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This year's City Race takes place on the same evening as Brighton's annual parade Burning the Clocks. The parade attracts upwards of 10,000 spectators and the city becomes busy in the early evening. For this reason, the start time of the city race has been brought forward by two hours and the race will start in the west of the city. Prizegiving for the city race will take place at 18.15 and participants will be able to watch the parade which passes close to Assembly 25 minutes later. More information about Burning the Clocks can be found by following the link.

Assembly for the Brighton City Race will be at Middle Street School and will open at 15.00. All participants should aim to arrive at the school by 15.30 to attend a briefing and to pick up their numbered bibs. Toilets and refreshments will be available. There are separate starts for juniors and adult competitors. Adults will take the 16.32 train from Brighton station to a start location in Hove. The junior start will be at 17.00, close to Assembly.

There will be a limited clothing dump at Hove station, with transport provided to take light apparel back to Brighton. The finish for all courses will be near to Assembly. For adult competitors, the run will take 40-60 minutes to complete with course lengths from 10km-4km depending on age class. Each course will feature 15-25 checkpoints that will need to be visited somewhere en route between Hove and Brighton. More information to follow, with final details available one week ahead of the competition. Fees are £10 (£5 U25s) until 7 December 2019. Late entry fees are £11 (£5) until 14 December 2019. After that entries will be £12 (£6) whilst maps remain available.

Entries are now open at Fabian4 and the 2019 running of the Brighton City Race promises to be a memorable night out for all.


Download details for last year's Brighton City race here.

Early details

Welcome to Brighton and the 11th annual City Race.


15.00                     School opens

15.15                     Refreshments available

15.15                     Collect your numbered bibs and hired timing chips. Clear your SI cards.

16.32                     Take Train from Brighton to Hove

16.45                     Senior Race start

17.00                    Junior Race – Leave to make your own way to the start (350m)

18.15                     Prize giving – Medals for top 3 finishers in each class

18.30                     Assembly closes


Safety has always been our number one priority, especially for junior competitors.  The city centre is officially a 20mph zone, however the roads can be busy. Please do take care at all crossings and wherever the surfaces may be slippery. Juniors will receive a separate safety email during the coming week. Please would all competitors take care to avoid bumps with members of the public.


On behalf of Southdowns Orienteers, Neil and I wish you an enjoyable and challenging evening!


Robert Lines, Organiser

Neil Crickmore, Planner


Important things to note

  • Juniors under 21 are required to wear hi viz. Highly recommended for all others

  • A bright torch is essential for map reading and navigation

  • Novices are advised to carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies

  • Prize giving is at 6.15pm


Travel Directions

The event centre is Middle Street School, Middle Street, Brighton (BN1 1AL). The school will be open to competitors from 15:00.


If travelling by public transport, aim for Churchill Square shopping centre.  For those driving, the closest (but expensive) option is Churchill Square car park - drive to Brighton Pier and then head west along the coast road 400m before turning north into West Street (by the cinema), the car park is the second turning on the left. A park and ride scheme also operates from the Withdean Stadium (http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1000782)


The on-street parking map indicates how far out you need to be to get to the free parking areas. Parking is free outside of the marked zones. Pay & Display.


Best value parking (that's relatively close) is on Madeira Drive shown in SE corner of map below. It's £4.20 after 4pm or £7.20 for the whole day.


Pre-race shopping/sightseeing

Brighton city centre is not embargoed and so you are free to wander round the shops and attractions before the race. However please respect the spirit of the competition and do not walk round with an old orienteering map, or go actively searching for controls.

Help and advice on the night

There will be plenty of helpers on the night that are able to give advice etc from 15.30 onwards. So, if anything below is unclear then please don't hesitate to ask. Alternatively, you are welcome to email the organiser Robert Lines beforehand.



During the event we will be serving teas, coffee and mince pies etc. (50p for a drink and a mince pie.)


The Competition

There will be a mass start for all senior courses.  The junior event (Course 6) will start at 17.00 from a location adjacent to the school.


The aim is to 'punch' the electronic controls in the order shown on the map and finish within a 100 minute time limit. It will be a timed start – i.e. you do not have to punch a control at the start. The winning times for courses 1-5 are expected to be 35-40 minutes. The junior course will be run much quicker.


All participants must punch the Finish and report back to Download at Assembly. This is a safety requirement so that we know that there are no lost or injured competitors remaining out on the course.


SportIdent (SI) Electronic Punching System (EPS)

The control boxes will be enabled for contactless punching. This means that if you have the appropriate card (known as a SIAC) then you don’t have to “dib” it into the hole in the control box but just need to swipe it within 50cm of the box. Hired SI cards must be returned at the end of the event. Lost cards will be charged at their replacement cost (£60 for a contactless SIAC card).

If you are not familiar with the use of contactless punching equipment then please note the following:

  1. Cards should be cleared as with older SI Cards.

  2. Cards are enabled for contactless punching when they are dibbed in a check unit. It is therefore crucial that you turn your card on using a check box.

