Trail Running Sussex

Scenic Inspiring Trail Running


High Weald Challenge FAQ



The HighWeald 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 SportSystems website. Entries close Sunday 18th September 2016 or once race entry limits are reached.


What are the Maximum NUmber of Runners?

Trail Half Marathon - 225

Ultra Trail 50km - 225


How Much is the Race Entry Fee?

High Weald Challenge Trail Half Marathon - £26 UKA/TRA affiliated, £28 non-affiliated

High Weald Challenge 50km Ultra Trail - £41 UKA/TRA affiliated, £43 non-affiliated


What Does the Entry Fee Include?

The Entry Fee Includes:

A great run along an undulating scenic trail route, following primarily three long distance paths: the Wealdway, the Vanguard Way, and the High Weald Landscape Trail

Refreshments at checkpoints

A quality bespoke High Weald Challenge finishers medal

A quality bespoke handmade High Weald Challenge event coffee mug

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

Free car parking within the grounds of Groombridge Place, adjacent to race registration and the race start / finish

A 10% discount on all of their already discounted products at The Ultra Runner 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 addition the first man and women aged over 50 and over 60 will also receive a prize.

Winner's Trophies


If I Need to Withdraw is There a Refund Policy?

Yes, up to June 30th 2016, unless entries close sooner, 80% of the entry fee will be refunded if you withdraw. From July 1st to August 31st 2016, unless entries close sooner, 60% of the entry fee will be refunded if you withdraw. Alternatively instead of a refund, prior to the 1st September or entries closing, we will be able to defer your race entry to the following year. From September 1st 2016 or once entries have closed, the entry fee is not refundable if you withdraw, however, if you contact us: before the entry closing date of Sunday 18th September 2016 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 after the 1st of September, or once entries have closed, but before Sunday 18th September 2016 we will be able to defer 50% of your race entry fee to the following year.

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 - 18 years old


Will I Be Sent My Race Number?

No. Race numbers will be provided at race registration, which is located at Groombridge Village Hall, Station Rd, Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex TN3 9QX. 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.

Registration times for each race are as follows:

Ultra Trail 50km - between 7:00am and 7:45am.

Trail Half Marathon - between 7:45am and 9:00am.


Start / Finish Location

Groombridge Village Hall, Station Rd, Groombridge, East Sussex TN3 9QX. Start/Finish location map LINK on Goggle Maps.

Please note that FREE car parking is located within the grounds of Groombridge Place, Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, Kent, TN3 9QG. Please do not park within the village of Groombridge. Thanks.


Car Park Location

Car Park High Weald Challenge


What Facilities Are Available at the Race Start/Finish?

The race start/finish and registration is located at Groombridge Village Hall, Station Rd, Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex TN3 9QX. Changing and toilets facilites are available within Groombridge Village Hall.

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


Car Sharing

The High Weald Challenge Trail Races are part of the car sharing scheme, specifically set up for runners to car share to running races. Although we have a large field available for car parking we want to lessen any disruptions to the village of Groombridge, therefore we strongly encourage all runners to register onto the free car sharing scheme. As an incentive to reduce the number of cars entering the village, all runners that register at (even if in the end they don't car share on the day) will go into the draw to win a free entry to the 2017 High Weald Challenge Trail Races.

Please note that the facility to offer and/or request a car share will only become available on the websit closer to the date of the race, at approximately the start of September.


What Running Kit Do You Recommend?

As around 80% 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, towards the end of September the majority of the trails are usually dry with only small sections of the course likely to be muddy.

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. 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 Ultra Runner Store has an excellent selection of Montane® wind and waterproof jackets, where upon receiving the discount code on entering, you will receive an additional 10% discount on all of their already discounted products.

We also recommend the carrying of a mobile phone with the Race HQ mobile number 07586 050269 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 there is a maximum distance of 6.8 miles between checkpoints (see immediately below), especially if it is a hot day then it is recommended that runners carry a water bottle or hydration system. The Ultra Runner 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 Ultra Runner Store to obtain 10% discount on all of their already discounted products.


How Many Checkpoints and What Refreshments Are There?

The Ultra Trail 50km (31.1 mile) route has five checkpoints located at the following distances: CP1 at 8.7 km (5.4 miles), CP2 at 19.5 km (12.1 miles), CP3 at 27.0 km (16.8 miles), CP4 at 35.9 km (22.3 miles), and CP5 at 44.0 km (27.3 miles). Note, CP1 and CP4 are at the same location where the going out and return routes cover the same ground for 300 metres.

The Trail Half Marathon (13.1 mile) route has two checkpoints located at the following distances: CP1 at 5.4 miles, and CP2 at 10.4 miles.

All checkpoints will have a selection of food such as biscuits, flapjack, jelley babies and bananas.

All checkpoints will be manned. Please ensure that your race number is visible on your FRONT and is recorded 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 07586 050269.


Will the Route Be Marked?

The majority of the route for the Ultra Trail 50km race follows the waymarked High Weald Landscape Trail, Vanguard Way and Wealdway. The majority of the route for the Trail Half Marathon race follows the waymarked High Weald Landscape Trail and Wealdway. The final few miles of both routes follow the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk to the finish at Groombridge village hall. For the half marathon in addition to the waymarked fingerposts, race markings will be provided in places where it is not entirely obvious where the route goes. However, for the middle portiion of the 50km ultra route, in addition to the waymarked fingerposts, race markings will only be provided in certain places where the route is not on one of the long distance footpaths that has unique way marked footpath discs.

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


Is the Race Suitable for All Levels of Runner?

Yes, the High 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 80% off-road, and will therefore provide a tougher challenge than a road race of the same distance.

We have specifically selected the last weekend of September for the timing of the event, as it provides a great opportunity for those runners that may have previously run an autumn road marathon each year, to extend themselves by taking on the added challenges that running a trail ultra event brings, and also by running beyond the marathon distance, and getting to experience the joy of ultra running for the first time.


Has the Race Got a Race Licence?

Yes, the Weald Challenge Trail Races adhere to the standards set by UK Athletics and have a race permit (No. 232) issued by the Trail Running Association.

The High Weald Challenge Trail Races are organised by Trail Running Sussex. The race director is Stuart Mills, who is an England Athletics licenced official with ten years experience as race director of the popular Kings Head Canter 5K race that takes place each August Bank Holiday Monday, as well as race director for our 'sister' event the Weald Challenge Trail Races.


History of the Race?

Trail Running Sussex first organised the Weald Challenge Trail Races in May 2014, It was during November and December 2014 when Race Director Stuart Mills had around two and a half hours available on Saturday mornings while his son Chris attended a woodwork course at Forest Row. It was during these Saturday morning runs that he realised that the trails he was enjoying, mainly to the north of Ashdwon Forest, were equally as scenic and challenging as the trails of the Weald Challenge Trail Races.

Each weekend he put on his Garmin GPS watch and went exploring the surrounding area. After a few weekends and a few calcuations to obtain the ideal race distances, the High Weald Challenge 50km Ultra Trail Race was created! For 2016, we have also added a trail half marathon.


Who Do I Contact If I Have Further Questions?

Contact: Race Director Stuart Mills via e-mail: or by phone: 01825 840653


Our Supporters

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

The Ultra Runner 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 Ultra Runner Store should be your No1 choice.

SCOTT Sports has enjoyed much success with the Kinabalu trail shoe.

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.

MontaneTORQSCOTTUltra Runner Store


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Phone: 01825 840653

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