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Coronavirus Emergency

Update 7 November 2020

In accordance with the guidance issued by England Athletics  on 4 November 2020, all face-to-face trail competition in England is suspended during the current lockdown period, starting 5 November 2020 and due to last until 2 December 2020.  All permits for such trail events in that period will be cancelled.

However, with agreement from England Athletics, the TRA is now accepting applications for permits for Virtual Trail Events.  Further details may be found here.

The latest guidance EA may be found here:

The TRA supports this guidance, and urges all members, trail runners, and race organisers to follow the advice.
The following guidance will become applicable once again when the lockdown restrictions no longer apply.

England Athletics, who are the link for all athletics disciplines to Sport England and the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, have had responsibility for preparing and publishing guidance for the next steps for the return to restricted competition for trail running.  Their guidance for Step 3, which facilitates a safe, limited return to trail competition in a Covid-19 secure environment, has been prepared in consultation with the TRA, and has now been published.  

Trail competition in England is now allowed for races with no limit on the number of competitors, provided that the event is managed in a Covid-19 secure environment in accordance with this guidance. Because England Athletics is recognised as the membership body for the sport in England, the "rule of six" limit does not apply in such circumstances.

The guidance document "Return to Restricted Trail Competition in a Covid-19 Secure Setting" may be downloaded by clicking HERE.  

The TRA is now able to issue permits for trail races in England that are managed in accordance with this guidance.

It is condition that permit applicants have read the current Covid-19 guidance, have understood these new requirements and agreed to implement them as appropriate to their event. 

Please note that the Covid-19 guidelines require: -

  • The appointment of a named Covid-19 coordinator for the event.
  • Race organisers to present a Covid-19 Risk Assessment (see below) and an Event Plan detailing how they will adhere to the Covid-19 secure guidance and how they will work with the return to competition guidance with their permit application.
  • All activity to comply with Government guidance around social distancing before, during and after activity.
  • All participants, officials, guests and volunteers present at the event to complete and present a pre-event health self-assessment.
  • Additional communication with participants to update them on arrangements made by an event to mitigate against the risk of catching Covid-19.
  • All competition to take account of any local conditions or restrictions, and of any national conditions or restrictions that may be introduced.

This list is not exhaustive. The requirements detailed in the full guidance must all be implemented. 

Note that a number of measures which have been introduced which may require extra resource in terms of time, equipment, personnel and budget.

The TRA supports this guidance, and urges all members, trail runners, and race organisers to follow the advice.



Introduction to the TRA Permit Process

Race organisers of trail events taking place in England may obtain from the TRA a race permit granted under the authority of UK Athletics. (Race organisers of trail events taking place in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland should apply through their National Association.)
To obtain a permit it is necessary to conform to UK Athletics Rules. Click here to download the latest rule book.
IMPORTANT:  Permit applicants must pay particular attention to RULE 141 S 5 UKA – TRAIL RUNNING which sets out the maximum distances permitted for younger athletes.  Permit applications will be declined if races that do not clearly state in their promotional material and on entry forms age limits that comply with this rule.
Maximum distances permitted under this rule are as follows:
Age under 12 years.   3,000m
Age 12-13 years.        5,000m
Age 13-15 years.        6,000m
Age 16                       10,000m
Age 17                       25,000m
Age 18-19                  45,000m
Age 20 and over.       No maximum distance

The rules include the requirement that the organiser must impose, in addition to the basic entry fee, an additional fee of £2 (and no more) on every entrant in an open senior trail race who is 'unattached'. An unattached runner is one who is NOT a member of a UK Athletics affiliated club NOR a member of the TRA.  (Note that it is not necessary for a runner to be registered as a competitive athlete with their National Association for them to be classified as 'attached'.) 
Organisers should note that UK Athletics rules also require that running with dogs is not permitted. 
For further information about TRA race permits, see the Race Permits FAQ page.  All app-licants should read this before applying for a permit.
Race Permits must be applied for on-line - see below. Please allow sufficient time for the application to be processed (the TRA is run entirely by volunteers and we like to take a holiday from time to time). Each permit is valid for the named event and any supporting race on the same day at the same venue (long distance races may continue for than 1 day).
If you are using an on-line entry system please make sure that it applies the UK Athletics Rules correctly as regards attached and unattached runners for trail running. In particular, note that 'attached' entrants do not need to be registered with their National Association, and therefore England Athletics registration numbers are NOT required for entrants in trail races.
Requests for further details should be addressed to the Permit Secretary (
Races granted a TRA Permit will be authorised to display the TRA logo on entry forms and other promotional material.  The logo may be copied from this page, or downloaded from here. (Note that the the copyright of the logo resides with the TRA, and it should not be altered in any way.)

Important:TRA Grants

Race organisers may also apply for a TRA grant, to help purchase specific items of equipment needed to stage the race in successive years. Click here for more details.  When a permit application has been successfully approved, the on-line application system will send an automatic email confirming approval.  This email will also include a link to a simple form through which a grant application may be made.

On-line Permit Application Process

Permits can only be applied for using the on-line application process, using the link below.  Once your permit application has been completed you will immediately receive confirmation by email. Please take note of the permit number and use it in all communications with the TRA. When your permit has been authorised your permit will be sent by email to you - take note of the Permit Secretary's comments on the permit as it may affect your insurance cover. After the event, reminders to submit your race report and payment will be sent to you via email - just follow the instructions in the email reminders. To prevent emails being diverted to your spam folder please add to your contacts.

Risk Assessments

Permit applicants will need to submit an electronic copy (pdf, or Word) of a risk assessment for the race. This shall include a Covid-19 risk assessment, either as a separate section or as an additional document, 
The TRA has has prepared the follwing Risk Assessment template, which may be adapted for use in a specific race.  Note that the list of activities included in the template is not a definitive list, and may therefore be expanded or contracted to suit local circumstances.
Risk Assessment Template - Word format
Risk Assessment Template - PDF format

IMPORTANT: Permit applications should, ideally, be made at least three months ahead of the race.  Permit appIications made less than four weeks before the day of the race may be declined. 

 Click here to start your on-line permit application

Permit applications made since September 2017 require the applicant to set up an e-permit account, with a login ID and password. (TRA members should use their membership login ID and password.) Once an applicant has done for the first time, future applications are streamlined as the applicant's contact details are pre-populated on the form, and past permits (created since September 2017) may be copied and used as templates to create new applications.

The Trail Running Association welcomes feedback on the epermit process. If you wish to submit feedback please contact

Please note: only events granted a TRA permit will be able to apply for a grant from the TRA.


The TRA maintains an on-line directory of trail races that have TRA Permits. The benefits to event organisers are:

  • It will make it easier for us to publicise your event within the trail running community.
  • It will become eligible for selection as the venue for the UK Trail Running Championships

Every race granted a TRA Permit will be listed in the TRA Race Directory, unless the organiser opts for it not to appear when applying for the permit.