Brighton Trail Marathon


This page details the water, gels, nutrition and facilities in place across the course as well as further information regarding dropping out and medical positions.


The route will be clearly marked with signage and marshals to assist you with way-finding.

Example of directional arrow to follow the route:



Example of Gate No sign:

Course map


Due to a higher drop-out rate than expected leading to fewer Marathon runners planned on the day, we feel it would be inappropriate to continue with our original planned route for the Brighton Trail Marathon which included road closures that impacted access to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, numerous local businesses and residents.

The Brighton Trail Marathon will now start at East Brighton Park, rather than on Madeira Drive, to avoid impacting the Hospital and reduce road closures. East Brighton Park is less than a mile from the original start line, and already featured on the route.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but hope you understand why this decision has been made and thank you for your support.

Trail Marathon runners will now run almost exclusively on trails, from the beautiful setting on East Brighton Park. All six major climbs will still be included on the route, starting with the run up to the Racecourse!

Please note: the new route is still a full marathon of 26.2 miles. The distance has been made up with a loop of East Brighton Park and some other minor tweaks.


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King and Queen of the Beacon

There will be timing mats at the bottom and top of the Ditchling Beacon Loop, climb 5.

The fastest male and female runner to complete this segment will be crowned as the King and Queen of the Beacon – kindly sponsored by our Official Partner Styrkr.

At the top of the hill, you will also find the Styrkr Aid Station, so take time to refuel and catch your breath after the big push up the hill.

The top three fastest men and women to complete the Beacon climb will also receive:

-Styrkr vouchers! £150, £100 and £50 for first, second and third
-A Styrkr cap
-A Styrkr adventure box
-A trophy

Walking the hills

Walking is always encouraged at Trail events, and with the uneven terrain and multiple climbs planning to walk some sections can help you reach the finish line in your quickest time.

The marathon course has six climbs throughout it, each with stunning views. Even if others around you are running up them, if you’re feeling tired, are ready for a short break or just want to take in the scenery we suggest aiming to walk up the inclines. This will leave you with more energy for the declines and flat stretches.

Navigational devices

Our route distances were gathered using an electronic mapping system. This is as accurate as possible, but discrepancies can occur between the use of different GPS running computers. Therefore, this may lead to minor differences in distances calculated between devices when out on the route.


There will be a team of back-markers who will follow behind the last participant. Back-markers will leave the start at the back of the race and stay out on the route until everyone has finished or the route closes.

Aid Stations

Aid Stations are approximately every 4-7 miles. They are there to support you, provide you with refreshment and allow you to check in with the medics should you need to.

We recommend that you spend a short amount of time at each Aid Station and that you get back onto the trail as quickly as possible.

Please do not arrange to meet up with friends and family at Aid Stations, many will not be open to spectators – please see below.

Each Aid Station will have a specific opening and closing time between which time it will be operational. You will be required to leave the Aid Station before the closing time.

Aid Station Location Distance (miles) Next Aid Station


Open Close Food / Drink / Sports Nutrition available
Start East Brighton Park 0 3.2 07:30 09:30 Water
1 Falmer Road 3.2 7.8 08:00 11:00 • HIGH5 Sports Nutrition: Zero tabs, Energy Source Gels

• Water

2 Housedean Farm 11 3.8 08:45 14:00 • HIGH5 Sports Nutrition: Zero tabs, Energy Source Gels

• Fruit

• Water

3 Old Racecourse 14.8 5.9 09:30 16:15 • HIGH5 Sports Nutrition: Zero tabs, Energy Source Gels

• Water

4 Ditchling Beacon 20.7 4.3 09:15 17:15 • HIGH5 Sports Nutrition: Zero tabs, Energy Source Gels

• Fruit

• Water

5 Chalk Car Park 25 1.2 09:30 18:45 • HIGH5 Sports Nutrition: Zero tabs, Energy Source Gels

• Water

Finish Stanmer Park 26.2 0 07:30 19:00 • Water at finish line

• High 5 Bars

• Fruit


FLUIDS AND FUEL on the course

We recommend that you bring a water bottle or collapsible cup with you to the event to refill at the Aid Stations, to make use of HIGH5 Zero drink, and carry with you between Aid Stations.

There will be both Aquapax water and HIGH5 ZERO drink available across the course at aid stations. We are not providing cups, so if you wish to take on HIGH5 Zero drink you will need to bring your own reusable, collapsible cup or bottle.

The Aid Stations will all have water in Aquapax cartons and some nutrition.

  • If you are bringing your own bottle or hydration system, please arrive with your water bottle or hydration system full for the start.
  • There will be Aquapax bottles at the start if you do not bring a cup or bottle with you. But as mentioned above, remember there will not be additional cups for HIGH5 Zero at Aid Stations.
  • There will be recycling bins available at the Aid Stations for the Aquapax cartons.
  • PLEASE NOTEIf you pick up an Aquapax from an Aid Station to use on your run, please leave no trace on the route. Take the Aquapax with you until the next Aid Station where you can dispose of it (and we will recycle it).
  • Please take care to keep the lid or dispose of it at the Aid Station


Toilets will be positioned at the five Aid Stations throughout the course*.

