The Trailwalker challenge

Trailwalker is the ultimate team endurance event. The challenge is to walk, jog or run 100km non-stop across the South Downs Way in under 30 hours in a team of four, with a support crew to help you reach the finish line.

The challenge Photo: SussexSportPhotography
The original start point (and probably the same tents!) in Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong.

The history of Trailwalker

 

EXERCISE TRAILWALKER started out as a military training exercise in Hong Kong in 1981. Organised by the Queen’s Gurkha Signals, and taking place along the famous Maclehose Trail, the exercise sought to test the endurance and teamwork of soldiers of the Queen’s Gurkha Signals over a long and arduous course. A few years later in 1986, Trailwalker was opened to civilian participation too.

When the Queen’s Gurkha Signals moved from Hong Kong to the UK, Trailwalker came too, with the 100km event now taking place across the South Downs, and with hundreds of civilian teams setting off alongside the Gurkhas every year.

Today, Trailwalker still forms part of the Gurkha's training exercises, and is also a much-loved cultural event in the UK Gurkha community's calendar. More about the Queen's Gurkha Signals

The Route

 

Trailwalker covers some of the most beautiful countryside in England, following the historic paths of the South Downs Way over rolling chalk hills and past stunning sea views. Setting off from the Queen Elizabeth Country Park on Friday morning, you'll find a checkpoint roughly every 10km along the route, where you can fill up your water, get first aid, and meet your support crew to grab some food or change kit. At Checkpoint 7 you'll get a hot meal to keep you going through the night. The trail ends at Brighton Racecourse, where you'll recieve a hero's welcome, your medal, and a delicious Nepalese Gurkha curry.

You can download a GPX file of the route here, but please note that this may change before the event. We also provide detailed route instructions in the Map and Event Guide, but you'll need Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps 197 (Chicester & the South Downs) and 198 (Brighton & Lewes) to navigate the course. What is a GPX file?

Photo: SussexSportPhotography

Stronger Together

 

At Oxfam, we know people are stronger when they work together, and the spirit of teamwork is at the heart of Trailwalker too.

Trailwalker is a team challange - to register and take part you need a team of four walkers, and at least one support crew member (although we recommend you have more). Whether it’s friends, family, or colleagues, this team is there to see each other through to the finish. Whether it's encouragement just when you need it, help with blistered feet, or an surprise bacon sarnie from your Support Crew at a checkpoint, this is the ethos of Trailwalker.

But your Trailwalker team is also much bigger than that - from the moment you sign up, we will also be there to support you through your fundraising, training, and of course on the trail itself.

Event weekend

  1. Friday

    Arrive and register your team at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park between 4pm and 10pm.

    Once registered, you're free to enjoy the atmosphere, get a hot meal from the army field kitchen, and set up camp for the night in the park.

  2. Saturday

    After grabbing a hot breakfast from the field kitchen, the teams set off in waves, with the first wave heading off at 6am.

    Down the trail, a pasta meal will be available at Checkpoint 7 to see you through the night.

  3. Sunday

    Most teams reach the finish line at Brighton Racecourse early on Sunday morning.

    You'll arrive to a hero's welcome, a medal, and a delicious Nepalese Gurkha curry.

Trailwalker 2022 Guides

2022 Guides will be available closer to the event