Trail Running Sussex

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Weald Challenge FAQ

 

 

Weald Challenge Trail Races - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Enter on the Day?

No, it is not possible to enter on the day. Entries are only available online through the RaceDirector website. Entries close Sunday 6th June 2021 or once race entry limits are reached.

 

What are the Maximum NUmber of Runners for Each Race?

Trail Half Marathon - 295

Ultra Trail 50km - 270

 

How Much is the Race Entry Fee?

Weald Challenge Trail Half Marathon - £31 UKA/TRA affiliated, £33 non-affiliated

Weald Challenge 50km Ultra Trail - £46 UKA/TRA affiliated, £48 non-affiliated

 

What Does the Entry Fee Include?

The Entry Fee Includes:

A great run along an undulating scenic trail route, following two long distance paths: the Wealdway and the Vanguard Way

Chip race timing

Water ONLY, and NO FOOD WILL BE PROVIDED at checkpoints this year due to Covid-19. ALSO it is a CUPLESS race for both race distances, i.e. for both the 50km ultra and the half marathon. ALL runners must therefore carry a drinking cup or hydration system/bottles if they would like water at checkpoints. All runners must also carry their own provided food / fuel that they wish to consume during the race.

A quality bespoke Weald Challenge finishers medal

A quality bespoke handmade Weald Challenge event coffee mug

Complimentary filter coffee or tea following the race, served in the handmade coffee mug

PLEASE NOTE that upon finishing the race, a ONE-WAY system will be operate, where finishers will collect their finisher's medal and coffee mug, then proceed to the sports hall kitchen to receive their filtered coffee and homemade organic cake, BUT UNFORTUNATELY DUE TO UK ATHLETICS COVID-19 REGULATIONS, RUNNERS MUST THEN DISPERSE AND LEAVE THE START/FINISH, RACE HQ VENUE. We appreciate that this UK Athletics requirement is very disappointing, but in order to obtain a UK Athletics race permit, we must adhere to these regulations. Obviously we will be monitoring the Covid-19 situation and if social distancing regulations specified by the Government / UK Athletics change, and does not require the above, there will then be no need to implement it.

Weald Challenge Coffee Mug Weald Challenge Medal

Free car parking adjacent to race registration and the race start / finish

A 15% discount (with a minimum spend of £50) on all of their products at the Lets Run Store

First aid and medical cover

Event insurance

Online entry charges included

Quality prizes provided by our race sponsors awarded to the first three men and women finishers in both races. In addition the first man and women aged over 50 and over 60 in both races will also receive a prize.

Unfortunatley due to runners having to disperse upon finishing, we will not be holding prize-givings for the races and trophies/prizes will be sent out to prize winners following the event.

Winner's Trophies

 

If I Need to Withdraw is There a Refund Policy?

Yes, up to February 28th 2021, unless entries close sooner, 80% of the entry fee will be refunded if you withdraw. From March 1st to May 13th 2021, unless entries close sooner, 60% of the entry fee will be refunded if you withdraw. Alternatively instead of a refund, prior to the 13th May 2021 or entries closing, we will be able to defer your race entry to the following year. From May 13th 2021 or once entries have closed, the entry fee is not refundable if you withdraw, however, if you contact us: info@trailrunningsussex.co.uk before the entry closing date of Sunday 6th June 2021 we will be able to officially transfer your race number to a different runner, for example if you have a friend who would like to use your race entry. Alternatively if you contact us: info@trailrunningsussex.co.uk after the 13th of May, or once entries have closed, but before Sunday 6th June 2021, we will be able to defer 50% of your race entry fee to the following year.

 

Is it Possible to Change the Race Distance I Have Entered?

Yes, it is possible to change the race distance once you have entered, (AS LONG AS YOU ENTERED BEFORE ENTRIES FOR ONE OF THE RACE DISTANCES CLOSED), as we are aware that sometimes one’s training doesn’t quite go to plan, or can go better than anticipated.  We therefore allow runners PRIOR to starting the event, to change the race distance that they have entered.  If you are thinking of changing your race distance, please e-mail us (info@trailrunningsussex.co.uk) before SUNDAY 30th MAY 2021, and we will be able to ensure that you are allocated the newly changed distance race number which has your name printed on the front.  Changing your race distance is also possible after Sunday 30th May 2021, (AS LONG AS YOU ENTERED BEFORE ENTRIES FOR ONE OF THE RACE DISTANCES CLOSED), right up to registration on the morning of the race; however, you will not have a personalised named race number.  If you decide to change your race distance to a longer distance, we will collect the difference in race entry fee on the morning prior to your race start.
 


Is There a Minimum Age for Each Race?

