to wait while we pack up the event.
Our suggestion would be that you try and be independent so that you don’t have to wait, but we will do all we can to accommodate individual requirements.
Detailed information about all elements of the Devil's Challenge can be found in our downloadable instructions.
GPX files: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
We can't wait to see you there! Questions? Say hello on email@example.com.