  3. When the cards are activated you will see a faint green flash in the tip every 10 seconds or so.

  4. A successful ‘punch’ is indicated by your card flashing and beeping.

  5. When you ‘punch’ at the finish your card is turned off. You should therefore avoid running too close to the finish during the course.

  6. If for whatever reason your card does not work in contactless mode you can still use it in traditional dibbing mode.



There are 6 courses and participants may enter any one of these. However to be eligible for a medal (top 3 finishers in each class) you must enter a class appropriate to your age/gender.

Course 1-5 maps are at a scale of 1:5,000 on A3 waterproof paper. Course 6 have a 1:2500 map on A4.


Indicative course lengths (from last year's event):

If you have a version 8 SI card (numbers 2,000,000 - 2,999,999) your card can only hold 30 punches. So, if you are on course 1, it is important that you do not punch controls other than the ones on your course.


All courses contain butterfly loops. This is a system designed to split runners up during the course. After punching a central control some runners will follow one of the loops before returning to that central control and then heading out on another loop. This second loop will once again return you to that central control which you punch for the third time before continuing the course. Different runners will run the loops in different orders.


IOF pictoral descriptions are printed on the front of each map. No loose descriptions will be issued. On the map, each control will show both the course sequence number and the control code (eg 1-81, 2-84, 3-95, 4-101, 5-131 etc).


Example of a butterfly loop

In this example the Start is marked on the map by a purple triangle. Competitors visit the controls in numerical order from 1-7 before finishing in the park. The finish symbol is the double circle. The first control is also punched as control 4 and 7. This means that the middle of a 'butterfly loop' is visited three times in total. On the map the middle butterfly control is marked ‘1/4/7-31’ which means the control box is number 31, and the control feature is the 1st, 4th and 7th location to visit.


The Control Description table on the right of the map indicates that the first control will be marked on the ground with the reference number 31. The second control will have reference number 34 etc.


Pre-entry and entry on the day

Competitors that have pre-entered the event simply need to collect their bib (and SI card if hiring). No further registration process is required on the night.


There is no entry on the day except via Fabian4 up until 10am. Adults £10 and Juniors (U21) £5. U16's must be accompanied, though there is no fee for the accompanying adult.



The school hall will have toilets, refreshments and a live results service as competitors download.


What to wear

Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. It is highly recommended to wear a hi-viz jacket on top. (Compulsory for juniors U21.) Courses are mainly on hard surfaces with some sections on grass in a park. 



All participants will need to wear a race bib for safety reasons. The information fields at the bottom of the sheet include runner identification, the relevant course number and emergency telephone contact. Safety pins will be provided.

Torches and headtorches

In previous years most people wore or carried some kind of torch. This year they will be needed. As well as lighting up the map, there are other benefits including security and the reduction of potential collisions in less well-lit areas.



People run in Brighton every day without incident. However, the risks that all competitors should be aware of are those of road traffic accidents and collisions with members of the public and other runners.

Competitors can mitigate the risks to a great extent by following the guidance:

  • Hi-viz jackets/waistcoats highly recommended

  • Cross roads only after having checked that it is safe to do so

  • Take care when running around corners

  • Take extra care when emerging from alleyways

  • Adjust speed to take in to account the various urban conditions



The maps are printed at a scale of 1:5,000 using the ISSOM symbol set.


Download will be back in the school. Please make sure that you download even if you didn’t complete the course – that way we know that you have returned safely. We will also have an SIAC off unit in case any contactless dibber did not turn off at the finish.



The control boxes will be positioned so that they are visible as soon as you have navigated to the correct side of the feature. They will be attached to the feature using metal cable ties. The control site will be highlighted with an orienteering kite 15cm by 15 cm.


Missing controls: at a previous event, a control site was vandalised and the SI boxes removed. The locations of each of the controls in this year’s race should be obvious so if you are convinced that i) you are in the right place and ii) that the control is missing, then you should continue with the race. No adjustment of times will be made for vandalised controls, and no one will be disqualified for not punching at a missing control.

Control descriptions

Pictorial control descriptions will be printed on the maps. No loose descriptions will be available.


Full results will be published on the event websites within 24 hours of the event:




This event is part of the South of England Orienteering Urban League.


Prize giving & course closing

Prize giving will take place at event centre. The Brighton City Race prize giving will take place at 6.15pm and there are medals for the top three finishers in each of the classes. The prize giving for the South of England Urban League will follow immediately afterwards.


Controls will be collected in from 7pm, so please report back to the Assembly and Download area by that time even if you haven't finished. The number of controls successfully visited will be recorded even if you were unable to complete the whole course.

Photographs and video

It is likely that photographs/video will be taken at the event to help promote the sport. Please let the organiser know if this causes any difficulties.


Next Year's Race

The date for the 12th Brighton City Race is Saturday 19 December 2020. See the event website for details from September 2020.



IOF Control Descriptions (Maprunner website)

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