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Ridgeway Challenge, 23rd to 24th August 2014

About the event

The Ridgeway Challenge continual running event is 86 miles along a 5000 year old trackway through the Chiltern Hills and North Wessex Downs (along Grim’s Ditch for several miles); Barbury Castle and Liddington Castle (hill forts) en route; way marked throughout; 9,000 feet of ascent; most check points managed by local running clubs.

The Race Director for 2014 is Tim Mitchell,  Chairman of the Trail Running Association.
Race Permit Number 64-14.

******** Follow your runner during the event by clicking here **************

Applications and Documentation

Entries for 2014 are now open.  To qualify for entry you must have completed at least a marathon distance event since January 2013.  Note: Any applicant not conforming to this rule will be placed on the reserve list until such a time as they inform the race director of at least a completed marathon distance event.  Should the event sell out a refund will be made minus £4 administration fee.

Entries between: 1st November 2013 to 30th June 2014 (Early-bird discount) 1st July 2014 to 5th August 2014  (Standard price)
*Affiliated £43 £53
Unaffiliated £45 £55

*Affiliated members are either members of the TRA or registered with English Athletics. This entry fee includes the £2 reduction from the entry fee in accordance with the UK Athletics Rules of Competition.

Entry is now closed for this event.  Entry for 2015 opens in November 2014.

The TRA is a not-for-profit association, and as such,  surplus money made from this event will be donated to charity.

Risk Assement and Route Information for Support Crews

- The current risk assesment can be found here.
- If you would like to see the route National Trails have a link from their excellent website. 
- Note the point where runners leave the Ridgeway and head to the finish.
- Actual locations of checkpoints can be seen below, please follow the links. Maps open in a new browser window.
- Support crews have their own page. Support crew information and maps can be found here.

Race Rules

The Ridgeway Challenge is held under UK Athletic Rules for Competition.

There is general rule 21 (general rules apply to all athletics disciplines) that says that "pacing" by someone not in the race counts as assistance, and getting assistance means that an athlete is liable to disqualification.

This remains the case in the Ridgeway Challenge.

Use of Poles

The Ridgeway Challenge is run under UK Athletics Rules, as such, the competition rules will be adhered to.

There is a General Rule in UK:A Rules which says:
(1) The following shall be interpreted as assistance
(c) The use of any technical device. Athletes receiving assistance as
defined above are liable to be disqualified.

The use of poles is prohibited.   Runners are liable to disqualification under rule 21(c).


Only entrants starting at 12:00 midday are entitled to 1st, 2nd or 3rd places unless all entrants in that category start at 10:00.

All FINISHERS will be awarded a finisher medal and t-shirt.

Medals will be issued as soon as possible.  Awarding of medals may take up to twenty minutes from the time a competitor finishes to being awarded.

UTMB points, 2014 (as posted on Facebook 13 April 2014) I have been approached by a couple of runners asking if the Ridgeway Challenge 2014 will provide points towards the UTMB. I have investigated the poUTMB 2015ints application process.

Here is my decision:
Despite initially not pursuing UTMB points it became apparent the Ridgeway Challenge is relied upon by runners wanting to enter the UTMB.  I reversed my initial decision.  The Ridgeway Challenge is now approved for 3 UMTB points.

Note: only runners starting at 12:00 will be awarded UTMB points.  If you intend to use the points for UTMB and have already entered at 10:00 please conatct Tim Mitchell directly.

Tim, Race Director, Ridgeway Challenge 2014.

The Start, Race Numbers and Brief Information

  • Minibuses will run from Tring Station to Ashridge Car Park from approx. 08:30 to 11:30 on the 23rd August.
  • Portable toilets will be located at Ashridge car park near the start.
  • Race numbers will be issued to runners on the day. 
  • When collecting your number check the telephone number we have is identical to the phone you are running with.  Inform the marshal if the number is different.  Ensure the emergency contact number  is also correct.
  • Your running number must be visible at all times, worn on the front or leg.
  • The race will start on time.  Any runners not being behind the start line will risk disqualification.  Please be ready to run a good twenty minutes before the start.  This will leave enough time to walk to the start at Ivinghoe Beacon.
  • Shortly after leaving the start line, with the race underway, runners will cross over the Ivinghoe to Ringshall road.  Marshals will be out on the road but CANNOT STOP VEHICLES,  CROSS THIS ROAD WITH CARE, YOU MAY NEED TO STOP!  Listen to marshals and do not wear MP3 players when crossing roads.
  • Once the 12:00 noon runners leave Ivinghoe Beacon bags will be taken to Goring, CP5.  Runners will have access to their bag at this location.  Once runners leave CP5 bags will be taken to the finish.  Retiring runners will be re-united with their bags.