Yes, the minimum ages for each race are as follows:

Trail Half Marathon - 17 years old

Ultra Trail 50km - 20 years old

 

Will I Be Sent My Race Number?

YES. This year due to the coronavirus, race numbers will be sent out in the post during the week before the race. Race numbers are to be worn on your FRONT. Upon receiving your race number at registration, please ensure you complete your emergency contact information on the back of the race number.

There is NO race registration this year. Please do not arrive at Race HQ too early before your allocated race start time.

Ultra Trail 50km - Race START times between 8:00am and 8:30am.

Trail Half Marathon - Race START times between 9:00am and 9:30am.

 

What Facilities Are Available at the Race Start/Finish?

The race start/finish and registration is located at Chiddingly Primary School, Muddles Green, East Sussex, BN8 6HN. Toilets facilites are available within the school sports hall and additional portaloos located adjacent to the sports hall. There are NO changing or shower facilities

Coffee, tea, and home made cakes will be provided free to all runners following the race.

 

What Local Accommodation is Available?

In terms of local accommodation, we are fortunate that the Weald Challenge is supported by the Langham Hotel, http://www.langhamhotel.co.uk a fine Eastbourne establishment which was Eastbourne’s first AA 4 star hotel. The Langham Hotel is located on the Eastbourne seafront, which is a 20 minute drive (12 miles) from the race start/finish at Chiddingly Primary School, Muddles Green.

The hotel is owned by the Kirby family who are active trail runners.  Due to their involvement in trail running, and with Neil thoroughly enjoying his runs in the Weald Challenge 50km Ultra Trail, the Langham Hotel are offering rooms to Weald Challenge runners at a discount on their Dinner/Bed&Breakfast or Bed&Breakfast Rates. Please check your entry confirmation e-mail, or subsequent race information e-mails for the discount code to enter if booking online, or call the hotel directly on 01323 731451 to discuss bookings. In addition the Langham Hotel has provided two major 'Spot Prize', one spot prize per race, which all finishers of each race distances go into the draw to win, consisting of a voucher for an overnight stay for two with accommodation provided in an inland room, including a three course Table D'hote dinner and Full English breakfast.

Langham HotelLangham Hotel

There is a variety of other local accommodation available such as local B and Bs, campsites and alternative hotels, although we do recommend that you stay at the Langham Hotel, one of our sponsors that support the event.

 

What Running Kit Do You Recommend?

As around 75% - 85% of the route is off-road the conditions underfoot can be affected by the weather, so it is not possible to state whether trail shoes are necessary or not. However, at the beginning of June the majority of the trails are usually dry with only small sections of the course likely to be muddy. Although in 2014 there was heavy rain just the day before race day, so trail shoes tended to be used my most runners.

There is no mandatory kit list, however, we would encourage all runners when deciding upon what kit to run in / to carry, that they take into account the variability of the weather. For the ultra trail runners, portions of the course are quite exposed, especially along the open heathland of the Ashdown Forest, so carrying a lightweight jacket is advisable. Race director and trail runner Stuart Mills finds the Montane® Slipstream GL Jacket - the World's Lightest Windproof Jacket, weighing at only 70gms as an ideal jacket if the weather looks good, but with the potential to change. However, if the weather is very wet then Stuart recommends the Montane® Minimus Jacket, which is totally waterproof, but still weighs only 215gms. The Lets Run Store has an excellent selection of Montane® wind and waterproof jackets, where upon receiving the discount code on entering, you will receive an additional 15% discount on all of their already discounted products.

We also recommend the carrying of a mobile phone with the Race HQ mobile number 07484 612239 stored in your phone just in case of any possible emergencies. The Race HQ contact mobile number will also be printed on the front of the race numbers.

In addition, as both races distances are now cupless races all runners are required to carry a drinking cup or a water bottle / hydration system. The Lets Run Store, one of our supporters, has a good selection of hand held water bottles and hydration systems: back packs, bum bags, waist belts. Once you have entered we will e-mail you a voucher code that can be used at the Lets Run Store to obtain 15% discount on all of their already discounted products.

 

How Many Checkpoints and What Refreshments Are There?

The Ultra Trail 50km (31.6 mile) route has five checkpoints located at the following distances: CP1 at 11.0 km (6.8 miles), CP2 at 21.1 km (13.1 miles), CP3 at 29.0 km (18.0 miles), CP4 at 40.0 km (24.8 miles), and CP5 at 45.4 km (28.2 miles). Note, CP1 and CP4 are at the same location where the going out and return routes cover the same ground for 150 metres.

The Trail Half Marathon (13.6 mile) route has two checkpoints located at the following distances: CP1 at 6.8 miles, and CP2 at 10.2 miles.

