How can I sign up for Trailwalker 2020?
One person from your team pays for your entry and signs up on behalf of the rest of your team. In order to sign up you need to have 4 walkers and 1 support crew member. The starting entry fee is £200 and will rise to £240 after 14/02/20 and then £280 after 17/04/20, so to get the cheaper prices, get in there quick!
Enter a civilian team
Enter a military team
Can we be a team of two, three or five?
All Trailwalker teams need to have four walkers. This is also for your own health and safety on the challenge.
What does a team leader do?
The team leader will sign up the team and act as the main point of contact between Trailwalker and your team. They will receive emails with essential information that they will then need to pass on to the rest of the team. They will also receive the welcome packs with t-shirts and event guides included.
When do I need to have all my team signed up by?
The team leader signs up the team members, who receive an e-mail asking them to complete their details. This should be done as soon as possible, but no later than 3 weeks prior to the event (04/09/2020). This is for safety reasons and to speed up your registration process.
How can I join the Trailwalker Facebook Group?
You can join the Trailwalker Facebook Group here! It's really useful for training, fundraising and general information about the event.
How fit do I need to be?
With the right training and preparation 100km is achievable for most people. Whatever distance you take on you will need to dedicate time to train, especially as a team. Most teams will plan long weekend walks alongside some shorter evening sessions. It’s important that you practise on different terrain too, so you may need to factor in some travel time.
We all work full time. Will we have time to train?
Most Trailwalkers work full time and make it over the finish line. Training is often about quality not quantity – you just need to be organised and plan your training walks in advance. The more you can train with your team the better.
What kit will I need?
Good walking boots are the most important item; you need some that are comfortable and well worn in. You’ll also need waterproofs, and suitable clothing for all weather conditions. Socks, water bottles, layers and some personal medical supplies are also required – all of which can be picked up from any good outdoor store. Once you’ve signed up, we’ll provide you with a full kit list and give you lots more advice in the build up to the event.
How do I find a team?
Most teams are made up of friends, colleagues or family members. If you’re having difficulty putting together a team, visit our Facebook group ‘Trailwalker UK’ and post what you’re looking for, eg ‘someone wanting to complete the challenge in the Brighton area’. Quite a few teams have come together using the Facebook group in the past, and by the end of the challenge they’ve become lifelong friends.
How old do I need to be?
The minimum age for Trailwalker participants is 18 on the day of the event.
Is there a waiting list if Trailwalker sells out?
If you have registered your interest in Trailwalker, but the event reaches full capacity, we will send you an email to let you know if any extra places become available.
What is the average completion time?
Around 27 hours.
What is the course record?
An amazing 9 hours 50 minutes, set by the Queen's Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment in the military category in 2004. It's going to take some beating! Other records include:
- Civilian male team: 11:26 by Intonation 1126 in 2010.
- Veterans (40+) team: 11:27 by Lost in Wanchai Boys in 2008.
- Mixed team: 12:15 by Team Jersey in 2012.
- Female team: 13:34 by Lycra Legs in 2015.
What does the support crew do?
Your support crew are a vital part of your team. Their role is to meet you at each checkpoint along the route. They will provide you with additional food, replenish you water supply, top up your snacks and most of all, motivate and encourage you to keep going and reach the finish line. They will also carry your extra kit like wet weather gear and warm clothing for the night sections.
How many people should be in the support crew?
You have to have at least 1, but we recommend at least two; one to drive and one to navigate. If you have space in your car for more people we recommend bringing extra people. You will then be able to split the time into shifts to allow the support crew to sleep. Remember that if one of the team is not able to continue they will need to get in the car so allow room just in case.
Is it compulsory to have a support crew?
Yes. All teams attempting all challenges must have a Support Crew. Trailwalker is a serious challenge where you'll be experiencing some very tough conditions, you'll need their support. Please refer to our terms and conditions
to find out more about the Support Crew's role and responsibilities.
Does the Support Crew have to meet the team at every checkpoint?
We do recommend that Support Crews meet you at every checkpoint just in case you need any support from them or just in case you have to withdraw from the route for any reason.
What type of vehicles can the Support Crew use?
