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Ridgeway Challenge 86 miles, 27th to 28th August 2016

Entry Closed.

Incorporating the UK Trail Running Championships Ultra Distance.

Well done to all the runners that took part in the event.

Final Instructions, Ridgeway Challenge 86 miles

Please read these instructions carefully as they contain information that will help your run go smoothly.

Live Updates can be found here.

Train Times: The last collection from Tring Train Station will be 11:30, that is, the bus will drive away at 11:30.   Check now to ensure that your train is not affected by rail engineering work.

Drop bags: Drop bags must be the size of a normal sports bag and not weighing more than 20kg.  Any bags thought to be weighing more than this will be handed back to the runner.   Only one drop bag is allowed.

Food drop off for CP3:  One small disposable bottle and one packet/box of food only to be dropped off.  The event organiser cannot guarantee to be able to return the drink/food.  When collecting your drink/food do not drop off any other items as they will all be disposed of. Remember CP3 is a fully stocked checkpoint with usual water, cordial, cola and food.

Parking at CP3:  The event organiser has been working closely with National Trails.  Due to support crew parking at this junction in addition to the usual dog-walkers and other people using the Ridgeway the area quickly becomes congested hindering agricultural vehicles.  For this reason, NO PARKING is allowed at CP3, Hill Road, Lewknor.  Support crews should either park at the entrance to the road and walk up to the CP or find alternative locations to meet their runner.  Support crews will be asked to move off should they park at the CP.

Parking at CP4: CP4 has moved from the field and Swyncombe to Nuffield Church.  Parking at Nuffield Church is limited to about fifteen cars, plus official event support vehicles, seating area and room for an ambulance.  The car park will be closed should it become full.  There is some parking on the roads around the checkpoints however support crews must park carefully as not to annoy the local residents or cause a safety hazard for runners.  Support crews should plan to meet their runner elsewhere should the car park be full.

Photo Finish: There will be a photographer at the finish line. As runners approach the finish tape they will notice a vertical mark on the tape. Runners are to head to this mark as it will position them for the photo.  The tape will not break so runners should not attempt to run through it, just stop at the tape for the photo.

Please keep checking for updates running up to the event.

-  End

The Route

About the event

The Ridgeway Challenge continual running event starts at Ivinghoe Beacon near Tring and ends at Avebury Stone Circle.  The route 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 of the 9 check points are managed by local running clubs.

Current Course Record M: 2015 Dan Lawson 12h 07m
Current Course Record F: 2015 Jess Gray 14h 17m

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.
12:00 for runners wanting to compete in the UK Trail Running Championships Ultra Distances.  The total time allowed for 12:00 runners is 26 hours.  Finishers receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals or finisher  medals.
All runners will receive a tshirt when collecting their numbers.

The Race Director for 2016 is Tim Mitchell,  Chairman of the Trail Running Association.

Race Permit

The event will be permitted by the Trail Running Association.  The race permit  number for 2016 is e-222.


The Start, Race Numbers and Brief Information

  • Registration, water and toilets are 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 27th August.
  • Race numbers and t-shirts will be issued to runners at the registration point 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 28th August. Showers are available at the Oasis (paid for on arrival at the Oasis), a short walk back to the train station.  Mini buses run an ad-hoc service so don't rely on them to take you to Swindon for a specific time.
  • 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 may require you to show your working torch and refective clothing before you leave.


Online and Postal Applications - Entry Closed

To qualify for entry you must have completed at least a marathon distance event since January 2015.  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. 

Places can be swapped for free anytime up to, and including, the 5th August 2016.

Refunds at 80% will be made up to the 5th of May. No refunds after this time. 

To swap places use the paper application and mark the form "Swap place with" and the name of the existing entrant.  If the new entrant is not affiliated, but the original entrant was, ensure a cheque is issued for £2 to cover insurance.

No swapped places or changes to start times past the 5th August - no exceptions.

Entries between:

19th September 2015 to 5th  May 2016 (Early-bird discount)

6th May 2015 to 5th August 2016 (Standard price)


£58 £68


£60 £70

*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.

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

TRA Championship Grants.  The TRA award grants to first male and female TRA members.  More information about TRA Championship Grants can be found here.

Risk Assement and Route Information for Support Crews

- The Risk Assessment can be found here.
- To download the GPX file right click on this link and select Save Target As, or Save Linked File.  Once downloaded open in Google Earth or you chosen .gpx viewer.  Note the course is 84.4 miles however this is due to the number of way points being limited.  The acutal reported distances are slightly in excess of 86 miles.
- Note the point where runners leave the Ridgeway and head to the finish.
- 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.

T-shirts will be distributed at the registration point.

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 WILL NOT have UTMB points awarded - non.

Due to the uncertainty and complexity around applying for UTMB points the race organiser will no longer pursue the process. 
There is no flexiblity in this decision; the Ridgeway Challenge 86 miles will not have UTMB points.


Checkpoint Locations and Tracking

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.

Runners and support crews may wish to download, print and carry with them the checkpoint opening and closing times.  Unlike previous years these will not be handed out on the day.

Checkpoint times spanning hours of darkness are in bold below.

Map of location

CP Name





Registration and The Start Registration and The Start Numbers, water, toilets, ample free parking. 0 08:15 27th Last registration 11:30 27th



Cold drinks, simple food, NO PARKING.

10.5 (10.5)

11:15 27th

14:30 27th



Cold drinks, simple food, ample parking

16.8 (6.3)

12:45 27th

16:00 27th


Hill Road, Lewknor

Cold drinks, simple food and runner's  drinks/food. some parking (off road) NO PARKING

26.2 (9.4)

14:30 27th

18:15 27th


Nuffield Church

Cold drinks, simple food, parking available but a bit tight.  Have an alternative planned.

34.2 (8.0)

16:00 27th

20:30 27th


Goring Hall

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

43.7 (9.5)

17:30 27th

23:30 27th


Bury Down

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

52.4 (8.7)

18:45 27th

02:30 28th


Sparshalt Firs

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

61.5 (9.1)

20:00 27th

06:30 28th



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

69.4 (7.9)

21:45 27th

08:45 28th


Barbury Castle

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

79.9 (10.5)

23:45 27th

12:15 28th


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)

00:01 28th

14:00 28th


Race Drone have included this event in their line up of races for 2016 and can be seen here.

Should a runner wish to make use of Race Drone's tracking feature pleases see the website.    The Ridgeway Challenge event is completely separate from Race Drones event tracking products.

Costs, paid directly to Race Drone, are £2 for the Android App and £3 for the iOS version.  An additional payment of £5 is payable to Race Drone for tracking during the event.  Information and FAQs can be found here.

The Ridgeway Challenge takes no payment and has no control over Race Drone's prices or products.  In each case runners wishing to use this app should contact Race Drone, not the race organiser.

Prices correct at 7 November 2015.

Safety on the Road Section from Fox Hill, 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, Fox Hill, during the hours of darkness. Hours of darkness approx 20:20hrs Saturday, to 06:15 on Sunday.

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. There is an charge for showers paid for on arrival at the Oasis. VCar Taxi 01793 701 701.

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!