NOTE: For 2021 due to Covid-19 CP5 in the ultra and CP2 in the half marathon will NOT be provided. Therefore the ultra will only have four checkpoints, CP1, CP2, CP3 and CP4. The half marathon will only have one checkpoint, CP1.

All checkpoints for both race distances will ONLY provide WATER, and NO FOOD WILL BE PROVIDED at checkpoints this year due to Covid-19. Please note that cups will NOT be provided at the checkpoints for BOTH race distances. Ultra runners AND half marathon runners are therefore required to carry their own drinking cup/bottle or hydration bladder. All runners must also carry their own provided food / fuel that they wish to consume during the race.

All checkpoints will be manned. Please ensure that your race number is visible on your FRONT as you arrive at each checkpoint.

 

What Must I Do If I Need To Drop Out of the Race?

If you need to drop out of the race, it is ESSENTIAL that you inform a marshal at the checkpoint. If you drop out at any other point along the course, not at a checkpoint, then you MUST inform the Race HQ by calling the contact mobile number printed on the front of your race number 07484 612239.

 

Will the Route Be Marked?

The entire route for the 50km Ultra Trail and the Trail Half Marathon races follows the waymarked Wealdway heading north on the way out, and the waymarked Vanguard Way heading south on the return journey to the finish at Chiddingly. For the half marathon, in addition to the waymarked fingerposts, race markings will be provided where it is not clearly obvious where the route goes. Therefore, although not guaranteed, as it is not possible to control the actions of cows (that covered the view of a race arrow in 2015), or the actions of people (non-runners who deliberately removed a direction arrow in 2015), but it is hoped that the half marathon route will not require the use of the map available at registration. For the 50km ultra trail, there will be very minimal additional race markings on the section of the route which is not shared with the half marathon route, i.e. the middle 18 miles from 6.8 miles to 24.8 miles. The map booklet and the route description booklet, both available to runners at registration and prior to the race via download, is therefore likely to be required.

Further information regarding the race routes including downloadable GPX files, and the detailed 'Road Book' decribing the route, can be found on the Route Details page.

 

Places to Watch the Weald Challenge 50km Ultra Trail

On the Route Details page there is a detailed map that can be downloaded showing where the race route crosses the various roads.  However, the nicer places to watch the runners are probably as follows:

  • At Buxted Park Hotel / Buxted Church, the runners run out along the driveway.  A quiet, scenic spot to watch the runners.
  • At checkpoint 2, there is a quiet country lane which is accessed by driving through the village of Fairwarp, which is off the B road from Maresfield to Ashdown Forest.
  • Near the summit of Ashdown Forest, near the Ultra most northern turn point, just to the south of the turn point there is a carpark, and it is possible to cheer the runners still heading north, and then wander back to the car par (200 metres away) and cheer them on their return journey probably 3 – 4 minutes later.
  • A little under 2 miles later, the runners cross the A26 at Poundgate where checkpoint 3 is located.  Located at the checkpoint is the Crow and Gate Pub, so a possible place for a quick drink or snack to allow time for your runner to make their way south towards Blackboys.  The A26 can be at times rather busy, so probably not the quietist place to watch.
  • Further south on the return journey, the runners pass through Blackboys, and cross the B2192 heading south out of the village.  Where they cross the road is a really good pub with a garden bar.  So an excellent place to sit and relax with a drink whilst cheering all of the runners as they run past.

Please note that checkpoint 1 / 4 is located down a private drive, so there is no vehicle access to this checkpoint.

 

Are the Races Suitable for All Levels of Runner?

Yes, the Weald Challenge Trail Races, with there being a choice of two race distances, therefore caters for all levels of runner. Both routes are undulating and around 75% - 85% off-road, and will therefore provide a tougher challenge than a road race of the same distance.

The Weald Challenge Trail Races were a welcomed addition to the Sussex Trail Racing calendar in 2014, as surprisingly, considering the picturesque beauty of the Sussex coutryside, there was a shortage of trail races within Sussex. The response to the running of the Weald Challenge Trail Races in 2014-2019 was fantastic, with entries having to be closed early in all years due to our race entry limit being reached. We are anticipating a similar response this year, especially with the previous races receiving such tremendous feeback from both experienced and novice trail runners.

We have specifically selected the beginning of June for the timing of the event, as it provides a great opportunity for those runners that may have run a spring road marathon, (although London Marathin is postponed until October in 2021) to extend themselves by taking on the added challenges off running on the trails, and by running beyond the marathon distance, and getting to experience the joy of ultra running for the first time.

 

Are Dogs Allowed to Accompany Runner?