There will also be toilets at both the start and finish in the event village. At the start and finish you will also find accessible toilets.

*Toilet facilities at Aid Stations will not include accessible toilets. If you have additional needs which require prioritisation for toilet use (e.g. a medical condition) please make yourself known to a staff member/volunteer working the Aid Station, and they will grant you priority access.


As this is a trail event, you can expect your course to sometimes be remote. You will therefore need to keep your awareness about you. The course will be signposted, and we will have marshals, but it is important that you notice and follow all the course signs.  

Regardless of your pace, we expect that at most points of the race you will be able to see the runner in front of you. We will also have a lead bike and a sweeper team, so it should be that you can always follow the person in front of you. If you do lose sight of them, don’t worry. Just keep going and following the signage. 


Please also be aware that your route is taking place on public trails, and you can expect the local community, including dog walkers, to still be making use of them. The areas around the course have all been given advance notice of the event so will be expecting runners but please be respectful of everyone out enjoying the trails. 


There will be first aid at the five Aid Stations along the course – please see course map. Most participants will be treated at the nearest Aid Station to them but any serious cases will be transported to Accident and Emergency at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.


In places there may be a need for Blue Light access across the course to allow access for emergency vehicles. In the unlikely event that a blue light vehicle needs to cross or access the course, we ask you to please stop and make way.


We appreciate that there might be times you need to walk or are moving slower than other participants.

We ask participants to prepare to complete Brighton Trail Marathon at a minimum pace of 3 miles per hour (walking pace), which would see you completing the course in around 9 hours.

If you are still on the course after the 9 hour point, you will still be able to finish your challenge supported by the event team and with a medal waiting for you on the finish line.

There will be a team of back-markers who will follow behind the last participant. Back-markers will leave the start at the back of the race and stay out on the route until everyone has finished or the route closes.

If you are expecting to finish your race at around 11:30, you may cross the finish line alongside some of our 10k runners who are expecting to run at a pace of 90 minutes or more.


AWOL, the Official Race Photographers will be placing photographers around the course to take pictures of you while you are running.

As well as being able to buy a bundle of your photos, they will be providing live photography of the event using their facial, chip and number recognition system. This means that friends and family can see your progress throughout the event!

Find out more.


Please do not use a personal music-playing device whilst participating in this event.

You will be held strictly and solely liable if found to be responsible for any harm to yourself or any third party or parties or damage to any property (whether yours or that of a third party) which arises as a result of you wearing any personal music playing device in contradiction of this advice.


We have closed Ditchling Beacon meaning you will be running on the road.

As the toughest climb of the route we’ve put some extras in place:

  • An Aid Station as the top to help you recover from the hill – kindly sponsored by Official Partner of Brighton Trail Weekend Styrkr.
  • Timing mats at the bottom and top so we can crown a King and a Queen: the fastest participants to tackle the segment!
  • We are encouraging spectators to gather at Ditchling Beacon to cheer you on as you tackling the 5th and largest climb of the route.


There are six unique climbs along the route of the Brighton Trail Marathon course.

  1. The Racecourse: 2.5km, 97m ascent, 150m elevation
  2. The Swan: 1.2km, 117m ascent, 178m elevation
  3. Bunkers Hill: 0.5km, 63m ascent, 113m elevation
  4. Mount Harry: 1.9km, 117m ascent, 192m elevation
  5. Beacon Loop: 1.1km, 145m ascent, 228m elevation
  6. Woodland: 1.4km, 81m ascent, 191m elevation

Learn more about the climbs here.


Our volunteers are amazing people who give up their free time to support our event and our participants. Please be kind and courteous to them at all times as they are in place to make your run the best experience it can be.

They will be positioned from start to finish and in the Event Village supporting at water stations, marshalling on the course, handing out medals and more.


  • Be sure to pin your race number where Race Marshals can see it, ideally the front of your vest or t-shirt.
  • Arrive at the start according to your allocated arrival time
  • Don’t try to enter a faster start wave than you are capable of running in. Faster runners will not want to try and overtake you or run around you. You can, however, drop back to a slower than predicted time if you wish.
  • Please leave no trace whilst visiting the city. Discard of your litter in provided bins.
  • Please be polite and calm when dealing with our staff and volunteers – this includes communication on email and social media. Many have given their time up for free and will be working long hours to support your race experience.
  • Try not to stop suddenly during your race – move to the side of the course and then stop.
  • Please wash hands after using the toilets
  • Please do not spit or blow your nose freely around other runners, where they could get hit!
  • If there is a crowd at an aid station, please wait your turn and only take as much water and/or fuel as you need. There will also be space to stop and catch your breath, but please step to the side to do so.
  • Once across the finish line please keep moving to collect your medal, blanket and kit bag.
  • Please DO NOT run through the finish line with children or non-participants. This is a restricted area and is extremely important for yours and their wellbeing.
  • Do not attempt to give or sell your race number to anyone. They will be disqualified.
  • Do not attempt to take part in the race without an official entry or race number. This is for your safety as we will not have a record of your entry for medical purposes.