Just one Support Crew vehicle per-team is allowed at checkpoints. A vehicle pass will be issued at event registration which allows the Support Crew vehicle access to checkpoints. The vehicle must be no larger than a 12 seater minibus (2.5m × 5.5m). You’ll need enough space for the whole team (in case of drop-outs) as well as support crew and the equipment. We must enforce these rules as there is limited access to checkpoints, often via small country lanes – the event relies on the goodwill of local landowners and communities.
Do support crew need to register on the Friday night?
They don’t need to register, but we highly recommend they do come along to the start on the Friday as they need to collect their support crew vehicle pass and it's very useful to attend the health and safety briefing on the Friday night.
Do support crew need to complete the medical form?
No, only the walkers need to complete the medical form.
How will we receive information in the lead up to the event?
First of all, your team will receive a welcome pack which will include 4 Official Trailwalker t-shirts, 4 Map & Event Guides and 1 Support Crew Guide which includes all of the essential information you need for the event. Your team will then be provided with monthly emails which will include information about fundraising and training as well as information about event weekend. You will then receive more regular emails in the lead up to the event. This information will be sent to your team leader who is then expected to share it with the rest of the team.
How do I change my team details?
Your team leader will need to go to the team login area on the Trailwalker website to update a team's details. It is important that your team details are up to date to ensure that all team members receive vital event information from us. No further amendments will be permitted 3 weeks prior to the event (04/09/2020) If you are having trouble with this or need to make an urgent, last minute change, please contact us directly on 0300 200 1244.
How do we dropout or swap team members?
Your team leader will need to go to the team login area to update a team's details. It is important that your team details are up to date to ensure that all team members receive vital event information from us. If you are having trouble with this, please contact us directly on 0300 200 1244.
If we swap team members, do they also get t-shirts?
Your entry fee covers 4 t-shirts in total and these are sent to your team leader to distribute. If you swap team members, remember to swap t-shirts too! Additional t-shirts can be purchased at the event.
What happens if we pull out?
Unfortunately, each year we have a few teams that need to pull out from Trailwalker prior to the event, often due to injury. Please get in contact with us either via email at email@example.com or via telephone 0300 200 1244 to let us know. The entry fee is non-refundable or transferable.
How much do we need to raise?
The minimum fundraising target is £1,400 per team. All teams must have fundraised at least £1000 on the Friday prior to the event (18/09/2020) and that money must have been received by Oxfam to be eligible to participate. Teams that fail to do so may be unable to start the event without the prior approval of the event organisers, in accordance with our terms and conditions.
When is the fundraising deadline?
You will need to raise the amount that you have pledged by the fundraising deadline on 25 November 2020.
What happens if we don't reach our pledge?
Teams who do not manage to reach the minimum pledge may be refused entry into future Oxfam sponsored challenges if legitimate reasons cannot be provided. Oxfam and The Gurkha Welfare Trust rely on fundraising events such as Trailwalker in order to continue fighting poverty worldwide. For this reason we do ask that participants reach the fundraising pledge that they commit to when they sign up.
What is the best way to fundraise?
Events are a great way to fundraise – pub quiz, cake sale, sweepstakes. We know it can be tough, but remember if you break it down by team member, it’s just £350 each. Follow the tips and advice that we provide you with along the way and it is more than possible to achieve. The vast majority of teams smash their fundraising target, year on year. Trailwalker will most likely be the hardest challenge you’ll ever take on. You’ll be surprised by how much your friends and family will support you.
Can we increase our fundraising pledge?
Yes! If it looks like you're close to reaching your pledge then we do recommend increasing it - this will encourage sponsors to support you until you reach your goal. By increasing your pledge you may also be entitled to additional fundraising rewards from Oxfam. You can increase your pledge by calling the team on 0300 200 1244. You can do this anytime up to the fundraising deadline.
Can I fundraise jointly with another team?
Yes. We will be tracking the performance of each team, so if you plan on joint-fundraising it's vital we know so we can correctly allocate your fundraising to your team's record.
Please contact us on 0300 200 1244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to let us know if you are joint fundraisers.
How do I set up an online giving page?
Set up a JustGiving page for Trailwalker
. Your individual JustGiving page will be set up for you once you have completed your registration. Each team member will have a page created, you can think link them to an overall team page if you wish, allowing you to see your accumulated fundraising total.