No, Unfortunately due to a dreadful incident that took place within East Sussex in 2018 where a walker with his dog was killed by cattle, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6264749/Herd-cows-trample-man-67-dog-death-East-Sussex-field.html we re-evaluated our risk assessment.  As both Weald Challenge Trail Race routes pass through fields with cattle, we made the decision that dogs are no longer permitted to accompany runners.  We are sorry that we have had to make this decision, as our number one philosophy has been to only have one rule, which is enjoyment to everyone involved with the race, i.e. runners, other path users, village residents, etc. This new rule therefore does now restrict enjoyment for the dogs and their accompaning runner, but at least we still only have two rules. Although, please do take note of our recommnedations above regarding Running Kit. They are sensible recommendations, but not rules, as you don't need us to tell you what to wear. You must take this responsibility for yourself.

 

Have the Races Got a Race Licence?

Yes, the Weald Challenge Trail Races adhere to the standards set by UK Athletics and have a race permit (Reference Number 3739) issued by the Trail Running Association.

The Weald Challenge Trail Races are organised by Uckfield Runners in conjunction with Trail Running Sussex. The Race Director is Stuart Mills, who is an England Athletics licenced official with many years experience as race director of the popular Kings Head Canter 5K race that takes place each August Bank Holiday Monday.

Uckfield Runners is a small friendly club catering for runners of all abilities from beginners, joggers who just want someone to run with once a week, to runners who wish to compete on a regular basis. Club members compete in events ranging from under 5k to the full marathon. The club is a keen supporter of the Sussex Grand Prix and the East Sussex Sunday Cross Country league.

 

History of the Race?

It was around the end of June, 2012 when Race Director Stuart Mills wanted to go for a longish off-road run, a bit longer than he usually would.  He frequently would do out and back training runs from his home in the village of East Hoathly, East Sussex, heading north along the long distance Wealdway, which goes from Eastbourne to Graves End, which passes by his front door. That day, as he was planning to run a little further, he got out the Ordnance Survey map and looked to see if he could do a loop run instead of an out a back. He noticed the route of the second long distance path that passed within a mile of his village, the Vanguard Way, which travels from Newhaven to East Croydon, and saw that near East Hoathly the two long distance paths both run parallel in a northwards direction, not too far apart, and noticed that the two paths actually met at three points; Chiddingly, Blackboys, and the Ashdown Forest.

Estimating the distance, an ideal run 'jumped out' at him. Head north along the Wealdway, then head east for a mile and a bit along a joining footpath and country lane, before returning south along the Vanguard Way.  He put on his Garmin GPS watch and went exploring. Around three or so hours later, at the end of an absolutely fantastic run, he had completed 21 miles. He then thought, if he had started the run, at the Wealdway/Vanguard Way meeting point at Chiddingly, the total distance would have been exactly 26 miles, and 'hey presto' the Weald Challenge Trail Marathon was created! From 2016, the marathon distance ceased to be offered, with there being now only two race distances available, i.e. the 50km ultra trail and the trail half marathon.

As mentioned above the two long distance paths meet at three points. Well 'believe it or not', the distance starting at Chiddingly to Blackboys return, north along the Wealdway, returning south along the Vanguard Way is just about exactly a half marathon, and if one runs to the third meeting point within the spectacular Ashdown Forest, it is an ideal 50km Ultra Trail distance.  Yes, the Weald Challenge Trail Races were just 'meant to be'! May 2014 was the inaugural running of the Weald Challenge Trail Races. This year on the 13th June 2021, it will be the 7th edition of the Weald Challenge Trail Races (2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19), and as has been since 2016, the event consists of the 50km ultra trail and the trail half marathon.

 

Who Do I Contact If I Have Further Questions?

Contact: Race Director Stuart Mills via e-mail: info@trailrunningsussex.co.uk or by phone: 01825 840653

 

Our Supporters

We are proud that our race is associated with the following supporters.

Pharmacie Coffee Roasters is an independent micro-roaster based in Brighton. Pharmacie Coffee Roasters provide subscriptions of filter or espresso roast single origin coffees delivered direct to your home, office or studio door when you need it!  Pharmacie Coffee Roasters provide the complimentary coffee to all finishers at the Weald Challenge Trail Races.

The Lets Run Store is a dedicated online retail store for the Ultra & Trail running community. Born out of a passion of running and the obsession for the right kit The Lets Run Store should be your No1 choice.

Montane® - The leading brand of lightweight, multisport, endurance mountain gear. Montane® has become synonymous with lightweight and breathable clothing, and is therefore the ideal clothing for trail running.

TORQ provide a highly developed range of performance nutrition products, including TORQ bars and gels.

The Langham Hotel, which was Eastbourne’s first AA 4 star hotel, is owned by the Kirby family who are active trail runners. Please call them directly on 01323 731451 if you wish to enquire about the B&B room discount they offer to Weald Challenge runners.

Pharmacie Coffee RoastersMontaneTORQLangaham Hotel Ultra Runner Store

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