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Ridgeway Challenge 86 miles, 29th to 30th August 2015

Incorporating the UK Trail Running Championship Ultra Distance.

Results can be found on the Ridgeway Challenge page.

Dan Lawson wins in new course record  12:07:56

Jess Gray second in 14:17, smashing the ladies course record.


More photos from the finish.

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.

Current Course Record M: 2014 Nathan Montague 12h 13m
Current Course Record F: 2013 Mary Grace Spalton 15h 50m

There are two start times:
10:00 for runners expecting to take more than 24 hours with a total cut-off time of 28 hours.  Finishers receive a medal and t-shirt.
12:00 for runners wanting to compete in the UK Trail Running Championships Ultra Distance or wanting UTMB points.  The total time allowed for 12:00 runners is 26 hours.  Finishers receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals, or finisher medal, plus t-shirt.

The Race Director for 2015 is Tim Mitchell,  Chairman of the Trail Running Association.
Race Permit is E-28.

The Start, Race Numbers and Brief Information

  • Registration, water and toilets is located at Ashirdge Car Park on the Ivinghoe to Ringshall road.
  • It is a condition of entry that all runners must carry a mobile phone, supplying the number to the event organiser, prior to the event.
  • Free minibuses will run from Tring Train Station to Ashridge Car Park from approx. 08:30 to 11:30 on the 29th August.
  • Race numbers will be issued to runners on the day. 
  • Runners can drop off a single disposable bottle/bag of food to be taken to checkpoint 3.  Please write your number clearly on the bottle/bag and be aware we cannot return these items to you after the event.
  • When collecting your number check the telephone number we have is identical to the phone you are running with.
  • 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.
  • Free minibuses will shuttle runners from Avebury to Swindon Train Station and the Oasis from approx. 07:30 on Sunday 30th August. Showers are available at the Oasis, a short walk back to the train station.
  • All runners and support crews need to be familiar with checkpoint locations before the start of the event.  Do not rely on race officials for directions as their priority is safety and orchestration of the event.

Mandatory Kit

All runners, without exception, must have a working mobile phone, torch and some reflective clothing.

The runner must provide the telephone number of the phone they are running with to the race organiser plus a contact in case of emergency before collecting their number.  This most likely would have been provided during your application.  Runners will be able to correct their telephone number and emergency contact when registering on the day.

All runners must be able to demonstrate they have a working torch and be wearing some reflective clothing when leaving checkpoint 8, Fox Hill, during the hours of darkness.  After runners leave checkpoint 8 they will start a 1.3 mile road section.  Be safe and be seen - remember you are responsible for your own safety!  Ensure you have enough batteries to last until daylight.  Checkpoint 8 will require you to show your working torch and refective clothing before you leave.


Online and Postal Applications

To qualify for entry you must have completed at least a marathon distance event since January 2014.  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.

RACE NOW FULL.  The event sold out on the 25th June 2015.

Entries between:

1st October 2014 to 31st May 2015 (Early-bird discount)

1st June 2015 to 7th August 2015 (Standard price)







*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.

Online Entry can be found by clicking on the Entry Central logo below.

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 Risk Assessment can be seen 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 dedicated support crew information page.

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.

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

The Ridgeway Challenge 2015 has been awarded 3 UTMB points for 2016 Ultra Trail Entries.

The TRA an event organisers are not responsible for the decisions made by Ultra Trail organisers.  For questions about Ultra Trail events please contact them directory through their website, link below.

The UTMB crew would like to make clear their event is called "The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®". The points are for every race of The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, not just for the UTMB®.

 3 UTMB Points

Checkpoint Locations

The following links show the start and checkpoint locations.  Please familiarise yourself with them.

Runners must leave checkpoints inside opening hours.  Checkpoints close when the last runner checks out, or the closing time with all runners accounted for. provided this very useful splits calculator based on previous finishing times.

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 29th Last registration 11:30 29th



Cold drinks, simple food, NO PARKING.

10.5 (10.5)

11:15 29th

14:30 29th



Cold drinks, simple food, ample parking

16.8 (6.3)

12:45 29th

16:00 29th


Hill Road, Lewknor

Cold drinks, simple food and runner's  drinks/food. some parking (off road)

26.2 (9.4)

14:30 29th

18:15 29th



Cold drinks, simple food, parking available on grass field.

31.7 (5.5)

15:30 29th

20:00 29th


Goring Hall

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

43.7 (12)

17:30 29th

23:30 29th


Bury Down

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

52.4 (8.7)

18:45 29th

02:30 30th


Sparshalt Firs

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

61.5 (9.1)

20:00 29th

06:30 30th



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

69.4 (7.9)

21:45 29th

08:45 30th


Barbury Castle

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

79.9 (10.5)

23:45 29th

12:15 30th


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 30th

14:00 30th


Safety on the Road Section from Foxhill, Checkpoint 8.

Shortly after leaving checkpoint 8 runners turn left and start a 1.3 mile road section before the Ridgeway reverts back to soil and gravel.  Every runner, without exception, must wear some reflective clothing AND have a working torch switched on when leaving checkpoint 8, Foxhill, during the hours of darkness. Hours of darkness approx 20:20hrs 29th, to 06:15 on the 30th August 2015.

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 free minibus will be provided to take runners from Tring Train Station to the registration point at Ashridge.  The minibus will run from 08:30 to 11:30.
If runners require collection from local hotels please book a minibus by emailing the race director at least two weeks in advance and be sure to receive written confirmation.
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 free transport from Avebury to Swindon train station.  Please note the minibus will run a ad-hoc services so 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.  Additionally minibuses will ferry runners wanting a shower to the Oasis Leisure Center approx a ten minute walk from Swindon train station.

Parking is limited at Avebury so 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. .  Additionally the space outside the Social Centre is used for ambulance access.  Anyone parking there will risk the safety of injured or suffering 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. 


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!