Can I use an online giving site other than JustGiving?
We recommend using JustGiving as previous Trailwalkers have said it's the best for them, and we also have a ‘Trailwalker 2020’ campaign but you can also set up an online giving page through Virgin Money Giving.
How can my sponsors Gift Aid their donation?
If they sponsor you through an online giving page, they will be given the option to Gift Aid their donation. If they sponsor you offline, they will need to tick 'yes' to Gift Aid and provide the necessary details on the sponsorship form, which can then be sent to us.
Is Gift Aid included in my total?
How do I pay in my offline sponsorship?
Please send cheques / Charities Aid Foundation vouchers to:
John Smith Drive,
Be sure to include a note with your name and your team name so we can allocate the funds to your team.
Can I fundraise jointly for another charity?
Unfortunately not. Oxfam, The Queen’s Gurkha Signals and The Gurkha Welfare Trust put in a lot of time and hard work to ensure you have the best experience at Trailwalker so we require that all the money you raise goes to Oxfam. The grand event total is then split between Oxfam and The Gurkha Welfare Trust after the fundraising deadline.
Can I use the Oxfam logo to help with my fundraising?
Yes, you can download our logo
Can I get some fundraising resources and materials?
Yes, of course! We have lots of fundraising resources on the under ‘Fundraising’
tab on the website. If you want any other resources, then please email email@example.com and let us know what you would like to receive from the following; balloons, treasure maps, collection boxes, posters, fundraising booklet.
Am I eligible for fundraising incentives?
To reward top fundraisers, Oxfam may offer various fundraising incentives (such as free event photos or t-shirts) via the official Trailwalker website. In order to be eligible to receive any incentives, you must have raised the required amount by the Friday of the week prior to the challenge (18/09/2020). Full terms and conditions will be provided with any promotional offer.
How much training do I have to do?
The more you train the easier you will find the challenge, but you shouldn't be on your own. Get a team together and train with them. You need to build up your endurance, and our online training guide is there to help. You need to build up mental strength and stamina too. Everyone is different - you need to learn about yourself and your needs before the event. How often you need to drink, how tiredness affects you, which footwear you prefer, and so on.
Do I need to train with my team?
We do recommend training with your team as much as possible. Training with your team will help you to set your pace, and to work out your roles within the team, and how best to support each other. People often find they get loads out of the training - it can mean quality time spent with your team, as you all get fitter and prepare for the journey ahead.
Is there a GPX route I can download
Yes - you can download a GPX file of the route here
. Please also ensure you use your maps and are able to locate yourselves in case of emergencies. There are directions in the Map & Event Guide, and you’ll require Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps 197 (Chicester & the South Downs) and 198 (Brighton & Lewes).
Why does the guide and my fitness tracker state different distances?
All maps, direction and figures are intended as a guide only. The course has been measured as 100km and whilst we have endeavoured to ensure that all information is correct at the time of printing, we cannot guarantee that any personal fitness trackers used over the event weekend will match our guide completely.
Should we train in the dark?
Trailwalker takes place in the South Downs throughout the night. Not all of the route will be well lit and in the middle of the night it can be pitch black. We recommend that walkers incorporate night time walking as part of their training, and use headtorches, which is part of the compulsory kit list, to help them on the way.
When is registration and when will I need to arrive?
Teams will need to register at the event on Friday 25 September at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield. All team members must be in attendance in order to register. There will also be a safety briefing held on the Friday which all members of your team will need to attend.
Further information about event registration will be released nearer the time.
Can friends and family meet us at the checkpoints?
Friends and family are welcome to cheer you over the start and finish line. However, only your Support Crew will be able to meet you at the checkpoints. They will need to display their Support Crew pass for their vehicle to gain access.
Do we have to bring all the kit on the kit list?
It is vital that you bring all of the essential items on the kit list. You will be required to sign a kit list disclaimer form at event registration and there will be kit checks on the course.
Do we need to carry all equipment with us?
The kit list in the Training guide details the essential items that you must carry at all times. There are certain items that you can leave with your Support Crew to collect when you meet them at a checkpoint.
Please think carefully about what you leave with the Support Crew - if the weather changes drastically you may regret leaving waterproofs in their car!
