Hike Report

On Saturday 5th October at 05:41 the first “A Class” team signed out of the checkpoint at Bignor and marched into the dark morning fog towards Eastbourne. The 2019 Downsman had started…

The full course is a staggering 55 miles long. With the different classes and distances being walked, ranging from 11 miles to 55 miles, the Downsman is simply vast. With teams emerging from 4 different start locations, by mid-morning there was activity spanning almost the entire length of the course. The weather was thankfully favourable with only a small handful of teams getting a soaking late into the night.

Approximately 100 Downsman staff manned checkpoints, crossings, kit checks, HQ, 4×4 response, logistics teams and catering. For first aid, we were grateful to have Eastbourne District First Aid Team (EDSFAT) to respond. I wish to sincerely thank all of our Downsman family of volunteers, without whom the event would not be possible.

I would like to thank and congratulate all of our 314 hikers that formed 69 teams. Their service crews never tired of keeping them fed, watered and keeping spirits high. It was fantastic to see a healthy spread across the sections, teams with cubs, scouts, explorers, network, leaders and guides all taking part. Despite the physical demands of the event, they all seemed to be able to summon that little extra energy needed to raise a smile and they were all exceedingly well-mannered and polite, a credit to the groups and ESU’s that they represented. It mattered not whether teams were a front runner or at the back of the field, they heroically attempted or completed one of the toughest scout endurance hikes in the country, very well done.

Next year’s Downsman will be on 3rd October 2020. We are already seeking more volunteers. If you would like help, then we would love to hear from you. Please could you enter your details here or contact staff@downsman.com and we will add you to our mailing list.

Best Regards

Chris Searle and the Downsman Committee