XNRG’s South Downs Way Devil’s Challenge

The inaugural Devil’s Challenge took place on the 29th April to 1st May, across 97 miles of the South Downs Way. Broken into 3 stages, the competitor with the lowest accumulated over the 3 days would win.

The South Downs Way runs from Winchester in Hampshire, through to Eastbourne in East Sussex, covering 100 miles and 4,150 meters of ascent. Part of a group of 15 National Trails throughout England and Wales, it is one of the few possible to ride a bike or horse the complete duration.

Following a dry winter, the flint and chalk paths were baked, providing a pavement in many areas, rather than a forgiving trail. Those who brought aggressive trail shoes quickly regretted their decision and searched through their bags at over stops for alternatives. The hills rolled, providing a slow grinding down of leg strength. When combined with the firmness underfoot, it made the furious pace at the front of the pack that bit harder.

Although Day 1 begun overcast and cool, the cover soon burnt off, revealing deep blue sky, with the first real heat of the year piercing through. Day 2 saw a cloud covered canopy, with increasing winds throughout. In the later stages, waves of spring showers poured down over competitors, making descents greasy. Day 3 was wet and windy. With the moving front having firmly taken grip, waterproofs were donned through to the cliffs of Beachy Head, where the sun made a last ditch effort to revitalise runners before the short run into Eastbourne and the finish.

Though stages claimed some runners, as for many this was their first multi day ultra or hardest race to date, the main party finished in the grounds of a perp school to a warm welcome from XRNG’s team of volunteers. With no cuts offs, the Devil’s Challenge was for everyone and provided an opportunity for people to dip their toe in and experience a multi day ultra experience.

Results for the top 3 finishers and photo gallery can be seen below.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 21.25.53Day 1

XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Media BriefingXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 LogisticsXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Briefing numberXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Walker BriefingXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Neil Briefing OutdoorsXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Mental GamesXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Walking briefing 2XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Walker StartXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 The StartXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 The Start Rush 1XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Before CP 1 v2XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Before CP 1XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Anna running frontXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 CP 1XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Shaun 37XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Sign PostXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Hill Climb 3XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Hill Climb 2XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Hill Climb 1XNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Dog on trailXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 DogsXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 CP 2 FeastXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 CP 2 Lakes 3 LadiesXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Buggy Running Close UpXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Finish home straightXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 home straight hedgeXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Finish DabXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Finish WallXNRG Devils Challenge Day 1 Finish ArchDay 2

South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 2 CP 1 5South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 2 CP 2 1South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 2 CP 1 2South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 2 CP2 3South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 2 CP3 2South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 2 CP 3 1South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 2 CP 3 3

Day 3South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 the startSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 walkersSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 Second PackSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 SkylineSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 CP 1 34South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 RainSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 tops trippleSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 Anna & Matt CP 3South Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 Anna & Mark laidSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 30 medalSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 arms out repeat finishSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 karate kidSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 trail friendshipsSouth Downs Way Devil's Challenge Day 3 overall winnerOverall Winner Anna-Marie Watson

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