Checkpoint Locations

The following links show the checkpoints and locations.  Please familiarise yourself with them.  Note that CP3 has moved by 1.7 miles west compared to 2012 and is now called Hill Road checkpoint, Lewknor.  Checkpoint 8 is now called Fox Hill. provided this very useful splits calculator based on previous finishing times. The distances between recorded times are current for 2014.

Checkpoint times spanning hours of darkness are in bold below.

Checkpoint/ link

CP Name





Registration and The Start Registration and The Start Numbers, water, toilets, ample free parking. 0 08:15 23rd Last registration 11:30 23rd



Cold drinks, simple food, NO PARKING.

10.5 (10.5)

11:15 23rd

14:30 23rd



Cold drinks, simple food, ample parking

16.8 (6.3)

12:45 23rd

16:00 23rd


Hill Road, Lewknor

Cold drinks, simple food, some parking (off road)

26.2 (9.4)

14:30 23rd

18:15 23rd



Cold drinks, simple food, parking may be available. Check on the day.

31.7 (5.5)

15:30 23rd

20:00 23rd


Goring Hall

Hot and cold drinks, hot and cold food.  Flush toilets.  NO PARKING.

43.7 (12)

17:30 23rd

23:30 23rd


Bury Down

Hot and cold drinks, hot and cold food.  Ample parking.

52.4 (8.7)

18:45 23rd

02:30 24th


Sparshalt Firs

Hot and cold drinks, hot and cold food.  Ample parking.

61.5 (9.1)

20:00 23rd

06:30 24th


Fox Hill

Hot and cold drinks, hot and cold food.  Some parking.

69.4 (7.9)

21:45 23rd

08:45 24th


Barbury Castle

Hot and cold drinks, hot and cold food.  Ample parking.

79.9 (10.5)

23:45 23rd

12:15 24th


Avebury Centre

Hot and cold drinks, hot and cold food.  Parking at Avebury visitor car park only.  DO NOT PARK ON THE STREET

86 (6.1)

01:00 24th

14:00 24th


Safety on the Road Section from Fox Hill, Checkpoint 8.

PLEASE READ! For 2013 I had been in contact with Wiltshire Police regarding the 1.3 mile road section between Fox Hill (51.533089, -1.6616664) and where the Ridgeway leaves the Road on the B4192 (51.522096, -1.6865680).  Wiltshire Police, and Wiltshire Council, agreed with Risk Assessment alterations and are allowing the event to pass through this stage.  Every runner, without exception, must wear some reflective clothing AND have a working torch switched on when leaving checkpoint 8, Fox Hill, during the hours of darkness.  Hours of darkness 20:27hrs 23rd, to 06:04 on the 24th August 2014.  This is expected to be the case for 2014.

This is for your safety – be safe and be seen.  For some of you this section will be bridging the hours of darkness and daylight. Don’t take chances, keep your torch switched on and have more than enough batteries to see you to daylight.

Mobilisation, Transport to Swindon and Parking at the Finish.

A minibus will be provided to take runners from Tring Train Station to the registration point at Ashridge near the start.  The minibus will run from 08:30 to 11:30.
All runners must register and confirm details no later than 09:30 for the 10:00 start and 11:30 for the midday start. Registration of any runners after these times will be at the discretion of the Race Director.
Allow twenty minutes to walk from the layby at Ashridge to the summit of Ivinghoe Beacon – the start.

Bags will be taken to Goring Village Hall CP5,  once all runners are underway.  Runners will have access to their bags at Goring until the checkpoint closes.  Bags will then be transported to the finish. 

There will be transport from Avebury to Swindon train station.  Please note the minibus will run a ad-hoc services so please do not rely on the service to take you to Swindon for a specific time.  If you need to be taken to Swindon for a specific time please book a taxi or make other arrangements.

Parking is severely limited at Avebury.  Please park at the Avebury Stones visitors car park (there may be a charge for this).  Should you find somewhere else to park please be aware of parking restrictions, double yellow lines and leave space for other vehicles. The best alternative is to park at Barbury Castle car park, for free, and have your runner call when they take the sharp right to begin their descent in to Avebury.  The support vehicle, or collecting vehicle, can then make their way to Avebury to collect their runners.  DO NOT PARK AT THE SOCIAL CENTRE EVEN IF YOU ARE JUST COLLECTING A RUNNER OR BAGS!

Please note that Avebury is a very popular tourist attraction, especially on a bank holiday.  We rely on the use of the Social Centre as simply without it the event will be in jeopardy.  Local authorities take special interest in our event making sure parking terms and conditions are adhered to.  If support crews break these conditions the event as-is may well have to change.  Additionally the space outside the Social Centre is used for ambulance access.  Anyone parking there will risk the safety of injured or suffering runners!


The route is way marked throughout but it is advised that runners AND support crews have a map of the official route.  The recommended map is Harvey Ridgeway Map.  The map is easily available on line, simply search for Harvey Ridgeway Map.  The TRA has no affiliation with the publisher, it's just a good map!