Will there be signs to guide us through the whole route?
Part of this challenge is for your team to successfully navigate the course. To help you, there will be signs along route to help keep you on track but they are not, however, a substitute for good navigation.
Can we make our own arrangements to meet up with our support crew en route?
Please only meet your team at checkpoints. Trailwalker relies on the goodwill of the local community. Many of the roads around the route are small country lanes, so to deal with the volumes of traffic relating to the event we need Support Crew vehicles to stick to route and meet you only at checkpoints.
Can I sleep on the way round?
This is not recommended. Experience has taught us that people who stop to sleep, usually don't manage to get up again to complete the event.
Can I take my dog?
Please refrain from bringing dogs on the course with you. The South Downs way will be busy throughout Trailwalker weekend with fellow walkers and the general public enjoying the path. We wish to keep it as clear as possible.
Can we have another car pass?
As access to checkpoints is limited, we cannot provide any teams with more than one car pass. Support Crews with more than one vehicle will need to rendezvous away from the course to transfer the car pass. Remember, the Support Crew vehicle must be no larger than a 12 seater minibus (2.5m × 5.5m).
What happens if someone has to retire from the event en-route?
If a team member or whole team decide to retire from the event en-route it is essential you inform an event co-ordinator and return your tracking wristband. You can do this at checkpoints or by phoning Event Control whilst out on the course (the Event Control contact details will be on your Map and Event guide).
What happens if I forget to return my tracking wristband?
If you retire from the event midway, although you may be very tired please remember to return your tracking wristband. If you do not return your tracking wristband, you will be asked to either return the wristband by post to Oxfam or be charged £30. Oxfam is charged this amount for each broken or lost wristband and this comes out of the overall fundraising total so please try to avoid this where possible.
If someone drops out, can we continue?
Teams of three can continue. Teams of just two or less members must find another team to formally accept responsibility for them for the remainder of the course. The checkpoint co-ordinator must be notified and approve this.
If I drop out, do I still get a medal or a khada?
Unfortunately only those who complete the event will receive a medal and khada (which is a ceremonial scarf).
Is there parking available at the start?
Yes, there is parking in a field at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. This is open from 4pm on the Friday. All cars must be removed from the event car park by midday Saturday.
Is there camping available at the start?
Yes. You can camp at the start line on the Friday evening. You don’t need to reserve a camping space in advance.
Can I bring a camper van?
Yes. You will need to leave your camper van in the car park at QECP on the Friday night. You cannot park in the camping area. All vehicles must be gone from the start point car park by midday Saturday. You can also park in the car park at Brighton Racecourse.
Is there camping available on the Sunday night?
No. We suggest finding alternative accommodation on the Sunday night. It is a long weekend, so please do not drive if you are feeling to tired to do so.
What food is available over event weekend? What if I have dietary requirements?
There is food available at registration on the Friday from 6pm as well as breakfast on the Saturday morning from 5am. Along the route, there is then food at Checkpoint 7. At the finish line, there is food available from Saturday evening until Sunday afternoon. We have vegetarian options, but cannot guarantee catering for any other dietary requirements, we suggest bringing your own food.
Will you be providing disposable cups, plates and cutlery?
To help the environment, there will be no disposable cups for hot drinks so please bring a reusable cup, mug or flask with you (or ask your friendly Support Crew to have one waiting for you!). A reusable bottle for water is on the essential kit list, so please use this to top up your water bottle. For food, we will be providing compostable plates and cutlery, but do feel free to bring your own if you prefer.
Where can I find my start time?
Start times will be revealed 1 month before Trailwalker begins. They will be available to view on the website, and can be searched by team name.
Can I change my start time?
You cannot change your start time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please make sure to put your preferred start time in your sign up so we can try to accommodate to your preference as much as possible.
What is available at the checkpoints?
There are toilets, first aiders and hot and cold drinks at all checkpoints. There is also car parking for your support crew to meet you there. You will need to check in with your tracking chip at every checkpoint. There are both members of QGS and volunteers there to help and support you as well. There are then massages available at Checkpoint 5 & 8 as well as at the finish line. There is also food at Checkpoint 7.
Are there showers anywhere along the route?
We have showers at the finish, but not at the start.