The Jog Shop Jog

The Jog Shop Jog

We have held the jog shop jog now for 25 years it has always been succesful and we hope you have enjoyed it.

the numbers have never been great but it is a bit of a cult race and is an ideal training run for any marathon which of course was its original intention.

we have looked at ways of improving it and we are now going to take over tho old date of the now defunct worthing 20 which has gone the way of so many road races and suffered from too much red tape. This is the last sunday of march and a couple of weeks before the spring marathons start. However with this date comes mothers day very difficult to get help and so on so we are going to go with the saturday instead so next year, 2017 we will hold the race on saturday 25 march I hope this is acceptable to everyone . we can but see.
 

The Course.

With features of the race like Death Valley, The Snake and The Big W, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Jog Shop Jog takes place in the Wild West rather than the gentle green hills of the South Downs national park in Sussex. Yet, as anyone who has completed the race will testify, those gentle hills are not as easy as they look.

The race covers just over twenty miles, most of this within the quietly beautiful South

Downs. Roughly 90% of the course is off-road, with several gates and stiles which competitors have to negotiate.

Runners start the race at the Brighton Marina,in the ASDA carpark and climb to the clifftop up the zig-zag path they then head east towards Rottingdean along the grass where the race drops onto the undercliff for a few hundred metres before using the first tunnel to cross the coast road and head inland through Saltdean. this is also the first waterstation .At the north end it leaves the road and goes off road at the football club and turns right up Pickers hill to the top of the downs.This is a tough hill with 5 miles halfway up.

At the top its right left and cross the beautiful rolling grassland of the downs before dropping down ready to climb The North Face this is short and steep with the second water station at the top (mill hill Rodmell) .

Here we pick up the south downs way left through the twitten and on to the Yellow Brick Road, a mile and a half of concrete road left over from the second world war and all uphill. At the top you are greeted  with spectacular views of the South Downs and the landscape around Lewes, and of course you discover the meaning of life.

A quick right and left and along the escarpment of the downs for a bit and then

drop down the first descent of the infamous Big W. to Swanborough Here its left and back up again to the S D W (this is half way at the top) along the escarpment for a bit then down the second descent towards Kingston, Here is the third feed station where you turn sharp left and immediately climb back up to the top  .

Continuing along the S D W past the dew pond and straight on past the reserviour turn left at castle hill a nature reserve to drop down to  Death Valley, a mercifully flat stretch of track  with hills on every side, brings respite from the climbs. past the derelict village of Balsdean flattened

as target practice during the war and on to the bottom of The Snake, a long 2 mile grassy track taking us back up to the top again.

Here its a hairpin left and through the back of woodingdean to another reserviour  to pick up the pumping station service road down to rottingdean cross the only road at the crossing and straight up the windmill hill to St Dunstans blind home at ovingdean through the tunnel there to the clifftop and back finishing at the bottom of the zig-zag

Please see the course map and elevation images below to see more details how the race makes its way through the South Downs. Also this link gives a rough idea of the course (the route is drawn quite roughly but gives you an idea of where the race goes). Alternatively, see our photo story (requires Flash) for another look at the race.

 

Myth and Legend.

The Jog Shop Jog has its origins back in the 1970's, when local legends Sam Lambourne, Steve Fortune and Alex Ace Angeli, among others, realised that track workouts wouldn't be enough to get them through the rigours of a full marathon. With a copy of an Ordinance Survey map in hand, a long, challenging route over the South Downs was chosen. The original marathon preparation route took in many of the features of today's course, and, to a  large extent, remains unchanged to this day.

As the training route strayed far from human habitation, there were few named landmarks, so the group decided to give memorable sections of the run names of their own.

The first section of the run to be named was The Yellow Brick Road, when

Steve Fortuneburst into song hallway along this aptly-named oddity. Names for the other landmarks followed soon after.

The race began officially in 1992, which of course meant that it had to be properly measured. Andy Wright undertook this task, covering the entire route by wheel, which took him 9 hours. The course came out at 20 miles, 420 yards.

In 1995, the Belgian Marc De Belder completed the race, writing a humourous account of his adventures which is well worth a read.

Finally, if you would like to see some action shots of the race, have a look at our photo story (requires Flash) for a brief history of the race.

 

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